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Discussion Starter #1
Did anyone read todays( Wed. March 26) 'New York Times' article about the mom who did not breastfeed but made her own 'homemade artificial milk' and at 15 months the toddler only weighed 10 pounds, had rickets, broken bones, etc? This is so sad :-( I hope this case brings to light how dangerous it is to make your own artificial milk for infants. I just don't understand why she didn't breastfeed?<br><br>
Any comments?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
"I think there is much more about it than just vegetarian home made milk."<br><br>
Yes, of course! I agree. But my hope is that this will publicize the danger of making homemade artificial milks for infants, something that should be adressed in the media.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
As a nanny, I'm horrified. I mean... horrified.<br><br><br><br>
I'll comment on this more later, but I'm on my way to work now.
 

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"I just don't understand why she didn't breastfeed?"<br><br><br><br>
There could be a lot of sensible reasons why someone wouldn't want to breasfeed, and some woman can't breastfeed, for example after they have had a mastectomy. Taking certain drugs for certain conditions is a contra-indicator -- the drugs could show up in the milk and harm the baby. Tho I think the public has an exaggerated idea of how dangerous this is. It depends on the drug and the amount, and perhaps milk should be tested and advice given by doctors, instead of them just telling patients not to breastfeed if they think there is a just a <i>possibility</i> of the drug showing up in milk, and doing harm. This is what they often seem to do. Not wanting to risk getting sued if there is the <i>slightest</i> chance something they are prescribing could harm the baby. Even tho the benefits of breastfeeding might outweigh the risks. I other cases, with more dangerous drugs in larger amoutns, mothers definitly should not breastfeed.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I think you are quoting the article about the Vegan parents who refused to feed their baby breast milk and instead fed it ground up nuts and such? Well, although I do not agree with that, of course, I guess they were thinking that breast milk is not vegan. But I totally disagree with not feeding the baby breast milk, because it is vital for the health of the child. Also, I dont understand why they didn't feed the baby soy formula if they didn't want to feed it breast milk. This would have been good enough, although not as good as breast milk. I do not believe that breast milk for human babies is not vegan. It is milk from other animals that would not be considered vegan to humans. Human breast milk is made for human babies and cow's milk is made for cow babies.<br><br><br><br>
-emily
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Here is the article I was thinking of:<br><br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
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Vegan Couple Starved Toddler, Cops Say<br><br><br><br>
Tuesday, April 30, 2002<br><br>
By Jessie Graham<br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br>
NEW YORK A vegan couple in New York City were busted for starving their baby daughter by denying her breast milk and formula, feeding her only nuts, fruits and vegetables, and allegedly failing to get her medical help for severe malnutrition.<br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br>
Joseph and Silva Swinton, both 31, were arrested Friday and charged with reckless endangerment and endangering the welfare of a child for failing to properly feed and care for their baby, Ice.<br><br><br><br>
The Swintons, who are being held in lieu of $20,000 bail, face up to seven years in prison if convicted.<br><br><br><br>
Sixteen-month-old Ice Swinton weighed only 10 pounds, looked like a 2- or 3-month-old and was half the normal weight of a child her age when authorities discovered her close to death last November.<br><br><br><br>
EMS workers rushed Ice to from her Queens home to Long Island Jewish Hospital, where doctors diagnosed her with developmental problems, a distended abdomen, fractured bones, a vitamin deficiency called rickets and a lung disorder all caused by malnutrition, authorities said.<br><br><br><br>
The Swintons, who say they approach veganism as a religion, fed the child a diet of "ground nuts, fresh-squeezed fruit juices, herbal tea, beans, cod liver oil and flax seed oil," a complaint said.<br><br><br><br>
Even when doctors told the couple their baby was on the brink of death in November, both parents insisted "there was nothing wrong" and were resistant to treatment, the complaint said.<br><br><br><br>
After a four-month hospital stay, the New York City Administration for Children's Services placed the baby in a foster home.<br><br><br><br>
Several months on a healthy diet have helped the 20-month-old to achieve the functions of a 10- to 12-month-old baby, but the child is still struggling, authorities said.<br><br><br><br>
Warren Silverman, a lawyer representing the mother, questioned why there was such a long delay to file charges.<br><br><br><br>
"If Long Island Jewish Hospital at that time thought that something was amiss, why wasn't something done right away?" he asked.<br><br><br><br>
The Swintons have been allowed supervised visits with their daughter but ACS has asked that a judge order them stopped after the father said he thought the child was getting "chubby," sources said.<br><br><br><br>
Neighbor Toyin Savage said she was "shocked."<br><br><br><br>
Another neighbor said she saw the baby recently.<br><br><br><br>
"I asked how old she was and they said, 'Almost a year.' She looked very small. They said she was a vegetarian I didn't think about it at the time."<br></div>
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Simply, I think that these parents were very ill-informed about babies and the nutrition they need! My sister just recently had a baby and I would think of feeding it nothing else except breast milk & formula. There is a time to start babies on food, but for the first several months they NEED breast milk/formula to survive! Obviosly these parents did not go to any parenting classes or read anything about parenting. Very sad and could have easily been avoided.<br><br><br><br>
-emily
 

