James Warden says the prison didn’t respect his vegan diet.
James Warden says the prison didn’t respect his vegan diet.

Vegan starves as jail doesn’t cater to diet

A vegan activist accused of being the ringleader behind the theft of a $1500 calf and a dead piglet from West Australian farms says he went hungry in prison because the menus offered no animal-free alternatives.

James Warden, from the group Direct Action Everywhere, faced Perth Magistrates Court on Wednesday charged with three counts of trespassing, and two counts each of stealing and aggravated burglary.

The 25-year-old, was fined last month for trespassing and live streaming the crime on social media, was remanded in custody this week after not having enough money to cover bail.

Mr Warden told Seven News he went hungry for the 48 hours he was locked up because Hakea Prison in Perth didn't cater to vegans.


James Warden during a stunt in McDonald’s.
James Warden during a stunt in McDonald’s.


"Some of them just said 'go and eat some meat' and that kind of thing," he said.

"The experience I had was nowhere near as bad as what animals are going through. They are suffering daily, and I only had to put up with 48 hours in custody.

Mr Warden has several co-accused ranging in age from 21 to 36.

Police said the activists' crimes allegedly happened between August and February at properties in Nambeelup, Hopeland, West Pinjarra, Benger and Mundijong.

The calf was allegedly taken to an animal rescue farm in Waroona but was later returned in good health to its owners.

Mr Warden last week faced court in his home state of NSW, where he was visiting family, and was granted bail on the condition he appear in Perth on the new offences.


The activist takes his fight to Canberra.
The activist takes his fight to Canberra.


Magistrate Joe Randazzo said it was a strong prosecution case and ruled Warden's bail conditions should include a $10,000 personal undertaking and $5000 surety.

Mr Warden also cannot possess a passport, must report weekly to police and stay away from farms.

"You are dicing with your freedom," Mr Randazzo said.

But Mr Warden's sister, who previously provided his surety, was already on her way to the airport to return to NSW when the magistrate made his determination.

It means Mr Warden will likely spend at least one night in prison until the paperwork is completed.

Warden is scheduled to face Mandurah Magistrates Court on May 3.

- with AAP