Does veganism kill children? No, neglectful parenting does

Whether it’s for religious, ethical or health reasons, it’s not easy being vegan. The diet excludes some obvious things like cheese, milk and eggs. But other food products are derived from animals in more subtle ways. Wine, for example, is often filtered through fining agents which are made from animal products including blood and bone marrow, or fish gelatin. In the United States cane sugar is filtered through activated carbon sourced from animal bones.

The media makes it harder still, with a story that surfaces every six months or so. Taken at face value, it suggests that a vegan diet can be dangerous (or even fatal) for children. Here are a few recent examples:

Vegan Italian parents investigated for neglect after baby son found severely malnourished 

Is veganism child abuse? 

French vegan couple whose baby died of vitamin deficiency after being fed solely on breast milk face jail for child neglect

Vegan couple sentenced to life over baby’s death 

The stories are shocking, especially at a glance. From the most recent example, in Italy:

‘Doctors said the baby was severely malnourished and showed signs of deficiency in vitamin B12, which is found in foods including fish, meat, eggs and milk.’

But scratching below the surface reveals that it isn’t a vegan diet which kills children, it’s neglectful parenting. Further down in the article it is revealed that by the age of six months the child was fed exclusively on breastmilk. It’s the same story in the case of the French couple, whose child sadly died as a result. Their daughter was only given breastmilk until she was almost a year old.

The couple from Atlanta who were sentenced to life in prison over their baby’s death fed him ‘a diet largely consisting of soy milk and apple juice.’ That’s probably enough to kill anyone; a six-week-old child didn’t stand a chance.

The story from Salon relates to a mother who refused to admit her child to hospital or take medicine offered to her ‘on the grounds that it contained ingredients that came from animals.’ Any sensible vegan will agree that is taking it too far.

These people are all vegans, yes, but they are also criminally stupid. There are probably valid criticisms of the vegan diet – not least Al Gore’s conversion to it – but none of them justify this sort of sloppy reporting.

  • Сорокин

    Veganism harms environment, it has been proven actually, see “Energy use, blue water footprint, and greenhouse gas emissions for current food consumption patterns and dietary recommendations in the US’ and there have been other researches as well. Of course vegans don’t care about that, because they are hypocritical entitled smug douches, not to mention absence of certain foods in their diet makes their not so large brain shrink even more.

  • What are the reasons to criticize veganism, I wonder – a diet that seeks to lessen the harm humans cause to other sentient beings and which is proven to be greener: I wonder what can be bad about it. Except that some people that call themselves vegan are, but look at politics, arts and religion – they are all full of bad people, too.

    • Shinku

      Emotional appeal. I don’t care what my food feels. It is still food. I do not care what micro organisms feel either and nor do plants. You are a walking bag of meat. so take that to heart.

      • At 47 I have had plenty of time to realize that people tend to be selfish. This is the problem with our species, which will lead us to extinction. And no, I am not a walking bag of meat, I am a walking bag of FLESH. I do have a heart, now the question is: do you?

        • Shinku

          Selfishness is what allows species to survive extinction. Selflessness is a HUMAN feature. Even a WORM has a heart. but my heart is designed to pump blood. In the end your FLESH will return to dust just as everything around you crumbles to DUST. And your attempt at self-gratification aka Selflessness will be forgotten. Sorry Apasolini it’s still food. You might as well empathize with cyanobacteria.

  • shelley_ashfield

    PETA proselytizes young people who are precisely the age when they wish for more independence, yet have not reached the age of responsibility. Adults can do what they wish with their bodies. Adults who encourage malnutrition in minors are another matter altogether. If you are a vegan, and have not actively parented a teenager, do NOT hand out pamphlets. Do NOT tell stories about how evil their unenlightened parents are.