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Discussion Starter #8
And yet you need a license for so many other things - sadly conception is not one of them. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/sad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":(">
 

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Discussion Starter #9
<a href="http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ct/20030404/cr_ct/vegans_guilty_on_all_counts_for_malnourishing_baby" target="_blank">http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmp...ourishing_baby</a><br><br><br><br>
A jury in Kew Gardens, N.Y. convicted a vegan couple of nearly starving their baby to death with a strict diet that the prosecutor described as "a path to hell."<br><br>
\t\t<br><br>
Joseph and Silva Swinton, both 32, were found guilty in Queens Supreme Court of assault, reckless endangerment and endangering the welfare of a child.<br><br>
The couple fed their toddler daughter, Ice, a homemade soy bean and herb infant formula that left the little girl with the appearance of a Third World famine victim and the developmental abilities of a newborn. At 15 months, Ice had no teeth and could not sit up, crawl or walk.<br><br>
The Swintons will face up to 25 years in prison when sentenced at a later date by Judge Richard Buchter.<br><br>
With their verdict, which came after two days of deliberations, the jury rejected arguments of the Swintons' attorneys, who said the couple wanted only the best for their baby and did not realize the harm the diet was causing her.<br><br>
The felony assault and reckless endangerment convictions indicate the panel found the couple acted with "depraved indifference," or recklessness "so wanton" that it is equivalent to purposefully starving Ice. If the jury had found the Swintons simply reckless, they could have convicted them on misdemeanor charges that carry no mandatory jail time.<br><br>
Assistant District Attorney Eric Rosenbaum said the pair treated their daughter "like a gerbil" and called the diet "a grotesque science project." He argued that the couple were well aware that their daughter was sick and showed "willfull blindness" to the problems.<br><br>
"A 15-month-old child who cannot walk, cannot stand and cannot crawl that tells you that something is very, very wrong," Rosenbaum told the jury during closing arguments.<br><br>
All the panelists had experience caring for small children. None are vegetarians.<br><br>
The girl, who will celebrate her third birthday in July, and her baby brother, Ini, born after the Swintons' arrests, now live with relatives of the couple. (Court papers spell the girl's name Ice, although the parents have spelled it Iice.)<br><br>
The testimony of Silva Swinton was the three-week trial's dramatic highpoint and may have ultimately proved harmful to her defense. She told jurors that Ice "was thriving" on the vegan diet and suggested that it was hospitalizations and medical care ordered by social services that had made her daughter sick.<br><br>
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I get so tired of crap like this.<br><br><br><br>
First, it is tragedy that this poor child was so affected by these poorly-informed parents. I don't know that a "conception-license" is the answer, but something needs to be done to prevent travesties like this from happening...<br><br><br><br>
Second, I'm sure that plenty see the headline and/or the article as saying, "ALL VEGAN DIETS ARE UNHEALTHY FOR CHILDREN" So, when one parent makes a mistake, all parents providing their children with a <i>healthy</i> vegan diet must be punished? This is a great step backward for the veg*n "movement"...
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I agree, TofuHead, because it really is easy to get the proper amounts of nutrition if you know what to eat! For instance, I think there was also a new release about a study done on nursing vegan women that found that there was a vit. B12 deficiency in the children. But if you know what to eat then it is very easy to get proper nutrition. For instance, I eat plenty of foods with Nutritional Yeast in them, and also drink a lot of soy milk, that is fortified with vit. B12, as well as many other vit & minerals. I think that some people are just not well-informed about what they need to be eating when vegan, especially if they are pregnant or nursing!<br><br><br><br>
-emily
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The disturbing part is that the so-called "vegan" parents wouldn't breastfeed the baby, but gave her cod-liver oil.<br><br>
Last time I checked, cod were a type of fish.<br><br>
Go figure. Of course, the media is having a field day with this.<br><br><br><br>
I deal with many abused and/or neglected children in my line of work. The Swintons were neglectful, irrespobsible, and hideously ill-educated about their chosen diet. Unfortunately, baby Ice probably would have been endangered even if her parents were meat eating, beer swilling "normal" omnis [setting aside all the health risks asscoiated with meat and the omni diet in general]; yet, had she been born into a neglectful omni family, the media would make no mention of her parents' diet. Bad parenting is bad parenting, whether it makes for a media spectacle or not.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block"><i>Originally posted by starsprite</i><br><br><b>I agree totally, Miss Adventure! The diet of course was the topic because it is "different"</b></div>
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But the "diet" was the cause of the baby being ill. And if this publicity stops even one child from being abused then i think this publicity is worth it.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Yeah, cause it wasn't vegan if she was giving her baby cod liver oil. This adds more misinformation of true vegan practices to the pile, IMO. People are already confused enough...
 

