Baby Breastfed By Vegan Mother Dies

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist March 30, 2011

vegan breastfeedingAn 11 month old baby exclusively breastfed by a vegan mother has died and the parents are charged with neglect after an autopsy indicated the baby suffered from deficiencies in vitamin B12 and Vitamin A – both known to be critical to a child’s development.

Vegans have long been advised to take B12 supplements as long term veganism runs the huge risk of serious B12 deficiency as well as other nutrients only found in animal foods such as true Vitamin A.  Beta carotene is not true vitamin A nor does it easily convert to adequate amounts of Vitamin A in the body.

While I’m not sure I favor charging the parents in this tragedy as it smacks of Big Brother far too much for my comfort level, it does communicate a clear message to other vegans:  abstinence from all animal foods is a danger to one’s health and most particularly, your baby!

It also sends a clear message that what a breastfeeding Mother eats definitely DOES affect the quality of her breastmilk. Many breastfeeding advocates insist that breastmilk will include all a baby needs despite what the Mother eats, but clearly this is not the case.

Traditional cultures took great care to ensure that pregnant and breastfeeding mothers consumed ample amounts of animal foods rich in vitamins A, D, E, K and of course B12. These foods included grassfed butter, pastured eggs, liver, seafood, and fish eggs. Notice that none – NOT ONE of these traditionally sacred foods is plant based!

If you are pregnant and breastfeeding and would like to learn what foods will maximally support the health of your baby while nursing, please check this link for the complete listing of traditionally sacred foods for optimal fetal and baby development. These foods will also ensure the preservation of your own health during pregnancy and lactation which can easily deplete a Mother’s nutritional stores leaving her vulnerable to exhaustion.

*Update:  The vegan parents whose baby died as described in this article were convicted by a French court to 5 years in prison due to the imbalanced vegan diet the mother ate which led to nutrient poor breastmilk and a failure to thrive child who eventually fell ill from severe nutrient deficiency and died without the parents ever seeking proper medical attention.

For more information on how a vegan diet devastates the health of children, read about how a 12 year old vegan was diagnosed with the degenerating bones of an 80 year old.  Dr. Faisal Ahmed MD, a pediatrician treating the child, said that the dangers of forcing children to follow a strict vegan diet need to be publicized.

Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist, author of Get Your Fats Straight


Vitamin A Vagary

Vitamin B12: Vital Nutrient for Good Health

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

Picture Credit


Comments (740)

  1. This made me so angry reading it a few days ago. Of course, when I posted it all of my vegetarian/ vegan friends argued that the parents were just being idiotic with their diet and OF COURSE it wasn’t the veganism.

    Ummmm… that baby was severely deficient in B12 and Vitamin A. Where do we get those two vitamins??? How do you NOT blame it on the vegan diet? Ughhh so frustrating and tragic. It just pisses me off that someone will put their crazy ethical agendas over and above their children’s health.

    • Hi AshleyRoz,

      You’re so right! Also, the activator X that Dr. Price highly emphasized in his book is needed for the absorption of minerals, which is only found in high quality animal foods like butter, eggs, and fish eggs.

      • When someone’s malnourished enough to die, I think one would naturally find that the person is deficient in a lot of vitamins.This poor child should also have been started on solid foods months before.

        This sounds like a case of failure to thrive and an inappropriate, probably neglectful parental response. Failure to thrive happens to breastfed children, no matter what their mothers eat. It happens to formula-fed children. It happens to toddlers. It’s very common in preemies.

        People who don’t know anything about this case shouldn’t jump to conclusions. There are lots of babies breastfed by vegan mothers who are just fine.

        • I think this comment thread is in need of more information and less opinions.

          Just because modern-day veganism may result in B12 deficiency, doesn’t mean that vegan diets are unnatural. B12 used to be most abundant in the diet from produce sources, because it is produced by naturally-occurring nitrogen-fixing bacteria; and only the B12 that comes directly from these bacteria are actually biologically active. (

          Modern-day agriculture and pesticide use strips produce of these bacteria, so the natural and most abundant source for human consumption has been virtually eradicated in developed nations, secondary to agro-business.

          Secondly, Vitamin A is abundant in a well-rounded vegan diet. Excellent sources include sweet potatoes, kale, spinach, broccoli, dandelion greens, carrots, pumpkin, collard greens, cantaloupe, papaya, apricot, mango, peas, and tomatoes.

          This article screams sensationalist.

          • Carrie, even if the mother ate the food you listed in your Vitamin A plant-based paragraph, it would not have been enough for the child, because the mother would have required that as well. It’s just not enough in those foods. However, as the poster you replied to pointed out, that child should have been on solid foods, supplemented by the breastfeeding, by the age of 6-8 months, not still being fed EXCLUSIVELY by breastfeeding at 11 months of age. The same foods that you listed would have provided the baby with the Vitamin A that the baby required, and Mom wouldn’t have had her own stores depleted.

          • Kodster, actually, solids are often not required before the age of one year. A baby *can* start a 6mo, but not all are ready at this time; before 1 is optional except in one case – Iron deficiency.

          • Kodster, it isn’t unusual for mothers to exclusively breastfeed children up to 12 months if there are a lot of food allergies in the family. It’s suggested within the medical community to allow for the child’s gut to strengthen prior to introducing solid food.

          • Funny thing is, there is formula for a reason… it’s exactly for stupid people, because nursing your child while you are vegan is stupid. Adults can choose to be vegan, but to make your child do the same is abuse. Vegans can try a justify their diets, but there is no substituting for newborns and infants. Vegans are just as bad as religious people, pushing their beliefs onto others. This story sickens me, it was 100% preventable.

          • It screams French Drama. The French prosecuted and convicted the parents and gave them 5 years in prison. So much for the article screaming sensationalism.

          • Humans are naturally omnivores. Make an ethical or economic argument if you want, but don’t try to tell us a vegan diet is natural. It clearly isn’t and human history and biology both attest to this.

          • Amen sister. I’m not 100% vegan but have been a vegetarian for 17 years and am raising my very healthy son as a vegetarian. Thanks for posting some rationality in this ill informed conversation

          • I exclusively breastfed 2 of my kids for nearly a year. No issue with nutrition b/c MY nutrition was good/stable/balanced.
            Obviously, a vegan diet in general is not a balanced diet. And b/c of all the things your body requires to feed an infant, there is nearly no way to sustain another person with that type of limited diet.

          • Juicing! Juicing 5-10 lbs of fruits and vegetables along with 3 regular meals a day would give you all the vitamins and minerals the body needs. Himalayan Pink Crystal Salt has all 84 minerals in its purest form readily absorbed by the human digestive system.

            What this article fails to mention is How Much Meat to Eat in a day, the TYPE of Meat they Cook and HOW they Cook their Meat.. 4-6oz of beef or chicken is all the body needs for Vitamin B12. Organic (hormone-free and antibiotic-free) Pasture raised Grass-Fed Beef and Organic Range-Fed Chicken is what we should be eating! Baking & Frying in Olive Oil is how you should cook it and avoid all other oils unless it is unrefined.. Avoid Barbecuing & Deep-Frying Meats as they are both Carcinogenic (causes cancer).

          • there is only modern day veganism. there’s never been any vegan culture. any apparent vegan like diets are starving peasant diets where people can’t get more that whatever they’re subsisting on and all those ” indigenous,ethnic diets” vegans like to go on about will contain animal foods if/when people can get them.
            the vegan version aren’t the real thing.

          • The child is dead because the mother is an idiot who malnourished her child in favor of her own selfish choices. That’s not “sensationalist”, it’s neglect.

          • Modern pesticides do not trip vitamins from foods, not to mention the fact that most vegans shop at organic and pesticide free stores that carry usually local vegetables. The issue isn’t with the vegan diet, its more on how imposing it on others “mainly a baby” can be detrimental to its health. Children and especially babies need a specific level of body fat in order to grow, vegan diets offer little of the necessary amino acids or fats and thus must be taken via supplement, which is not always the most effective delivery mechanism. The fact is when you have a child, sometimes your principles are less important than their health

          • There are a lot of choices parents just have to make when raising a baby. As long as it doesn’t harm the baby, parents can make their choices. Choosing to not feed their baby with cow milk and meat products is just one of these choises. There is no harm in it. There is harm however when the parents don’t take care with the damn B12 or any other vitamins.

            This (as always) is not about being vegan or not. It is about taking the care with the alimentation of the kid. The problem was the vitamins B12 and A, and is not a problem for vegan diet (see the Carrie’s comment). The problem is when parents don’t take care of their kids properly, and there are vegan idiots as much as there non-vegan idiot parents.

            Dying because of improper alimentation can happen with anyone, vegan or not. But you know…when a vegan dies people always say it’s because he was vegan, and not because he is human.

        • Not true at all! I breastfed my son until he was a year old and I found I was pregnant for my daughter. I breastfed my daughter until she was 11 months old. They were both VERY healthy and neither had even the sniffles, much less sick, until over a month after I had stopped breastfeeding.

          The truth is – a person is what they eat. If you eat healthy – you are healthy. If you eat crappy – your health is crappy.

          • I’m in a baby group with women who had babies all born in the same month and A LOT of the breastfed babies and have been much more ill than the bottle fed ones so just because your child is breast fed it doesn’t make them any less likely to get a cold or get sick.

          • The reason why more federal protections for breastfeeding mothers have been created over the last 3 years is because there is definitive proof that breastfed babies are statistically less prone to illness. This does not mean they do not get sick at all. Environmental factors are also important in whether a child will get sick. A small sample anecdotal observation sample is not enough to determine that formula fed children are just as protected from illness. This is simply not true if you compare the immunological benefits of breastmilk to formula.

        • It wasn’t failure to thrive or the AUTOPSY would have declared it so. It was a vitamin deficiency. Why is that hard for you to accept?

          • Do you know what Failure to thrive means?
            :used in both pediatric and adult medicine, as well as veterinary medicine (where it is also referred to as ill thrift) indicates insufficient weight gain or inappropriate weight loss.
            READ the update:

            “*Update: The vegan parents whose baby died as described in this article were convicted by a French court to 5 years in prison due to the imbalanced vegan diet the mother ate which led to nutrient poor breastmilk and a failure to thrive child who eventually fell ill from severe nutrient deficiency and died without the parents ever seeking proper medical attention.”

          • Amber, they find accepting the autopsy difficult because the autopsy is based on SCIENCE and not on political opportunism.

        • There is absolutely no reason to not have started this child on solid food, that in itself is neglectful. I’m sorry but this was not a case of failure to thrive it was two parents so intent on living out their lifestyle choices that they ignored certain biological imperatives, like teeth being an indicator of rediness for solid food and the fact that the new born liver only has enough iron for 6-7 months since breast milk does not supply iron. again the major reason that teeth come in about that time and children begin to eat solid food

          • Teeth alone are NOT an indicator of readiness for solid food. Some babies are born with teeth or get them really early (my first baby got several at four months, two months before the recommended age to start solids) and others get them late. Signs of readiness include an ability to sit up (so they don’t choke), no longer having a tongue thrust reflex and showing an interest in food. It doesn’t have much to do with teeth.

            Also, breast milk DOES supply iron. There is not much of it, but it is there and very available/easy to absorb compared with other sources.

            And as stated above, a history of allergies in a family can be a reason to delay solids (though it doesn’t sound like that was the case with this family).

