6 Reasons a Fox Reporter Hates on Vegetarian Food

Eight Phoenix-area jails are turning vegetarian. That is great news for both inmates’ health and for the animals they would have eaten, but Fox news is working very hard to convince viewers that removing meat from the menu is cruel and unusual punishment.

The man who ordered the change, Maricopa County’s Sheriff Joe Arpaio, is notorious for his efforts to deprive and demean prisoners. His bizarre innovations include housing them in tents and forcing them to wear only pink underwear. He justifies his initiatives as money-savers.

His decision to stop serving meat is a great move: it will improve prisoners’ health and spare countless animals the relentlessly agonizing lives and horrific deaths food producers sentence them to. But Arpaio doesn’t seem interested in any of that and probably doesn’t even believe it. His interest is counting the $100,000 he expects to save by feeding inmates soy instead of beef.

Local Fox reporter Troy Hayden seems to have chosen his angle on the story before he even stepped foot in one of the jails: soy is gross, and food without meat is so repulsive it’s funny.

He focuses exclusively on a dish prisoners call “slop,” a stew that replaces beef with soy chips. He never reports the prisoners’ feelings about the new meatless fare. Instead he offers his own opinions, none of which is good.

Assuming his disgust is unfeigned, here are six reasons Hayden may have turned his nose up at the stew:

1) It is produced in large quantities in an industrial self-mixing vat. If Hayden has spent much time in cafeterias or dining halls, he might remember that most machine-made food doesn’t look so good. Mass-produced entrees aren’t big on presentation.

2) Hayden hears stew and expects to taste meat. When he doesn’t, he is disappointed.

3) Soy chips aren’t the best ingredient to replace beef in this dish. The texture of TVP (textured vegetable protein) is closer to beef chips and the flavor is great. My non-veg relatives keep it stocked in their freezer for their delicious taco salads.

4) The stew is prison food, so visitors presume it is bad, perhaps as part of the generally punitive living conditions.

5) Choosing recipes designed around plant-based foods could be more successful than trying to make them into something they’re not. Hayden had no objection to the appearance of the green beans, though they contained no animal flesh, but quickly returned his attention to the stew, which tried to make a plant product look, taste and feel the same as meat. Or he may have  had the camera point only at the “slop” because the other vegetarian food didn’t look bad.

6) The stew lacked spices and tasted bland. Newsflash for the news reporter: the meat stew you prefer needs spices too. The blandness isn’t the fault of the soy but of the cook.

Hayden and Fox aren’t the only ones spinning this story into a paean to meat. The Inquisitr headline is, “Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Latest Psychological Torture? Making Prisoners Go Vegetarian.” The article relies on Hayden’s Fox slop video. Inquisitr posits that Arpaio’s hidden goal is to “to emasculate inmates” by serving them soy, and questions whether they will “survive vegetarianism.”

Lazy, hackneyed journalism is nothing new, so these outlets’ regurgitation of groundless, stale stereotypes that vegetarians are deprived and effeminate isn’t surprising — but it’s still stupid.

For reality-based, non-Fox information about plant-based diets, visit the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. A good place to begin with some basic info is their Vegetarian Starter Kit.

Photo credit: Thinkstock/iStock


Ty W
Ty W5 months ago

Cruel and unusual punishment to not let prisoners' eat meat...but it's not cruel and unusual punishment to kill animals to feed people who have committed crimes...or feed people at all... gotta disagree with that one

Jim Ven
Jim Vabout a year ago

thanks for sharing.

Jim Ven
Jim Vabout a year ago

thanks for the article.

Carrie-Anne Brown
Carrie-Anne B3 years ago

thanks for sharing

Dale O.

Thank you, Linda M as you are right about what you said about Fox-faux news regarding Ellen G's comment about bashing fox faux news. Bash, bash, bash,...crash. Tinkle! Yes, Linda M, it is so this year! Renewable energy used wisely each and every year. It's great to keep up to date, Linda M.

I believe that meat can be part of a healthy balanced diet but any meat served in prison is likely to be factory farmed but then, somehow one have can't believe that any prison kitchen can prepare nutritious meals, no matter what they use for food. As Rosemary H mentioned, most soy is generally GMO (can one see Sheriff Joe Arpaio shelling out for organic soy or non-GMO veggies? Sure, sure.)

One wonders if Matt P has a daily dose of faux news as he certainly Caps lock shouts like he does. Eating meat hardly causes idiocy, Matt P as there are plenty of non-factory farmed sources. Eating too much raw bok choy causes illness. Also, when you sound off like faux news commentators, it can lead to you having periods of pontificating endless vegan sermons to the rest of us. Sort of like a prison sentence in and of itself reading your Caps lock sermonettes.

Donna Ferguson
Donna F3 years ago

fox reporter? who cares?

Edgar Zuim
Edgar Zuim4 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

Robert H.
Robert H4 years ago

Ellen……..no one here thinks Democratds are abovre reproach. BUt thank you for pretending someone thinks that. It gsave me a chuckle

Linda McKellar
Past Member 4 years ago

Bashing FOX news will never be "so last year".

Dale O.

Ellen G, even people from outside the U.S. watch Fox FauxuNnews for a laugh and a giggle. What a hoot, there are actually Americans who believe that soap box?