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Discussion Starter #16
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block"><i>Originally posted by MsRuthieB</i><br><br><b>Yeah, cause it wasn't vegan if she was giving her baby cod liver oil. This adds more misinformation of true vegan practices to the pile, IMO. People are already confused enough...</b></div>
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Yes, i agree. It was a "bad diet" they chose that caused malnutrition not a "vegan diet" I get it <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/blush.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":eek:"><br><br>
But maybe the 'accused' were the ones to use the word vegan to describe themselves not the journalists <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/huh.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":confused:">
 

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"I asked how old she was and they said, 'Almost a year.' She looked very small. They said she was a vegetarian I didn't think about it at the time."<br><br>
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"All the panelists had experience caring for small children. None are vegetarians."<br><br>
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What a bunch of misleading crap. these statements are purposefully misleading and meant to associate vegetarianism with the regretable situation with this child. This is poor journalism to the extreme.<br><br><br><br><br><br>
I agree .... there are many parents right now who are omnivores whose kids have poor diets bordering on abuse ... when these people go to court, do they bring up the word 'omnivore'? No! Many (most?) don't find themselves in the paper either. Why in this case ? The only reason is because they could get a story which would shock and make all those omnivores say "see ... I told you vegetarians aren't healthy".<br><br><br><br>
This just is very biased media out to sell a story (the writer probably wrote half of it while eating a Big Mac!). Not much better than the Enquirer really.<br><br><br><br>
Yeah ... the mentioning of the cod liver oil is bizarre. They thought of their (supposed) vegan diet as a religion and don't even know that.<br><br><br><br>
Messed up people ... just like 1000's of other people (omnivores included) who shouldn't be raising kids.
 

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I saw the article this wknd too but didn't see this thread til now. It's terrible b/c it's giving vegans a bad name across the board. Terrible.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I just can't understand what kind of nutritional la-la land the parents were living in. I'd be extremely interested in hearing where they got their ideas on nutrition! Were they getting this misinformation from somewhere, or were they really formulating their own ideas?<br><br><br><br>
It seems to me that they were deeply in denial about their daughter's development (or lack thereof). Pediatricians and child development specialists often stress that babies will reach major milestones at greatly varying ages... so I can just about imagine that these parents were convincing themselves that their daughter was just taking her time. But... it would also appear from the mother's statements (she "suggested that it was hospitalizations and medical care ordered by social services that had made her daughter sick") that the parents had a deep mistrust of the medical community to begin with.<br><br><br><br>
This is so sad. The good news is that nutritional deficiencies can often be corrected. The bad news is, during the first two years of life, brain growth and development happen at a rate much higher that any other time in life--and nutritional deficiencies can really impact that development. Hopefully the little girl will recover with adequate nutrition and lots of TLC. Children often show amazing powers of recovery. Let's hope this holds true for little Ice.<br><br><br><br>
Unfortunately, as others have mentioned, this case will give the general public the idea that veganism is dangerous for children. <i>Some</i> veg*n children don't get adequate nutrition... just as <i>some</i> omni children don't get adequate nutrition. But, of course, that's not quite so newsworthy, is it?
 