          • That is incorrect. You CAN start infants on solid foods as of 6 months. But exclusively breastfeeding until the age of one year is perfectly acceptable. Teeth are not an indicator of solid readiness: there is a reason why they are called “milk teeth”. Also incorrect is your statement that breastmilk does not provide iron. It most certainly does. If there IS indication of an iron deficiency, which is often related to an iron deficiency in mom, there are iron supplements available for mom and baby: over the counter.

          • You really shouldn’t just spout off at the mouth and speak as though you’re presenting facts when you’re just guessing… and guessing incorrectly.Teeth isn’t indicative of readiness. There are a lot of factors to consider, and teeth isn’t one of them. Breastmilk DOES contain iron. Some babies are born with teeth. My son had a bunch at 4 months. Some have none at 10 months. They have nothing to do with solids.

          • I think it’s just better all the way around to just give babies formula to make sure their getting enough, but anny hooo As for the solid foods I think it just depends on the kids, cause my daughter started trying solid foods bye 4 months of age, with out teeth, she didnt get no teeth for a while.

        • I just have to comment on this reply: “.This poor child should also have been started on solid foods months before.”

          Do some more research before posting information like this. My son is 11 month old and just started eating “solids” last month. He still gets more breast milk than anything else. I know several parents who don’t start solids until their children are 12 months old.

          My son is very healthy and happy. Don’t believe everything you hear.

        • Thats all well and good except the autopsy, you know the thing they do that determines cause of death, said the baby died specifically from a deficiency of certain vitamins which are absent in a vegan diet; So if the mother is consuming this diet and then breast feeding and the child isn’t absorbing this nutrients you think there’s no correlation? How?
          There might be lots of babies that are fine, but clearly there are some that are not; and how many have to die from this correlation before it’s declared unsafe?

        • You’re misinformed. Solids arent necessary until after one. Regardless, the baby still would have had a vegan diet.

          • YOU are giving a misinformed opinion. Babies cut TEETH and fully break them in around 6 months. WHY? because nature says they need SOLID FOOD! This PC bither is nothing more than that! And NO! Vegan diets are not natural. EVERY animal that is strictly vegetarian has was to process it. We do not!

          • “M” you’re wrong, dear. Bless your heart. Some infants are with teeth.. Are they ready for solids? No. My son had teeth at four months… Does that mean he was ready for solids? No.

            There is a lot more to readiness than teeth.

            I’d like to respond to the rest of your rant, however it is incoherent, so I cant.

        • I agree that theres probably more to this case then what is written here. The picture shows that the baby looks plump and healthy. I suspect there were other issues going on….there are many babies breastfed by vegan moms that are thriving. Its a tragic situation and from my perspective I feel for the parents loss of a child and on top of their loss they are being slapped in the face by the legal system. Again, I don’t know all the information about the case. Sad for the baby, sad for the parents.

        • Actually, there’s a common saying, “Food before 1 is just for fun.” Babies under 12 months of age do not NEED solid foods before then unless there is severe weight or other health issues. Assuming the mother’s diet is adequate (obviously not in this case), breastmilk up to 1 year of age is perfectly normal and common in other parts of the world.

          i’m wondering is the child had any well child visits, and if so, why no one noticed anything amiss.

          • Exactly! I breastfed and chose not to vaccinate and still took my children in for well child checks to make sure their weight was good and there was proper development. I do wonder, though, if the baby had some sort of defect that didn’t allow it to process those vitamins. Still, this could have been prevented had they taken the child to the doctor. I understand wanting to exclusively breastfeed your child for a year, but there comes a point in time where you have to put your own desires aside for the welfare of your child.

        • Vegan Mom w/HEALTHY BABY! August 23, 2013 at 11:36 pm

          AMEN!! :) Please let me also add, that it’s a shame that when something major happens to a marginalized group (like this TRAGEDY) stereotyping of that group seems to immediately happen. Meanwhile, traditionally-fed babies die (sadly) ALL THE TIME, get diseases, have health problems, colds, flus (unlike my baby) etc!~! For SURE these parents should have sought out whatever they needed to to keep their baby healthy (sounds like they may have been mentally “off” if they didn’t seek help in this tragic case) – however I have an amazingly beautiful, active, brilliant, advanced, healthy baby, and I know HEAPS of other vegan moms who do too. Anyway, this article DID serve as a reminder for me to take EXTRA vit b12- scary! Thanks for the info…

          • Vegan Mom is just trying to explain to us how many angles can dance on the head of a pin. The answer is, “Who cares, the answer is immaturely to the discussion.” She has not contributed a thing to this discussion except for shallow boiler plate pronouncements. It seems that the human animal has done well for over 500,000 years on a diet that contained more meat or animal protein on average than it now does.

            To be fair to my Vegan friends, there are three vitamins or nutrients that are responsible for higher brain function and these nutrients are totally absent or severely lacking in a Vegan diet.

            That is the scientific truth as sure as the autopsy results for this poor baby showed that its parents alone were responsible for its death. These vitamins are vitamin B12, vitamin D3, and Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) (or Omega3 Fatty Acid) and the absence of these important brain nutrients shows every time that Vegans try to explain how healthy their diet is. Less some of you wish to point out that DHA can be found in minute amounts in vegetative sources this is true. You can get small amounts of DHA by eating large amounts of seaweed. But seaweed is totally void of the micro nutrient eicosapentaenoic acid which is only found in fish etc. and is though to be responsible for the uptake and utilization of DHA.

            The only vitamin or nutrient absent from a diet of meat only is vitamin C. Hence the old advice, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”

        • And 80% of the soy produced in the united states are a GMO product.

          Unless you know for sure where the soy is produced and if a company uses it as an ingredient, if it’s GMO or not, if you are ingesting soy, you are more than likely ingesting a GMO product.

      • This article is so bogus not to mention that its an old article that has been changed.In the original article it gave more information about the baby,in this article they don`t mention the baby`s age or weight or the exact cause of death.It really gives no information at all about the baby…its just some obviously opinionated anti vegan person saying baby`s need animal foods,but that`s bullshit…..The American Dietetic Association and The American Academy of Pediatrics state that vegan diets can promote normal infant growth.

    • I don’t blame it on the vegan diet because there are lots of vegan moms who breastfeed and most of them don’t have children who die. If you’re going to be vegan, you need to know what to eat and what to supplement. The problem is the lack of knowledge in healthfully executing the diet, not in the diet itself. Omnivores don’t usually get all of the vitamins and minerals they need, either, because of unbalanced diets and because food doesn’t have the same nutritional content that it used to because of how it’s grown.
      Heather\’s last post: Corn and Soy Follow-up

      • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

        Hi Heather, I have never read or heard of a single meat eating mother whose breastfed baby died from malnutrition. Have you? Your comment that there are “lots of vegan moms who breastfeed and most of them don’t have children who die” is shocking. “MOST don’t die?” How about NONE should die! The lengths that vegans will go to defend their unnatural and illogical way of eating is astonishing. It must be B12 deficiency as this is definitely linked to mental clarity issues. That is the only reason I can come up with.

        • Wow, this reply is from the author?! I don’t even know where to begin…”unnatural and illogical?” If that’s not the pot calling the kettle black when it comes to plant based diet vs the Standard American Diet, I just don’t know what is.
          I’m so sorry I saw a link to this article on Facebook and wasted any time reading and commenting. People’s view of veganism is so archaic, it’s just sad. Now I know to avoid links to this website in the future.

          • You got that right. Assinine attacks on veganism (THE most natural diet; nature’s intent) are frustrating.

            A similar case happened 5 years ago in New York. “Journalists” has a good time trashing vegans. At end of case the Judge said “IT WASN’T VEGANISM; IT WAS NEGLECT” (an almost non-existant diet).

            B12 is made by bacteria in the gut. The problem lies in people who eat spices, anti-biotics and other medicines, alcohol, vinegar, pesticides from conventional produce, hormones from meat products, and other poisons which kill off these sensitive bacteria and then they no longer produce B12 for our benefit.

            There’s animals called herbivores. We’re one of them (primates). there is zero need for animal products: stated by the ADA, WHO and proven by nature.

          • The most natural diet? Nature’s intent?

            If that was the case vegans wouldn’t need to take supplements, get off your high horse and eat it.

          • Jaime: I know this might come to you as a surprise, but you (probably) are not a tiger. If you want to go with random animals and their diets, then please note that cows and horses practically only eat grass.

            And Thriving Fruitarian – Even if majority of their diet is plant matter, most primates are actually omnivore. So maybe the most natural diet would be some sort of semi-vegetarianism?

          • I’m sorry to say that while the author might be playing the sensationalist a bit—WE ARE an omnivorous species, and you needn’t look further than our dentition to support that claim. It IS unnatural to totally avoid meat. Logic is a different story altogether however and doesn’t really enter into this.

            However, it IS illogical to fail to understand that an infant needs certain vitamins to live and that a vegan diet may not provide all of those.

          • This blog does NOT in any way promote the standard American diet. In fact. . .. .it is very much the opposite. .. . . :)

          • Ok, Firstly this article IS sensationalist. While leaving out food groups might have contributed to the baby’s death, the driver for that is NEGLECT and NOT food choices. So yeah, this article is written with bad judgement. I disagree with the authors equally uncalled for response too.

            However, the core point here is that veganism is NOT a complete diet. The core agenda of diets like veganism is ethical and not scientific or nutritional for that matter. A full rounded diet does require both vegetables and animal produce and to the posters who say veganism is “natural”… well its not. Buddists and Indians are some of the oldest known non meat eaters and even THEY eat animal produce. Humans are actually omnivorous and NOT herbivorous.

            The people weighing in on this issue should be doctors and nutritionists and not vegans or non vegans.

          • This is a reply to the comment made by “Thriving Fruitarian”.
            Saying veganism is “the most natural diet, nature’s intent”,”primates are herbivores” is nothing but pure bullshit. First of all, humans are natural omnivores (not herbivores) that have evolved to eat a wide range of food, especially cooked food. Just look at the teeth in your mouth, or talk to any paleontologist who will tell you the same thing. Being an omnivore is a great evolutionary advantage. You would not even be here if your ancestors eat both plants and animals. Humans would have long perished along with countless artiodactylans in Africa and would have never been able to colonize the world if not for our abilities to pretty much eat and digest almost anything we can find.
            Secondly, primates are mostly omnivores too. The most strict vegetarians among primates are gorillas, which would also consume small invertebrates occasionally, so they are not vegan either. Please get your fact straight before you open your mouth.
            You are able to pursue whatever diet you want only because you live in a developed world in the 21st century where both food and health care are easily accessible. The notion that we humans are pure herbivores is nothing but fantasy.

          • Just one thing: In the world we live, all diets are the same in terms of being natural\artificial. Just forget about these words. Some types of vegan diet may not be natural, and the non-vegan diets aren’t natural either. For those who disagrees, just research and think about the history of the meat and its production.

          • @The Thriving Fruitarian Just to play devil’s advocate for a moment, other primates occasionally eat meat too. Chimps will kill and eat small monkeys sometimes.

          • Briana- it’s probably best to avoid anything that challenges your views of veganism. Can’t have silly things like facts interfering with your ideology.

        • I agree 100% Sarah! Even in instances like this, and vegans STILL think their diet is healthy – it’s unreal. It’s more of a religion rather than based on fact.

