The Reason Bad Vegan's Sarma Melngailis Ate Chicken In Prison

"Bad Vegan," a new limited series real-crime drama on Netflix, is one of the wildest stories to date. Though Sarma Melngailis, the vegan behind the once raw, vegan fine dining powerhouse Pure Food and Wine, was drawn into an alternate reality based on the stories of Anthony Strangis, her boyfriend turned husband, her life didn't exactly become less complicated after she left Riker's Island. 

Though many headlines at the time of her arrest pointed out that she and Strangis were caught because of a delivery order placed to Domino's, the documentary makes it clear that there are much bigger issues at hand and that the pizza wasn't for her. While a lot of people who followed the case were almost giddy at the thought of the vegan it-girl eating something that is so far from vegan, that break from Melngailis' diet, which allows no meat, dairy products, or any type of animal products like food dye, gelatin, and honey, actually came a few years later. 

During an interview with the New York Post, Melngailis confirmed she ate chicken amid her three-and-a-half month prison stay.

Sarma Melngailis wanted to avoid food waste

According to Melngailis, who spoke to the New York Post, she broke her vegan diet to avoid food waste. "Twice a week, they served an actual chicken leg," she said. "Everything else that they passed off as meat, who knows what it was. And so yeah, if it's a situation where something is going to be thrown away, I don't ethically have a problem eating it." Melngailis went on to tell the outlet that her fellow inmates not only left her alone, but they sought her out for her culinary thoughts and opinions on prison food.

"While I was there, for the first time, they had a veggie burger on the menu and the girls ran out and grabbed me and they said, 'You need to taste it!' It was up to me to try it and give my opinion," Melngailis recalled. "It was surprisingly well done."