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I was quite pissed with NYT because they titled the case "Vegan Baby". I wrote a letter to them, as did I assume several other vegans. They actually printed this reader's opinion who is a lawyer:<br><br><br><br><a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2003/04/11/opinion/L11VEGA.html" target="_blank">http://www.nytimes.com/2003/04/11/opinion/L11VEGA.html</a><br><br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Truth About Vegan Diet<br><br><br><br>
To the Editor:<br><br><br><br>
You report (news article, April 5) that a Queens couple who fed their baby daughter a strict vegetarian diet were convicted of nearly starving her to death.<br><br><br><br>
As a vegan and a lawyer, I am disturbed that the prosecution of Joseph and Silva Swinton has been billed as a "vegan" case.<br><br><br><br>
Lactose intolerance is fairly common, particularly among people not of European descent. Given that and other scientific doubts about the health attributes of dairy products, it was hyperbole aimed at exploiting the jury's ignorance for the prosecutor to focus on disparaging vegan diets.<br><br><br><br>
Any parent is negligent for not seeking medical advice regarding a child who is obviously very ill.<br><br><br><br>
The Swintons were at fault for failing to seek and apply appropriate nutritional knowledge in caring for their child, not for avoiding dairy and commercial infant formula.<br><br><br><br>
Clearly, the Swintons are in need of parental training, not prison terms.<br><br>
PAUL TANIS<br><br>
Washington, April 7, 2003<br></div>
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Here is my letter:<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Re: Trial Under Way in Case of Vegetarians' Sick Child<br><br>
by COREY KILGANNON<br><br>
2003/03/26<br><br><br><br>
I find it unfortunate (and - mildly put - uneducated) that this article was categorized under the topic 'vegetarianism' (on nyt.com).<br><br><br><br>
In reality, this story has about as much to do with the topic of being vegetarian, as with eating trail mix. (Hint: The mother did both according to the article). The real story is the neglect and abuse of a child by her very obviously mentally ill or disturbed parents. Would it make any difference if the child would have been fed meat and nothing else (in which case she would have gotten just as sick)?<br><br><br><br>
According to the same logic, stories about parents, who abuse their children out of religious fanaticism, should be categorized under "Catholicism", and the headline should read "Trial under way in case of Catholics' sick child"...<br><br><br><br>
Vegetarianism itself sure cannot be b lamed for (or even connected to) what happened to the poor baby, any more than anything else her parents did or are.<br><br><br><br>
If, instead of explaining that the story "made headlines" as 'Vegan Baby' (and incidentally coming up with another one of the kind), the author would have done his research, he might have discovered that most vegan babies are very healthy, just as their vegan parents (read the late Dr. Spock, for example).<br><br><br><br>
It is a well established fact of modern medicinal science that a well varied vegan diet is not only very healthy, but it is the ONLY known diet that can effectively reverse even severe heart disease, and significantly lowers blood cholesterol levels and diet-related cancer risks. It is also a very effective 'weapon' against obesity - all of these things are epidemics in our society. Vegetarianism is usually hands down just about the healthiest diet choice a person (adult or child) can make in his or her life.<br><br><br><br>
It is sad not only that this fact is not well known, acknowledged and promoted by the media, but also that articles such as this one either willingly or unwillingly contribute to the many unfounded and false misconceptions, prejudices and fears about vegetarianism in this country.<br><br><br><br>
I would love to read some 'real' articles on vegetarianism on the pages of NYT. I recommend three names to start out with: Dr. Dean Ornish, Dr. Neal Barnard and Dr. Michael Klaper.<br><br><br><br>
Regards,<br><br>
Oatmeal<br></div>
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