          If it was a ‘natural’ way of living as they say, why are there so many substitutes on the market for meat, dairy and eggs? Why are they told to take supplements to ensure that they don’t get sick? We are not herbivores – we’re omnivores. We have one stomach (not multiple like cows) and canine teeth (not even, flat teeth, again like horses or cows); our system is simply not set up to digest ONLY vegetation.

          Of course what you’re saying upsets vegans, but hey – the truth hurts; you’re talking facts – they’re talking ideology. And unless something actually happens to THEM they’ll continue to defend it, regardless of what happens to other people. Horrible, but true.

          • Meat-eaters are supposed to take suppliments,too. If the meat and dairy diet is so perfect,then why do we have heart disease,osteoporosis, diabetes,etc?

            I hate how people try to make it out to be the fault of the vegan diet. What about blaming the parents of obese children for feeding their kids such crap? The average American diet is deficient in so much it’s scary. By drinking milk,you’re actually depleting your body of calcium. Why? Because the sugar mixed with high amounts of protein actually eats away at your bones.
            Ignorant people make me sick,no matter the diet. Sadly,it’s the meat-eaters who are most ignorant all too often. That’s why they jump on a story like this. Vegans and vegetarians don’t jump on the rest of you whenever your babies die accidentally. Meat-eaters just need to jump on the rest of us to help them feel better about their diets because,for some reason,they feel so threatened.
            I’m vegan and pregnant and my doctor is always so amazed at how perfect my levels are. She said that she’s never even seen such a perfect level of vitamin D and calcium even in a person with a regular diet. I only take a simple prenatal vitamin and folic acid,just like every single other pregnant woman should take. Otherwise,I simply eat healthy.

          • vegans on a raw food diet dont need supplements , the take them because the quality of the food these days is terrible , and meat supplements are for idiots , what the guy said above ya there trumps youre argument big time mate , and hey i eat meat i love it , but a vegan diet has been proven to cure all illness(Dr Gerber) , go research it , but you wont and im wasting my time , all in all some propaganda here , lies lies lies , meat infested with hormones and anti biotics , cheese with a flouride content of like 3 per cent , gmo vegatbles , etc I bet youd eat em up no bother , yum yum yum I love being a part of a sick society thats eats dogshit mixed with chemicals…Organic and raw is the way to go , vegan if youre sick , the healthy home economist , When will it end , seems theres plenty agression behind the lies these days….hey debunkers , educogym , look it up I have acces to all their sciences , known as one of the best scientific gyms in the western world headed by health guru tony quinn , plenty of evidence backed up with fact , Puts this lot to shame.

          • Please take your clothes off and dont take pills anymore… none of them are “natural”
            What about processed food? and many other things?

            I dont believe in the “natural” thing. I mean just because thats what we´ve been eating/doing such a long time doesnt mean we should continue to have the same diet. (Btw, before being “hunters” we were “collectors”…)

            Slaves are something very very old and “natural” to many many cultures. Do you think thats a good thing too?….
            We evolve with time to better things…

            Oh and most of your animal food have supplements too.
            So the only difference is you´re drinking them trough a glass of milk.

            Anyways… sorry for my english.

          • Meat and egg substitutes are mainly for convenience in cooking (making it easier to adapt recipes to make them vegan or vegetarian) and taste rather than nutritional reasons.

          • Lisa, don’t call “meat-eaters” ignorant when you simply have different ethical views. I’m honestly so sick and tired of aggressive vegans. You say we jump on you all the time? I’ve never seen omnivores start anything with vegans–it’s always the other way around. Nearly every vegan I’ve run across has tried to shove their diet upon me, and it gets irritating and I shove back. And it’s honestly only vegans–I have lots of vegetarian friends who don’t do this crap.

            “If the meat and dairy diet is so perfect,then why do we have heart disease,osteoporosis, diabetes,etc?”
            That happens from overconsumption and eating unhealthy food, NOT from having a well-rounded diet that includes animal products. Since you used your own diet as an example in your post, I’ll use mine. I eat lots of fruits and vegetables, both raw and cooked, and I drink only water, tea, juice, and occasionally, coffee. I eat granola bars for snacks. I have meat usually once a day (usually at dinner), and it’s either a lean cut of beef or pork, or a piece of chicken, or a piece of fish, and I try my best to get all these things either from my local farmer’s market or local grocers who stock their shelves with products from local people. I make sure my meals are portioned correctly so I don’t eat too much; so I make sure my calorie intake is at or under 2000 calories a day. I don’t count every single calorie I intake, but every meal I eat is home-made, so I know exactly what fats and sugars and salts I’m using, and it’s a very low amount. I only use milk when I want to add it to my tea, coffee, or my stews/macaroni that requires it. And guess what? I have no health problems at all, I am at a very healthy weight, and I rarely ever get sick. And no, I don’t take supplements because I get all my nutrition from my diet. I have no need to take supplements.

            Obesity and heart disease and diabetes is not the result of eating meat or other animal products. It is the result of eating unhealthy foods, like TV dinners or McDonald’s, or loading up your home-cooking with fats and salts.

            And while I’m making this post, I might as well point out that I am completely against animal cruelty. I don’t think animals should be abused or neglected. I actually burst into tears when I see animals who are suffering–I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone through a box of tissues from watching animal cops. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve woken up from a bad dream, where I was beating the crap out of someone for kicking my dog. This is another reason why I buy my food locally–because I know that the people I buy my meat from are cruelty-free. So when vegans try to attack my ethical values because I eat meat, no. Just, no. Stop right there, because I do not condone animal cruelty. But I like my diet just the way it is and I don’t attack vegans for their diet. But I am far too often attacked by vegans for my diet despite how it is healthy.

            TL;DR, eat whatever you want to eat, but don’t force your diet upon others or say that omnivores are unhealthy.

          • It seems the biggest argument for the substitutes is b/c today’s food is “Altered” or “different” …
            Yes, well, I wont argue that isn’t true. We know it is. But our teeth are made to eat meat. Strong enough to bite through someone’s uncooked flesh. I don’t think we’re meant to munch solely on greens and fruits. I think science and nature has told us that. And avoiding ALL animal products is ridiculous. YES… ridiculous. And I do believe it’s more of a religion than based on actual science or health.

            I love how people are claiming unfounded claims that there are somehow reproducing generational vegans out there that have been around for generations. How long as that way of eating even existed? As far as I can see from what I’ve read, we’ve always consumed animal products. Vegetarians maybe, but vegan?! I say: No.

          • “Just look at the teeth in your mouth, or talk to any paleontologist who will tell you the same thing.”

            Right – the human teeth are NOTHING like a predator’s teeth. Look how sharp a real omnivore’s “canine teeth” are compared to a house cat.

          • I just dont know where to start! I dont think we are anyone to judge either the mother of the child nor the writer of the article! the truth is we cannot eat natural anymore, we live in a world where everything we eat has been altered.

            In my own opinion, I dont see any natural part in the way cows are raised, or chickens are put into tonz of boxes with an unlivable life, or how pigs are killed like if they where corn. If you are a hunter, and hunt your own meat! yeii eat it!! is well won, but there is a lack of ethic for me the way that tonz of corporations has convert cows and chickens into comodities. If you want more information from these please try to look on to food inc video. Many vegans and vegetarans convert for the sake of the enviroment or for respect of life. I agree not everyone takes the proper care and yes, we vegetarians should take supplements, but that does not mean that people who eat meat should not take vitamins aswell. I am from Mexico, and a friend of mine went to live to London and she eats everything, she needs to take vitamin D and E sumpements cuz she is not getting the sun that her body requieres. So does this argument makes London unlivablle for any human being??? and unatural?

            Also meat eaters have a lot of deseases that vegetarians dont, like for example hearth deasese, hypertension, diabetes. Being a vegan or vegetarian reduces the risk of this ddeseases that by the way are the highest growing deseases in the world!!!

            So when someone dies from hypertension, no one judges them ( it is a meat eater).. So I dont think anyone in the world is feeling worst that the mother of the dead child. The mother should have been more carefull, yes, but accidents happen, Vegans and vegetarians should take the proper food and vitaimins. Meat eaters, enjoy your meat, just try doing excerzice and check yourself upon risk health issues.

            Every body is different, and every mind is different we should just respect other´s life choices in my very own opinión

          • Hey MikeOverHere

            You sound like such a fucking tool it makes me embarrassed to be of the sames species as you.

            Do us all a favor and die.

            Good for you and good luck on your pregnancy and baby

          • Just to be clear “MikeOverHere” You’re “supporting” the vegan position?
            (of course, speaking like that you’re a detriment to any cause you align yourself with!)

          • I’m actually surprised that I got this far down the comments page before Godwin’s Law was invoked.

            I’m surprised that the above vapid name calling is allowed given that the comments are moderated.

        • Sarah seriously of course they do its called failure to thrive and it happens in plenty of babies whose mothers eat all kinds of diet….You are so rude to anyone who says anything that does not agree with your lifestyle, seriously and you are soooo condescending you really think you are better than anyone who doesn’t follow your paleo whatever…I tried to right you for help once and you gave me such a snotty answer I didn’t bother looking into your diet…you need to get your attitude in check seriously and get over yourself …I have no respect for you or your views anymore the way you answer these people you are not an teacher your an agenda pusher, trying to scare people into your way of life….never in my life uggghh have a little respect for others please…

          • I hope you guys see the obvious logical fallacy you’re all making here. Just because one baby died from malnourishment doesn’t mean it’s because of the mother’s diet.

            What about all of the other babies thriving on a vegan mother’s milk? What about all the dead b12 deficient babies of omnivorous mothers?

            What were the conditions under which the baby grew? How often was the baby fed? Could the mother/baby have some genetic condition which inhibits b12 formation/digestion? What what the mother’s diet anyway? Was she on a healthy raw plant based diet or was she the sort eating vegan junkfood all day? We know nothing, pfft.

          • @Polaman

            While it is a logical fallacy to draw such a conclusion based on guesses alone–if the baby didn’t die of starvation it is nearly assured that the vegan diet caused this deficiency.

            The fact is that B12 deficiency is essentially THE GREATEST RISK of taking on a vegan diet. Nothing is more dangerous than this deficiency to a vegan in terms of malnutrition. Even a lack of protein can be made up for by the body–it has systems to build most of its own proteins. It cannot, however, produce B12 and does a pretty crappy job of absorbing it–so a constant source is necessary.

            Now we can play the pedant and expect a scientific study to be done here in order to support the claim–but the reality is that from everything we know this is a simple case of connecting the dots.

            I don’t think it’s reason to tell vegans that they must eat meat, but rather that it should raise alarm bells for mothers to newborns and expectant mothers who are vegans and intend to breastfeed. It’s as simple as supplementation and seeking out alternative sources of B12.

            I think it’s silly to bring up charges against the family–the loss of a child is punishment enough you’d think–but remaining willfully ignorant about the possibility that this can happen is asinine.

            As they say, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck–it’s probably a duck.

            Source: I am a biochemist. This type of thing is sort of my bag.

        • “Unnatural and illogical”??? Not a surprising article of someone uninformed enough to advocate that “paleo” fad. “I have never read or heard of a single meat eating mother whose breastfed baby died from malnutrition. Have you?” YES. B12 deficiency is not exclusive to vegans, and many babies die because of different nutrient deficiency in the mother’s diet. Get informed first. However, judging by the tone of your article and comments I suspect all you wanted to do is to create more hype and controversy to drive people to read this.

