Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: BC, Canada
PHILADELPHIA -- There’s a right way and a wrong way to raise a baby on vegan food. Those who get it wrong, parents say, give the responsible ones a bad name.
A Pennsylvania mother claiming to be vegan was charged this month with child endangerment for feeding her baby nothing but small amounts of nuts and berries. In Italy, after a number of vegan babies required hospitalization for malnourishment, a lawmaker this summer proposed a bill that would make it a crime to feed children under 16 a vegan diet.
Those cases are not about veganism at all, but are instead about neglect, say parents who are raising their children vegan. Pinning bad parenting on vegan diets, some say, unfairly stigmatizes those who have done their homework and are safely raising their babies without feeding them animal products like meat and dairy.
“They stress the elements of veganism in these stories, but it’s not that these people aren’t giving their children the right kind of food, it’s that they aren’t feeding them,” said Fulvia Serra, of Fort Collins, Colorado. The native of southern Italy is raising her 1-year-old son vegan, and her 12-year-old daughter is vegetarian.
“To get a child to the point of starvation, it means you are ignoring him and his crying all the time,” she said. “It’s neglect.”
The American Academy of Pediatrics’ book “Pediatric Nutrition” devotes a chapter to vegetarian and vegan diets. It describes how, with sound nutrition and dietary planning, “it is possible to provide a balanced diet to vegetarians and vegans.”
"We have enslaved the rest of the animal creation, and have treated our distant cousins in fur and feathers so badly that beyond doubt, if they were able to formulate a religion, they would depict the Devil in human form." - William Ralphe Inge