          Don’t take your nutritional advice from blog blabbers, people. Take it from DOCTORS and NUTRITIONISTS, which are actually EDUCATED in the subject. And mine actually praised me for following a vegan diet; after years of veganism my yearly blood exams yield perfectly healthy results.

          • Hey, Nacho (and all the other vegan defenders on here)– have you ever read “Nutrition and Physical Degeneration” by Dr. Weston A. Price? I have spent a lot of time studying nutrition (way more than any of my brothers & friends who are doctors) and have even been a part of laboratory work that backs up the integrity of traditional diets. BTW, Paleo is a little different than traditional (Sarah promotes traditional), but either is way healthier than vegan. I have tried a vegan diet and all I can say is that it took less time to notice the deficiencies of the vegan diet than it did even the Standard American Diet, so your argument that even the “meat-eaters” have deficiencies doesn’t stand in favor of veganism. BTW, doctors are taught at schools funded by pharmaceutical companies that have no interest in educating them on nutrition. Nutritionists are usually taught at the same schools and the ones that promote the propaganda you’ve obviously subscribed to are not true experts. If people learn that they can heal themselves with food, the drug companies will be out of business in no time. Plus, “Big Ag” would have to downsize and gain some integrity and that would also hurt the petroleum companies and affect jobs in several other areas (medicine, government, etc.). They all have motives for opposing traditional diets. If you really do your research, you’ll find that those that promote traditional diets (especially the Weston A. Price Foundation) are both well educated and are not connected to those companies and organizations that profit most from the misinformation out there about animal foods. You can go study your vegan bible (The China Study) or you can read the actual studies that were referenced in that book and find out that it’s all a myth. I would love it too if we didn’t have to eat animals or animal products to thrive, but the simple truth is that we do– that’s just how we were created (or evolved– whichever way you want to look at it.) It’s not a personal thing against vegans, it’s just the facts. I’ve witnessed so much medically and scientifically that I can’t, with integrity, support veganism. I can, however, say that most all vegans I have met are well intentioned people that just want to do what they believe is right (for themselves and the planet). I’m really ticked that there are charges being pressed against these poor parents. If the dear sweet mother was breastfeeding (which I imagine was not easy as a vegan– my sister, who is not vegan but eats very little animal products– has had great difficulty breastfeeding with all three of her kids), she obviously was trying her best to be a good mother. She is going through enough hell right now with the loss of her baby, she doesn’t need the issue made public or to be charged criminally. Shame on those bringing charges against her. If autopsies were done on everyone that died while under the care of a doctor (or at the hospital) and were shown to have severe deficiencies and then charges were filed, no hospital would be open and most doctors would be out of a job.

        • What an absurd statement: Of course Mothers whom themselves are omnivorse have had babies die of malnutrition…It happens in this world every day!

          Your article would be a lot more concise and come off a lot less opinonated toward the aim of frightening Mothers into buying something from you if it were you had offered where it was in the world this death occured and by whose authority it was the Mother was charged with neglect.

          The most common cause of infant mortality in this world remains dehydration due to complications from diarrhea and the mixing of supplements and baby formula under unsanitary conditions in lieu of breastfeeding is the number one cause of fatal infant diarrhea.

          I myself am not vegan and as such am not offended personally when it is the vegan diet is attacked but I am offended when my sensibility is.

        • It is also abundantly clear as well as a scientific fact that a long term vegan diet leads to a much lower IQ. Both in the young and in adults. That should be shockingly clear in this case.

          • “Among the British respondents in the National Child Development Study, those who are vegetarian at age 42 have significantly higher childhood general intelligence than those who are not vegetarian at age 42. (Childhood general intelligence was measured with 11 different cognitive tests at three ages before 16.) Vegetarians have the mean childhood IQ of 109.1 whereas meat eaters have the mean childhood IQ of 100.9. The difference is large and highly statistically significant.”


          • It’s likely, in my opinion, that the statistically higher intelligence in vegetarians compared to meat-eaters is a cause, not result, of difference in diet. That is, vegetarians are not more intelligent than meat eaters because they have a “healthier diet” – they have a healthier diet because they are more intelligent. That said, meat-eaters make up several groups, such as those following a traditional diet, or paleo, or the biggest group, Standard American Diet. Not to offend anyone, but those following the SAD likely are not the type to pursue any food education. It’s these ignorant people that are lowering the statistical average of IQ for the rest of the meat eaters.

        • “I have never read or heard of a single meat eating mother whose breastfed baby died from malnutrition.”

          Wow, really? Breastfed babies die of malnutrition every day, all over the world. Just because you are getting a diet with animal protein does not mean you are meeting your dietary needs. You seem like a very ignorant person- and this is coming from your fellow carnivore.

        • It was the mother feeding for 11 months without introducing solids that caused this, there are more meat eaters deficient in B12 than vegans or vegetarians. Its pure sensationalism to keep the corpse munchers happy. Vegan diet is the healthiest the planet, the World Health Organisation recommend it for the animals, the planet and human health. I just posted up a pic of a meat eating mother who gave birth to her baby in the off licence, the baby was born drunk, I dont think that child will be getting the vitamins it needs.

          • So if its best for the animals … what happens when you get your way and everyone becomes vegan? What happens to the domestic cattle, goats, chickens, and pigs? Do you honestly think that farmers are just going to pay out millions of dollars to keep them alive and healthy just out of the goodness of their hearts?

          • So you are basically saying that humans are unique in comparison to every other animal. All the omnivores, carnivores, and herbivores derive most of their energy requirements from fats. Short chain fatty acids are converted from Fiber/Starch in Ruminants, Gorillas, and all the other herbivores.

            The energy used for living is high fat moderate protein low carbohydrate in every single one.

            If humans eat tons of plant based food we end up getting most of our energy from carbohydrates. It may be possible to be very healthy picking the right high carbohydrate foods, but acting like its the most natural diet based on these facts is silly.


            3:30 is where the explanation starts.

            I haven’t had even one vegan even try to explain this. They just ignore it…so you want to try?

          • Considering the large number of animals that are artificially inseminated over and over in order to make them continually produce milk until their bodies can’t handle it anymore, if we stopped this practice of interfering with nature, no, we wouldn’t be overrun and the planet wouldn’t have to support all these animals like it is now. Farmers have to keep up with demand, so less demand= less animals. More demand=more animals=more pollution/run off and less rainforest. I think the Amazon is now 20% farmland just so people can keep eating whatever they want. It’s preposterous and it’s people like you that use excuses like these to never change and help to continue to kill the planet, themselves, and all these animals.

        • Are you kidding? Many (non vegan) babies have died of malnutrition…. so here’s the one off vegan case. Let’s highlight it! And those fleshetarian babies who survive grow up to be obese or host some serious health issues.

          • Considering there are many more omnivores than vegans, and many of those omnivores have thrived I think its a bit much to talk about fleshetarian babies surviving to grow up obese and with a host of serious health issues.

            There are omnivores that are extremely unhealthy just as there are omnivores that have great health. There is a difference between an omnivore eating junk food and one eating plenty of healthy plants at the same time as naturally raised animal foods.

            Naturally raised and fed animals provide plenty of good nutrition and our body is designed to use it effectively.

        • If a baby is that under weight and malnourished enough to die,it would be deficient in a lot of vitamins,not just a couple vitamins this article deems are only found in animals.If a baby dies of malnutrition and its mother is non vegan you won`t hear the article go into an anti meat rant will you? Its obvious this article is using this baby`s death to go on an anti vegan rant …..and if humans are such natural omnivores we should have no problem eating raw meat.We should have highly acidic digestive tracts that would allow us to safely eat the bacteria laden, decomposing bodies of animals… and the sight of raw, bloody flesh should look appetizing to us not repulsive… and wouldn’t we have a more natural way of dealing with animal fats and cholesterol than open-heart surgery.

        • Your views are laughable. Seriously. I wish I didn’t waste my time looking at this article and what you had to say. This isn’t even coming from a vegan either! Babies fed with formula, solids, toddlers and even some adults can be failure to thrive. Something bigger was going on here, whether it’s a malnourished parent, or one who made a bad decision treating a sick child, either way… There’s definitely more to it and blaming veganism as a whole is just plain stupid. And don’t any of you people know ANYTHING about breastfeeding? Jesus. An infant absolutely can survive and thrive and flourish on Breastmilk alone for 11 months… And guess what..? Even longer too! Ignorance at its finest.

        • Infants NEVER die from malnutrition from breastfeeding? Please explain infant mortality rates and malnutrition in impoverished areas. Mothers who are malnourished will be poorly equipped to nourish their babies regardless of their lifestyle choices. This case is not (and should not be) about veganism but about the fact that the mother didn’t have the necessary tests done to protect her child. Many vegan children thrive from a vegan diet and mother. This poor child was an exception and the loss is extremely sad.

        • @ Susan: “Nature” didn’t design us…God designed us, very specifically, very intentionally, for the purposes HE designed us for.

          • Don’t bring the evolution vs. creationism argument here unless you are the one and only Christian on earth who actually follows all of the laws laid out in the old and new testaments.

        • Actually, I have heard of meat eating moms who had children nearly die. The only difference was they put them on formula instead of letting them starve.

          • What do you mean by “they survive”? All the malnourished children in Africa survive? Where do you get these facts, let along these ideas? A child does every minute from starvation and malnourishment in Africa.

      • You do make a valid point Heather, lots of “normal” moms are not eating healthy balanced diets either. People who frequent this page tend to be very health conscious though, so this is really not a good place to go on the offensive criticizing us for being unhealthful. We think that the conventional diets of civilized society are crap too, something I suppose vegetarians/vegans and paleo/primal people can both agree on. The truth is though, while you and your child may survive, you are not getting all of the necessary nutrients in your diet without the addition of whole, organic, grass-fed meats. The human body is incredibly capable of surviving harsh conditions, people who eat 100% fast food diets survive too, but they do not thrive, they never really reach their full potential. I would prefer that my kids have everything their bodies need instead of just giving them enough to not die.
        Michelle @ Primal Smoke\’s last post: Death By Carbs

      • I agree, they likely didn’t research it much, its fairly simple too! Many dietitians and dr’s endorse a vegan and vegetarian diet. Many studies (7th Day Adventist, Budhists, Rastafari and other groups) even have shown that we live longer on average too, so most vegetarian and vegan parents are extending the children’s lives. This is extremely rare, Im sure we can find articles of those on the typical unhealthy american diet that died too.

        Many who eat cooked flesh, adults who drink other species drink bodily fluids and such are very unhealthy – lacking something, over weight and such. Look at heart disease, colon cancer and other leading killers, especially from factory farm drugged up animals. Animal eater or vegan, unless if you are careful to eat about a dozen different important foods daily you probably should take a multi-vitamin. Most people (veg or not) I know take them. Tons of athletes are vegan today too. B-12 is one of only a few things vegans should seek out along with Omega-3′s (rather than fish consume cheaper and easier to get daily, without the mercury – ground flaxseed, chiaseed, hemp or walnuts), Iron – spinach etc, Calcium leafy greens, broccoli, fortified products and such. VeganHealth dotorg – RD breaks it all down though.

      • What’s ironic is, when this happens on a mainstream diet, nobody blames the mainstream diet, nobody even takes a cold scientific look at it, despite the fact that this happens FAR MORE FREQUENTLY to infant children on the mainstream diet!

      • The only difference between that you eat and what your great grandparents ate in the way of produce is that no one stood over the sink with a scouring pad and
        scrubbed your grandmothers or granddaddy’s food for 30 minutes under a stream of running water.

        Some of the best educated and smartest people in the world astonish me with their basic ignorance and stupidity. It reminds me of a doctor friend who had a Vegan patient with pernicious anemia. When my friend told his patient to eat a little meat, drink a little dairy or else take a good B12 supplement. The patient argued with my doctor friend and asked if it would be alright instead for her to eat only raw unwashed root vegetables that had been grown with the help of fresh cow dung and still had their full compliment of bacteria clinging to them. From the posts I am reading now, I believe that some of the posters here in your incredible ignorance would talk back at the movie screen if the screen actor made a statement that went against this or some other silly PC bias that you harbor.

      • my mom is a vegetarian… she would have only eaten butter and milk from the listed items above… even so… it would not have been COPIOUS amounts of butter and milk!!! i have two other siblings… i turned out fine… and so did they!?!?! so WTF are you talking about lady? vegans and vegetarians can have perfectly normal healthy babies while choosing NON-VIOLENCE against other mammals/animals. I myself am vegetarian… I rarely touch butter and milk or eggs… I have had my bloodwork done… no deficiencies here! :P

      • Thank you for that comment Heather. I’m amazed at how quickly people want to villify the diet which takes the situation completely out of context, and push their own beliefs, which can be if not done right just as unhealthy, and in my opinion as well as research even more so. There are plenty of succesful babies raised on Vegan diets from breastfeeding throughout their life to disprove this narrow minded post, so i’ll just leave it at that, but thank you again Heather, we need people like you to keep the torch alit.

      • Omnivorous humanus May 24, 2013 at 9:56 am

        Obviously it was a lack of knowledge…..thinking a vegan diet is sufficient. In addition to lacking B12 and A (no carrots won’t cut it, we don’t convert carotenes all that well) there must be another missing element, the one affecting brain function.

        • But every single one of them will get asthma, emphysema, COPD or similar effects from a life of smoking. Her small case study observation might be moot but so is yours.

    • ignorance is the enemy of intelligence, but unfortunately is bliss to most. it’s not veganism or vegetarianism that did that, it was the mother’s failure to eat right. you can get all the vitamins and nutrients the body needs without meat, but as a meat eater and obviously opposed to veganism i don’t expect you to understand or believe that. just so you know, though, your prejudice in your comments is reminiscent of sayin all black people are criminals because one black man is convicted of a crime. maybe get more info.

    • This article’s particularly sad as the mother has to deal with her baby dying on top of being criticized for her diet. I’m pescetarian myself which encompasses I believe a fuller range of those vitamins and nutrients essential for health, growth and development. However I was Vegan at one time myself – Vegan’s are very caring people – and I’m sure she was destroyed by the baby’s death, let alone some horrible comments I see in here.

      It’s good to educate, but be considerate too.

        • I eat meat myself, so obviously I have no problem with meat-eaters… but seriously, meat eaters who condemn and criticize vegitarians/vegans have to be the lowest form of scum I have ever seen on an internet forum…….Don’t be mad that you dont have the inner strength to make the sacrafices these people make because they feel its wrong that an animal should die everytime they want to fill their belly……meat eating is a luxury…a luxury that can only be manifested by the death of an animal that wants to live……I applaud those who make sacrafices so that other creatures may live, plain and simple

          • and thats not a direct reply to paul……it was a general statement to the forum….dont know why it went under his comment cause I clicked add comment at the top of page

          • VicVaun36, Turn your profound statement around and you will be closer to the truth. That truth is that movement Vegans/Vegetarians are perhaps the most bigoted and judgmental humans on the face of the Earth.

            They accomplish this dubious feat by looking down their noses at those of us who eat a normal or traditional diet, telling us that we are evil because of our food choices. They do all this despite Zip, Zero, Nada, S-C-I-E-N-T-I-F-I-C evidence that their own diets are any more healthy or that my diet is any more unhealthy than a vegan diet. However, there are reams and reams of S-C-I-E-N-T-I-F-I-C evidence that a Vegan diet is unhealthy if not in fact a slow and painful way to kill yourself.

        • Yeah, but the fact she was making the effort to breastfeed is huge evidence that she was a caring mother. This is not a breastfeeding friendly world, but since you’ve obviously never breastfed, you wouldn’t have a clue about that. And, by the way, even though I do not support veganism (because it is evidently and scientifically unsound), this mother is not an idiot. I’ve read so many comments from those supporting veganism and they do not sound any more compassionate towards this mother than Sarah’s article about it. So many have thrown her under the bus by claiming that she must have not been supplementing correctly, but you aren’t listening to yourselves. If your way of living is so right, then show support for a grieving family instead of freaking out about your diet being threatened. (However, I would urge no one to back away from defending all our rights to choose for ourselves how to eat and live.) I do not support vegan diets, but I would not condemn someone just for being a vegan. While it is sad that this happened, I have to say Sarah, that you may have chosen to focus on the wrong issue. I love your site and your videos. I appreciate that you spend so much time helping other people learn how to eat and live healthier. I hope that you can, perhaps, take a different angle next time– perhaps promoting food choice would be a worthy cause. Either way, I’m happy you are willing to share your knowledge. Thank you.

        • A diet that does not want anything to do with animal mass murder and cruelty doesn’t make a caring person? What a ridiculously ignorant statement to make.

      • She and her husband got 5 years in a French prison for their baby’s death. I feel terrible for them. They lost their child….wasn’t that punishment enough?

        • I had read somewhere else that they also tried treating the child of a serious ailment with cabbage. So yeah, I don’t think they were fit by any means to be caring for another life. I believe they need some serious mental health care.

    • I am a vegan mother of 5 beautiful girls and I breast fed all my daughters and did not take b12 vitamins and all my kids are healthy and still growing in fact their doctor says my kids are very healthy and being vegan is one reason they hardly ever get sick! People it is a much proven fact that eating meats and cheeses and animals fats etc is very unhealthy and leads to all kinds of health problems! Now I agree you need to take vitamins if you are lacking nutrients from vegan food like b12 I make sure that we take vitamins every day if my kids and I were unhealthy I wouldn’t raise them with vegan. Morals. But wee are healthy and we love being vegan. You should really get your facts straight instead of assuming it was cause the lady was vegan obviously she was malnourishing her baby she didn’t even feed the baby real food she only gave the baby breast milk and nothing else at Allan baby needs potein veggies calcium all that good stuff I think the mother was severly neglecting her kid I am gonna read more on this but likee I said my kids are alive healthy and breeastfed by a vegan who didn’t take b12 vitamins at the time cause I didn’t know about it at the there is definitely Morse to this story

      • Jeni,

        The key to living healthy regardless of what diet one is practicing is as much variety in one’s diet as possible, I can assure you, the average person on the mainstream diet is just eating eggs all the time, or eating beef all the time, they are getting at least some variety in their diets. It’s the same with a vegan diet, if one was going to eat just pears all the time, that would be a very imbalanced diet.

        Until the proponents of the mainstream diet can explain why we all should be eating that diet despite the fact that humans have no physiological or anatomical adaptations to flesh, they have not made a credible case to convince me of any of their arguments.

      • None of that is proven as there are people thriving on all of those foods. Its a fact that CAFO raised meat, and pasteurized homogenized dairy can be a part of all sorts of health problems.

        Raw grass-fed milk from Jersey, Brown Swiss, or other breeds with A2 milk present no major issues for humans. Raw grass-fed milk contains enzymes and beneficial bacteria that are great for healing the gut and digesting the milk.

        Meat that is from animals fed their natural diets rather than junk gmo corn, soy, and various filler junk is perfectly healthy for most humans.

        People have been thriving on diets with meat in them since long before large epidemics of chronic conditions.

        The chronic conditions are due to processed foods and poor food quality in general not meat, dairy, and fish.

    • I have been a vegetarian for 25 years, recently went to the doctor and had a full checkup including a complete blood workup. No vitamin deficiencies. Cholesterol 61, good cholesterol 49, triglycerides 121. and i am 55. Try getting those numbers with a meat diet, That kind of food leads to heart problems, cancer, diabetes and a host of other problems.

      • Your cholesterol was a 61? Holy crap. I suppose you subscribe to the 1980s theory that all cholesterol is bad and meat causes high cholesterol and disease. Yikes. You need to get that number UP! Inflammation causes high cholesterol, not meat. Funny how when I went Paleo my cholesterol actually went DOWN from cutting out grains and sugars. There goes that theory. And I would never want my cholesterol to be that low, yuck!

        • It might have been lower on your paleo diet because you are no longer eating dairy but you won’t find a vegan with cholesterol over 150, if even close to that. Correlation? Not hardly, it’s to obvious in most scientific literature that lack of dairy and animal products (including “meat”) is attributed to higher cholesterol. If you were to go vegan even for 3-4 weeks your cholesterol would seriously dip. And there is t one negative contribution to low cholesterol. Your body will always make what you need anyway. And as for inflammation, yes that plays a huge part. Especially when high amount of cholesterol compound the problem.

          • I’m extremely sorry, I meant attributed to lower cholesterol. It’s definitely a causation and not a correlation thing.

      • My most recent results were hdl 66 and triglycerides 89, I imagine most of the meat eaters posting here have similar numbers or better!

        Right below my hdl result it says “According to ATP-III guidelines, HDL-C >59mg/dl is considered a negative risk factor for CHD.”

      • William, I’ve been a vegan for 12 years and recently HAD to have a medical due to my immigration, and the doctors were “surprised” at my optimal health, they just didnt know how i did it lol and why i wasn’t taking any medication. When I said my last checkup was more than 15 years ago they were even more stunned…
        Lasse\’s last post: A view on life and a question to answer

      • I had a Triglyceride score of 55 eating mainly meat…so what about that. HDL should be from 70-100 ideally. Also we do need some cholesterol 61 is likely too low.

      • William, current research shows that cholesterol levels of 100 or less have been repeatedly and increasingly linked to higher “all cause” mortality rates. I’d quit bragging about those numbers and start figuring out what to do to eat better if I were you…

        • You better start citing some research and if it comes from a “dentist” whom has no formal nutrition or medical training outside dentistry then please know its not scientific at all.

    • Absolutely false.

      “It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence, and for athletes.”

    • to say that is sorry, so stupid, as if the baby died from the same deficiency and the mother was not vegan, what would you say? breast-feeding mothers should have healthy diet, no matter vegan or not, as this term itself doe not indicate anything – I’ve been vegan for years and I’ve had periods of healthy eating, but also such when I was on extremely unhealthy “diet” so it doesn’t at all depend on veganism.
      read a little and EDUCATE yourself before judging !!

    • aand vitamin B12 is found in meat because why? animals took it from the plants they’re eating.
      not to mention all the mothers who smoke and drink during pregnancy but oh well, that’s their personal choice, right – nobody blames them for anything!

    • This is indeed a very sad story. A vegan diet is not the issue here, it’s the lack of knowledge about obtaining proper plant-based nutrients. A vegan diet is a healthy diet provided one does their homework and learns more about nutrition. As vegans we should take B12 supplements. The list of foods recommended here is full of saturated fats, which is also very unhealthy. Let’s be clear here, a vegan diet is not only healthy, it’s responsible. Today, in the USA alone, 100 million cows produce 1.2 billion pounds of methane producing waste that is seeping into our soil and water. According to over 51% of greenhouse gas emissions come from raising livestock for human consumption. This is also very sad indeed! I would suggest before anyone condemns a plant-based diet they should learn more about the facts, take a plant-based nutrition course, and learn how much healthier it is than any other diet in the world.

    • dear AshleyRoz, I very much agree with your points… I do understand that some vegans\veggis feel very strongly about there beliefs … but its just a fact .. humans are omnivores… you wouldn’t try to feed a hamster meat.. because im almost shure hampsters are veggis … I myself used to be a vegetarian… but if I had a child (god forbid bcuz I was 13).. and I knew that I needed extra b12 and other vitamins in my diet for the baby’s diet sake … I would bend over backswords for the well being of my child..
      what these people put there child through and there other child.. hafting to go thorough a loss like that because of there parents mistake… it is criminal.. if meat is murder.. then every meat eating animal muders every day…. and if that means that on lives and the weaker dies so be it because if it wasn’t for this circle of life everything would be starving and dead.

    • NOONE can get vit B12 naturally, all livestock are supplemented with this vitamin because it has now become impossible to find it in soil, as it was the case before, since intenstive agriculture has deprived soils with many crucial nutrients, including vit. B12… (Do not forget that if intenstive agriculture is necessary, it’s because of farming…)

      A vegan diet is totally healthful, for EVERYONE ! BUT ! As for all diets, people have to eat balanced meals. It’s sometimes not the case for vegans, and sometimes not the case also for non-vegans. How many non vegan babies (whose parents eat meat and so on) are dying each year without having their face and privacy in media ?
      Don’t you just find it a bit weird, that the ONLY TIME when it happens to a vegan baby, everyone talks about that ?

      You’re can be proud of you, you’re working very well for agrobusiness industries and lobbies…

      Yet, it’s still time to reconsider your point of view.

    • For the record, there are several options for vegetarians/vegans to get these essential vitamins without consuming meat,
      if you read this article, , it’s apparent that while the vegan/vegetarian options for the most part need to be fortified, there are still acceptable vegan/vegetarian options in food, as well as SEVERAL vegan/vegetarian supplements.
      I love meat, I admit it, I don’t think I could ever turn down a crispy piece of Wilbur, but there are options for vegetarians and vegans, and whether or not they research it is their own damn fault, not the fault of the diet.

    • While I do think it was due to veganism, this problem could have been resolved with vitamin supplements. I think 5 years in prison is really too much, unless the mother herself was clearly aware of her own deficiency. I think a charge of neglect is probably fair since the parents did not seek medical help when it would have been obvious their baby was not well. But considering that governmental health organizations list veganism as healthy and don’t talk about the need to take supplements, to charge her for neglect for that unless she knew about it is hardly fair.

      As a vegan, I do know that my body gets iron-deficient if I don’t take supplements. I get periodic physicals that evidence this. I’ve always taken B12 supplements, so that hasn’t been an issue, nor has anything else.

      I do think that claiming everyone should be vegan is misguided, but to call it a “crazy ethical agenda” to want animals to be able to live free of callous torture and mistreatment from humans is cold-hearted and selfish. It’s a crazy UNethical agenda to insist that it’s okay to treat animals this way. The way we treat farm animals is NOT conducive to obtaining more B12. In fact, we pretty much feed animals crap, and then we eat them. Think about that.

    • It wasn’t entirely the diet, people, it was the health care.

      “At the time of their daughter’s death, they were running an organic food business and refused to eat any animal products. Daquo said they had a mistrust of traditional medicine and preferred to treat their children’s complaints with advice from books.

      The couple did not follow the doctor’s advice to take the baby to hospital when they went for her nine-month checkup and found she was suffering from bronchitis and was losing weight,” he said. Instead they treated her with cabbage poultices, mustard and camphor and washed her with earth and clay instead of giving her baths, the court heard.”

      So this isn’t just a case of veganism gone way whack, it’s about the medical practices of a couple who have learned to distrust “traditional” medicine, i.e., big pharma. Now I don’t have a whole lot of trust in our current system as it spirals out of control, but this was the fatal mistake of the parents, and they paid with their child’s life. Don’t think for one minute that they do not regret and grieve over what they did. Prison for them is overkill, and their living daughter will now pay a price she never should have by losing her parents to “the system.”

    • An 11 month old baby EXCLUSIVELY breastfed? Common sense applied ……from 6 months an infant needs more to thrive. Parents should be charged.
      By the way…. I breastfed my son for 19 months.

    • You can have a vegan diet, but you must supplement with other things. Quinoa for example, that has the amino acids found in meat. Eating vegan must be done right or a baby and mother will not get what they need.

    • I completely agree with you. This may sound harsh but I have never supported Veganism. Unless, it is required due a medical condition, otherwise, I find it absolutely ridiculous… I have heard the worst real stories about Vegetarians being involved in anorexia, others eating disorders and lack of vitamins and nutrients intake. This has to stop and people have to realise that there is more to life and this could serve as an great example as it has cost a life of a innocent baby. Who knows what else has happened out there that we dont know about it???

      • Joe. Be mindful. Veganism is generally a “political” attitude about not eating or using any animal products..none, not even shoes. My daughter is vegan. Vegetarians are not the same and will eat animal protein in the form of eggs, cheese, and other animal products, they just won’t have a hamburger made of flesh. Some vegetarians will even eat fish. Vegans consider animals “friends” and will not eat them in any form.

    • What upsets me about this article is that her diet is not listed. Just because she’s vegan doesn’t mean she was consuming healthy food! We all know that now there are ALL kinds of substitutes and junk food that’s technically “vegan.” Hell, I even know vegans who DON’T EVEN LIKE VEGETABLES! You can’t judge based on one article. If you want extreme proof that veganism can provide a healthy lifestyle for an entire family, I suggest you watch Breakthrough. It’s a RAW VEGAN family and mom talks about how her last two pregnancy were far better because she became a raw vegan. Shit, she’s hiking a mountain TWO WEEKS before giving birth. Watch that and THEN see you want to keep spreading your hate. Save your judgement or you’ll be judged worse in the end. Karma is a bitch!

    • Since the “idiotic diet” is at the center of veganism, weren’t your vegan friends that responded actually arguing for your point and against their lifestyle? LOL! I mean that if the parents diet (particularly the mother’s diet) was in line with vegan diet norms, then being idiotic with their diet puts the blame squarely on veganism.
      Now I’m the furthest thing from vegetarian/vegan and don’t feel any remorse for animal consumption, but feel that marginalizing or labeling those that are/do a bit harsh and judgmental. The vegan people I know aren’t vegan for primarily ethical reasons. The primary reason for them is that they feel a diet free of animal products is a healthier, therefore, better choice and that will lead to a richer, more fulfilling life. The ethical component of veganism seems to be more of an outcropping of that combined with what they feel is the right way to treat the animals we share the Earth with. That progression seems to be in line with how other, more mainstream lifestyles approach their philosophic methodology.
      The part of this story that’s tragic and should be the primary reason for the parents being prosecuted is not responding to what had to be an obvious downward spiral of the infant’s health. If veganism was such a problem as to be “The” problem, then there would be many, many more reports of deaths and poor infant/childhood health records compared to traditional diet infants and children. To the best of my knowledge, that isn’t the case with vegans. Neglectful parents are another story, however.

    • Exactly and that is why the criminal charge is appropriate. This article author being “not sure” is as infuriating to me as your vegan friends denial is. When people are that dug in to their fanatical views that they ignore facts and endanger others, they are a menace to society and society has a right to act. That is not “Big Brother” it is their JOB. To protect other people from those of you who just don’t get it.

    • Actually this article is just a fear campaigne. I am vegan but eat a balanced diet and I supplement my B12 but I have meat eating friends that r B12 deficient as well as iron deficient. It is all about what foods u consume vegan or omnivorous as u can’t say a person who only consumes processed junk food is any better than a poor eating vegan. I am sick of reading all this stuff slandering vegans. It is terrible that a baby died and I am sure if the mother knew she was harming her child she would have done something to change that. It is not bad enough that she lost her child but now has to go to jail while mourning the loss of her child.

    • I breastfed my babies. I wasn’t the most sober person either, but they turned out fine. I think it says a lot about how dangerous a crazy diet can be- even moreso than a drug addict at times- and yes I think it’s about crazy ethical agendas.

    • This article is very scary!! Scary in that the person ‘Sarah’ who wrote probably thinks she is an expert on nutrition! While B12 is found mainly in animal products it can also be found in numerous organically grown vegetables and mushrooms (with skin on) harvested in uncontaminated soil and not to mention the fortified products!, but why I’m telling you this?! You’re probably vegan anyway and you would’ve done your study, Sarah on the other hand, before you write your opinion please make sure it’s well researched and not based merely on bias sources, you’ll just lose a large portion of the audience that have an idea of a proper balanced diet! And also for my fellow vegans, malt extract is a good alternate spread that has a great amount of B12, please don’t wait for the healthy home economist to tell you that though ;(

    • First of all B12 does not come from meat, it comes from plants. Same thing with iron. If you think vegans are unscientific about their diets, argue with the ADA who explicitly state that a vegan diet is perfectly safe for all humans at all stages of life. Secondly if you want to bring science into it, then explain to me how it is that one case versus the other tens of thousands of vegan babies who are perfectly healthy is proof that veganism is unsafe? Lastly to say that refusing to participate in violence is “crazy ethics” is absurd. How can anyone possibly say that abstinence from violence is crazy? It’s foolspeak.

  2. Take away the BF and vegan aspect. If a formula fed baby (though of course significantly less likely to be deficient in Vitamin A and B12) were not started on solids and died at a measly 12 lbs they would definitely still be and should be charged with neglect.

        • Unless.. did anyone check…. was the baby born to early… already have problem because of that… weight was very little like many preemies…. not saying this the case but that thought came to mind. Also I’m vegetarian, I do eat eggs. Raw too, which shocks sooo many people i know because of the FDA saying samenilia. believe what you will but Vegan diet was mans first diet in beginning of time. I’m also 7 months and doing great and will breastfeed. and give egg yolk as first food. If dead animals are given when baby ready for that daddy has to make it.

        • The “growth curve” is a database formed on the study of white, formula-fed babies from Wisconsin. As everyone knows, breast-fed babies weight less than formula-fed, because they’re not fed cows milk from the beginning. Cows are meant to multiply their weight 10X in the first year, which is why cows milk makes babies grow so big. Cows milk is for baby cows. Not for baby humans.

          Comparing your child to this poor example of ‘normal’ weight is nonsense. If the baby looks healthy, and has those normal lovable baby rolls, who cares what their weight is.

          My baby, who is a vegan child now, is healthy, has perfect blood levels of every nutrient and performs well in school. Being vegan means that we must be diligent to feed a very wide variety of fruits and vegetables, but we are healthy and so is she.

          Not every vegan is the same. It works for us, and we enjoy it. We all need to have the class and respect not to judge each other on very basic details of every day life.

          • Both my step-siblings were BORN over 10 lbs, and my stepmom was UNDER weight while pregnant (not due to malnourishment, her metabolism was just high), my stepbrother was 2 oz shy of 11 pounds. A lot of people I know in California and Utah were born around 9-10 pounds, generally you’d hope them to be more than 1 pound heavier after being alive for a year…

        • I’m sorry, ladies. I was thinking in kilos! 12kg would have been totally appropriate, but 12lbs most definitely isn’t.

      • Normally I don’t like calling people idiots, but you, trina, are an idiot. 12 lbs at 11 months is absolutely NOT an appropriate weight! My six month old daughter weighed in at 14 lbs at her four month appointment and was in the 47th percentile – dead average for a four month old. There is absolutely nothing normal or appropriate about an 11 month old baby who only weighs 12 lbs. Clearly this baby was grossly underfed, and the parents should definitely be charged. Only a complete moron or total ideologue has an 11 month old baby die from failing to thrive. There is no way her doctor didn’t tell them their baby needed more nutrition than her breast milk alone was providing, and clearly she did not listen to her doctor because she’s too blinded by adhering to her lifestyle choice to grasp the concept of inadequate nutrition, and that it will KILL A BABY!!! As other posters have said, when you put your ideology above your child’s health and well being, then that is straight up neglect and you should absolutely be charged when your baby dies.

      • Oh wow…. 12lbs at almost 1year old is normal?? Oh geeze, so let me guess… A baby born 1 pounds at birth is obese? This statement is absolutely ignorant and so not true. 12 lbs at 11 or 12 months old is under weight and considered malnourished.

  3. I feel so sorry for those parents. They probably thought they were giving their child the best (come on – that’s the only reason anyone could be vegan, it’s not for the taste of the diet!) and they slowly starved their child instead. Our government is to blame for this. They lead everyone to believe that low fat, high carb is great and that veggies are the best source of nutrition – with those recommendations, a vegan diet seems very healthy! Now they want to charge the parents. Do they ever do anything about parents whose kids are diabetic and obese because of their diet? Food for thought. These parents need to be educated, not condemned.

    • WELL SAID, Andrea!!

      I also feel sorry for these parents. They thought they were doing what was best for their child. Imagine the guilt they must feel.
      Besides the Government, we have people like the trainers on Biggest Loser and others telling people to, for example, skip on the “walnut oil” because it’s fattening and other such nonsense.
      My thoughts and prayers go out to this family.

    • Government my eye! Vegans are vegans becaue of their own mental lies that they believe. Eating animals is wrong is the start of that lie. Not eating animal produced products is the next. The government does not promote that.

    • The scary thing about this, is that this happened in FRANCE. The place we look up to as enlightened on fat. And, according to a commenter on John Durant’s post about this, some parents in the EU are charged with neglect when their children are obese.

    • How about taking some personal responsibility and not blaming it on the government. When are people going to grow up and take responsibility for their own lives and actions! If you blame things like the biggest loser then you are the one who is losing by subscribing the the things you call bad in those shows.

      No one said the alternative was for the “american diet” @Briana April 4, 2011 at 6:59 pm. There are people out there that don’t eat the “american diet”, you are obviously from America and think that the world revolves around you, just a small bit of reality for you,…….it doesn’t! How can you be so naive to think that the only alternative to Veganism is Americanism. Get off your high horse.

      Sarah, please edit out comments like the one from
      (MikeOverHere October 5, 2011 at 4:16 am) Its just heartbreakingly disgusting that human beings can talk like this, its just disheartening that this is the level humanity has stooped to.

    • The parents were convicted in a French court, I’m thinking this has nothing to do with the American gov’t.

    • It is indeed a very story, but the baby’s death was preventable. Soon to be mothers get educated while pregnant, but this in particular mother chose to have an unhealthy diet for breast feeding. And even if it was to the “vegan” diet per say, a mother knows that their child is getting enough brestmilk and thriving. I absolutely agree that even obese children is neglect and their parents should also bro blame…. There is always someone to be blamed when a child dies from being malnourished or from obesity. There are many many resources out there from mothers, lack of education is notto blame for this horrific tragedy, just pure selfishness. Babies NEED to be fed properly, and if they cannot get it from their mother, their is formula for a reason. This whole vegan spill is just aother form of religion and it’s unfair that parents are forcing it on pure innocent babies. No excuess when it comes to a child’s death that has to do with their diet, none.

  4. Andrea – Yes, parents of diabetic and obese children ARE being charged with neglect and having their kids taken away. Not all of them, but it is happening now and has been for at least the last 6 years that I know of. I agree with Sarah that it smacks too much of Big Brother. The government doesn’t always know what is best for people and are no better equipped to raise a healthy child than the average parent. Take a look at the WIC program.

    The current understanding of nutrition by scientists and doctors is constantly changing. The only ones who have a clue are those who have abandoned the idea that they can unlock some mystery behind our bad health, instead looking to knowledge of traditional cultures that never had these problems to deal with in the first place. Unfortunately vegans are among those who keep ignoring history and think they can do a better job of figuring things out.

    • Here in the states they have taken obese kids from families only to find out that the mother wasnt to blame. its either hormonal or that others slip the child fiood that the mother does not authorise cause they think its “child neglect” if you refuse a cookie or cake to the child. hopefully one day they will all just reeducate the parents while running tests to see if there is another reason fo rthem to be that way. there are kids BORN with diabeties and yet they are all lumped into the neglect catagory. if your liver isnt produceing insulin it can be from a whole list of things that are going on with the body.

    • MAS do you know the ingredients in kimchi? I do. Most contain saeujeot shrimp sauce, or aekjeot fish sauce. My family has eaten kimchi since I met my children’s father. He is of Japanese/American heritage and was raised in Japan. Although kimchi is a Korean condiment, it has been part of the Japanese diet for some time.
      My vegan daughter doesn’t eat it. Worcestershire sauce also contains fish oils..please don’t take lightly the intellect of vegans. When you suggest Kimchi to a vegan, they will check the label and you lose your case.
      I learned this as a mom of an adult vegan and I totally lost credibility in my argument against her diet.

  5. Charlsie Swadley March 30, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    Oh this breaks my heart! Perhaps they did think they were doing what was best for the baby but once you see that your child is not thriving you would think they would realize their error!!!

  6. Oh, this is sooo sad. I cannot imagine the pain of the mother when she one day faces her failure. It is so important to remind folks that vegans have to artificially incorporate so many nutrients (stripped from natural sources) in order to survive. More people need to see this and read it and pass it on so that fewer children suffer and die. I have your feed on my blog’s home page so I am doing my part.
    Melissa @ Dyno-mom\’s last post: The Merry-Fluoride-Go-Round

  7. I’m not a vegan or vegetarian. I feel bad for them. I’m sure they didn’t do this to their child on purpose! She was probably influenced by the agenda that veganism is actually good for you on top of the severe pressure from the breast feeding advocates to breast feed as long and as much as you can. I remember being bombarded by the breast feeding advocates for “giving up” too soon on my daughter when I started formula feeding her at 3 months. Never mind that my daughter’s skin was literally sagging on her body due to the loss of fat from my severely inadequate breast milk supply despite all my efforts to keep my breast milk up. I should have given her formula sooner, but the advocates kept pressuring me to “keep breast feeding.” “No one produces too little breast milk.” “You’re not feeding her often enough.” (Try every hour during the day and every 2 hours at night!!!!) It was seeing her sagging skin that woke me up. 2 days of formula feeding and she was chubbing up again and a much happier baby.

    Ironically, breast milk is not vegan in that it is an “animal product” since it comes from humans.

    A couple years ago when the economy tanked, a baby died from a mother watering down the formula in an effort to save money. I can’t remember if she was charged or not.

    • I totally feel you. We were out of hospital birthers, that ended up with two cesareans, so you can only imagine the ‘you fail’ crap we got there. Then, adding on me truly not having enough milk too and having to formula feed, I was then going to LLL hell! Some mom’s can’t exculsively BF. It’s the truth. Yes, they can ‘pump what they have’, but to be honest, that was too much for me. The only time I could pump was while holding her with a pumping bra, and I only got about 8 oz a day pumping every 3 hours. So we quit, and now formula feed as well. Kuddos to you for giving it your all!!!! Oh, if you start having issues with formula, as we did with both ours, try the weston a price homemade formula and do some reading on that. We’ve had a great experience with it and know we are not alone.. :)

    • Actually breast milk is vegan. Veganism is the minimisation/elimination of harm to other animals. Human breast milk is for human babies and is not contrary to the vegan philosophy. Cow’s milk is for calves and humans consuming it is contrary to the philosphy (also take a look at the nasty circumstances and horrible cases of mastitis of cows on dairy farms).

      “Veganism” did not kill this baby. An ill-informed mother who did not take care to ensure that she consumed enough of the right vitamins and minerals (which are all available from plant based sources)- harmed this poor child. Unfortunately, not all vegans bright and well -informed, just as not all ominvores/carnivores are bright and well informed.

      Blaming “veganism” would be like blamining “meat eaters” as a whole collective group whenever their child is ill or died through some form of vitamin/mineral deficiency or bad eating habits (which is a lot more frequent % wise than it is for vegans/vegetarians).

      I’ve been a vegetarian almost all my life and a vegan for 18 years (I’m currently 32). I have been fit and healthy all my life. I am also 34 weeks preganant with a perfectly developing baby and all my blood tests have revealed perfect levels of everything. The doctor is quite chuffed that I am having such a smooth, healthy pregnancy because unlike most other (dare I say it “non-vegan”) mothers that come into the clinic- neither I or the baby are having any problems and have no deficiences. Co-incidence or not, I am also NOT suffering from any of those nasty common problems of pregnancy like constipation, hemeroids etc. (probably because I naturally get lots of fibre in my diet).

      The parents need to be educated in nutrition, just like any other parent.

      It is quite disappointing that so many people make such broad generalised comments about a named group such as “vegans” whilst they have obviously not done any research on the topic (by this I mean reading actual scientific studies rather than reading tabloids) and make ridicuouls comments such as “how can it not be the vegan diet”. We don’t have any details on what this woman was actually eating and therefore, I don’t see how anyone can blame “veganism” without knowing such details.

      Ironically- when pregnant most woman are advised to eat “more fresh fruit and vegtables”- doesn’t that tell you something.

      • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist
        Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist November 2, 2011 at 8:00 am

        Now THAT is the most ridiculous vegan comment I’ve EVER heard. Human breastmilk is vegan? How closedminded and emotionally attached to your flawed way of thinking can you be?

        • THIS is the most ridiculous nonvegan comment. Seriously?!? I eat meat and I’m trying to eat more veggies and fruits and less carbs. I still breastfeed my 11-month old, who eats what we eat, including meat. To me, it is offensively obvious that you are anti-vegan/vegetarian and NOT pro-health. What a shame. It makes TOTAL sense that human breastmilk would be considered vegan in the diet of a human baby, at least for the first 4-6 months of life. It’s obvious that YOUR way of thinking is flawed because it is so close-minded and hateful. So much for taking anything seriously from you! If you ever have children that are obese or have type 2 diabetes, I hope you get charged with neglect for feeding thing too much crap.

        • what is wrong with you? AMW gave a very logical and reasonable response and you still respond rudely to her. are you that close minded that you wont listen to ANY information that suggest that it is possible to be healthy on a plant based diet? im not even vegan, or vegetarian for that matter, and i still think your biased jerk!

          • Sarah why is veganism a flawed way of thinking? Animals produce milk that is designed for their own newborns. As a species we are NOT naturally designed to drink it so why would not drinking constitute a flawed way of thinking? In fact i cant think of a single other species on this planet that drinks another species breast milk…

        • wait, are you being serious? you are the most ridiculous blogger i have ever read (ok, maybe not THE most, but ONE of the most ridiculous)! hahahahahaha, i LITERALLY laughed out loud when you commented this until i realized that you were being serious. and now i just feel sorry for you because you are so closed minded and uninformed. it is sad that you are actually blogging and that people are actually reading it (and it seems even a small percentage might agree with you??). i know bloggers are definitely allowed to have opinions, but i guess it was naive of me to think they would be informed about them! i am still chuckling at you. and wondering if this is somehow a joke…

        • And how closed minded are you? she is actually right about human milk for human babies being part of vegan ways. If you weren’t such an idiot on the subject, you’d know this.

      • It is also abundantly clear as well as a scientific fact that a long term vegan diet leads to a much lower IQ. Both in the young and in adults. That should be shockingly clear in this case.

        See, I was right. Thank you AMW

    • ” She was probably influenced by the agenda that veganism is actually good for you on top of the severe pressure”

      Well, from you first line, we already know that you are going to pass on some un-truths.

      “Ironically, breast milk is not vegan in that it is an “animal product” since it comes from humans.”

      Are you ?? – never mind .

  8. Man, this is just painful to read.

    I am currently breast feeding and I too believed that my daughter would get nutrients either way. I’ve recently began reading about the traditional way to eat and find it extremely interesting. On a trip to California, last week, I had the opportunity to purchase raw milk and pastured eggs. I did this for the few days I was there. Suddenly the color of my daughters “poop” became very bright yellow and she was passing less gas and was smiling instead of struggling when she had a movement. I was so happy for her and she was so happy as well. Upon my return to New Mexico, I resumed eating soy fed organic eggs and organic lactose milk (I was not lactose intolerant- to my surprise- with the raw milk) and my daughter’s movements returned to the previous color and she had the same struggles as she did before. I wish the government here would allow for an increase in raw milk supplies. I found a source for pastured eggs but the milk is not available here.

    I too wonder if the parents had received this info if perhaps they would have had a change in ethical beliefs.

    I found out that grass fed cow’s are treated much better when milked and the slaughter is more “humane” as well. Perhaps this would have helped that poor child. Sorry if I am all over the place. I still have “baby brain”.

    • Gabriela, what’s this business with pasteurized eggs? What’s the matter? Don’t you cook your food? Even “raw” milk is mostly cooked before consumption, well except for beverage milk. Why do you suppose milk is heated before yogurt or cheese making begins? Sanitation or killing off stray bacteria is one reason.

      Say Gaby, why don’t you have a Youtube video where we can watch you suck down raw (or pasteurized) eggs? I suspect that if you feed her real milk, instead of that soy faux milk, created in a 9-5 factory by hourly employees eager to get home, that your daughter’s digestion will again return to normal.

      • Uh, no, raw milk is not “cooked.” Ever watched the process at a farm? They milk, then it goes straight into a cooling system.

        Seriously, this blog is painful to read. I am all about WAPF and health, but the ignorance being spewed here hurts my brain. Human milk certainly is vegan, because it is given freely by the mother to the baby. No other animals were exploited for the mother to make that milk.

        Thanks a heap for making us sane WAPFers, capable of critical thinking, all look like a bunch of crazies. Geez.

        • How stupid does a person need to be to think that any milk (including human breast milk) can be vegan in any way when it’s full of animal proteins (human proteins), and is made in an animal’s ( human’s) body??? A nut milk, or a soy milk, or a seed milk is vegan, but human breast milk is in no way vegan “because it is freely given by the mother to the baby”! What does the mother’s intent have to do with the biochemical makeup of the milk? NOTHING!!! Humans are animals, thus human milk cannot be vegan!!

          Lets step up to the plate here and start using our critical thinking skills before we make such completely ridiculous claims

          • Stop. If you don’t understand what Vegan/Vegetarian means, don’t debate about it.
            Human breast milk is intended for human babies, just as the breast milk from a cow is intended for its calves. We are not built to consume dairy produced by cows (or other animals) because we are a different species.

      • We are talking about PASTURE RAISED EGGS here. .. .NOT pasteurized. They are QUITE different. :) Pasture raised eggs are from chickens who are free to run about on grass and eat naturally available food. Pasteurized eggs are not raw and do not even exist here.
        Pasture raised eggs can contain up to 5 times MORE nutrients than those from the standard confined operation.
        And no, we do not like our milk to be cooked, many here like it raw. We buy it that way and drink it that way.
        And soy milk is NOT the same as lactose free milk (though I wouldn’t drink either).
        It seems you do not have most of your facts straight.
        Proof positive here that most people have no idea what a “traditional diet” really is. *sigh*

  9. I have to say I’m confused by the first line which states that the baby was “exclusively breastfed by a vegan mother”. I took this to mean that the child had not been put on solid food yet which of course would also lead to severe nutrient deprivation. If I’m not reading this wrong then that would have been as significant a contributor to the babies death as the fact that the mother was a vegan.
    Alysa\’s last post: Aww sugar- sugar plus a recipe

  10. An 11 month old can live solely on breast milk from a healthy mother- my first child didn’t have a bite of food til after her first birthday (when she was about 25 lbs) and my second only had a few bites before his first birthday. They would spit solids out, I didn’t push it. Around 1 they started eating quite a bit.

    I think your take on this story is good- I get nervous about the ‘neglect’ aspect of it as well, I do many things AMA – going with medical advice isn’t always the answer, but neither is veganism.
    Cara\’s last post: What is a GAPS Family

  11. Im shock. I was in a macrobiotic diet when I was pregnant of my first son, now 2 and a half years and still breastfeeding. I changed the diet about eight months ago: I and my son are eating now meat, eggs, diary. I havent been able yet to drink raw milk. I`m feeling really fine and with energy. I changed my diet because my instict told me something was going wwrong with my child: he was not much growing, he had a yellow skin tone, and he was under every curve of weight and height, and we have to gave him iron suplement.
    Now I`m trying not to feel guilty for following a macrobiotic diet (that my husband still follows) and for not follow my basic insticts. I`m not makink such mistake again. I´m from Quito-Ecuador. Thank you Sarah!!

  12. The cause of the problem wasn’t that this infant was exclusively breast-fed until 11mo. It was that Mom was deficient in B12 (and A, but B12 has more significant implications in development – particularly neurologic development), likely because she was a vegan. It’s a pretty common thing to see with vegans.

    Although current recommendations advise starting solids at 6mos, many parents don’t choose to start solid foods until 1yo. If the infants are receiving breastmilk and/or formula, that alone doesn’t usually cause a problem; t is not a form of starvation nor does it usually cause failure to thrive. In fact, this infant was a healthy weight – 12lbs for an 11mo infant is totally appropriate. The issue here is critical nutrient deprivation (B12). Pediatrician should have (and hopefully did) advise Mom that she either needed B12 supplementation or to change her diet while breastfeeding to ensure that the infant received adequate nutrients.

    • Hi Trina,

      It certainly wasn’t just the issue of a B12 deficiency. In truth, the mother was also deficient in vitamins A, D, and K as well. The vitamin K that Weston A. Price was talking about was referred to as “activator X,” which can only be found in special foods of the animal kingdom like pastured butter, eggs, etc. The vitamin K is needed to assimilate minerals. So, in addition to having a deficiency in several major vitamins, the vegan mother was also severely deficient in minerals, as well.

    • what a sad story! i don’t think the doctors and pediatricians and obstetricians ask people what their diet is like, at least they never asked me when i was pregnant or breastfeeding. they do ask what supplements moms take when pregnant though, once i told my obstetrician that i am taking cod liver oil she was sooo schocked and told me to stop it immediately. i did not stop taking it though :)
      so the mom just did not know she was doing something wrong and did not get a chance to find out.
      marina\’s last post: Super Easy Crockpot Applesauce

    • Correction to my previous post – 12 *pounds* would indicate failure to thrive. I was thinking in kilos, though, and 12kg would have been totally appropriate. Sorry for the error!

  13. The WHO recommends exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months then adding solid foods for a healthy baby. These parents didn’t do that, that is most likely the real problem. Vegan mothers the world over have been breastfeeding their babies for 1000′s of years, and have avoided heart disease, diabetes an cancer along the way. Please read nutrition studies such as “The China Study” and see for more info.

    • LOL!!!!!!!
      “Vegans have not been around for 1000′s of years because vegans become infertile after 1 or 2 generations and cannot reproduce. Vegetarians have been around, but not vegans.”
      WOW. I needed a good laugh today. Thank you. :)

      • I’m not being insensitive to the fact that these people lost their child, but I just can’t imagine how many people can be this grossly misinformed and have this sinister view of people who try to live a more natural, and cruelty-free lifestyle. Judging people who try to live compassionately because someone does it wrong and makes a huge mistake that they have to live with forever, that is ridiculous. There are many, many generations of vegans out there, fyi. People who eat omnivorous diets can also be malnourished and not get the right nutrients. It’s all about balance.

        • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

          Briana, a meat eating or even a vegetarian mother can make a huge mistakes with her diet and her baby won’t die being breastfed. It’s true that omnivores can have imbalanced diets, but a vegan diet is so imbalanced that it can be deadly for breastfed babies. A vegan diet takes malnutrition to a whole new level as it leaves out the most important nutrients .. the fat soluble activators only found in animal foods.
          Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist\’s last post: Grassfed Goes Gourmet

      • i know, right? i have been laughing while reading every comment from the original author. everyone else seems to be basing their opinions on at least some facts, but sarah keeps pulling random stuff from left field. i am actually going to post this on my other blog so people can come read her comments for a chuckle today. :D hahahahaha.

        • Name a traditional vegan culture. We’re all waiting. We’ll be here along time.

          Veganism is a modern religion that can lead to malnutrition in children and adults. If the parents are very careful, it won’t but it’s way too easy to go there with no animal products. We are omnivores – meat is on the menu.

          And veganism is not more compassionate, at least from the plant’s point of view. Neither plants nor animals are placed on the planet for us to eat. Just because a life form doesn’t move doesn’t make it less important.

          The bottom line is that vegans tend to think they are being more compassionate and smarter than the rest of humanity, or at least Westerns. Unfortunately, that is only an illusion, completely separated from what it takes to produce food.

          • “And veganism is not more compassionate, at least from the plant’s point of view. Neither plants nor animals are placed on the planet for us to eat. Just because a life form doesn’t move doesn’t make it less important.”

            That’s a bit disingenuous. Surely you understand why people might confine compassion to creatures who can feel pain and emotions. You can’t seriously need it pointed out to you that animals can feel pain and plants can’t. *shakes head* While we’re at it, you do get the difference between living things and inanimate objects right?

  14. This is just unbelievable. Though I’m less sympathetic – they should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Plain and simple, they should have known better.

    and what’s really shocking (as if this isn’t shocking enough!) – this isn’t the first time something like this has happened; it’s happened in New York, Atlanta, Australia, Miami….it’s crazy! When are people going to stop adhering to their batsh*t ideology and face facts??

    • Really???? To the fullest extent of the law? You think this equals rape and murder? NICE attitude — these people lost their child and you are this mean-spirited? I really hope people are just as forgiving to you when you make mistakes.

      • Marcela – be very careful what you wish for ; it may some day come to be seen as “cruel” and “abusive” to feed your babies (or self!) in the traditional manner. We MUST be supportive of a person’s right to be wrong, or we all suffer. I seriously doubt this mother was trying to harm her baby, quite the contrary – she most likely thought she was doing good.

  15. So so very sad. I’m still BF my 14.5 month old: he nurses 3-4 times during the day and 2-3 times at night, more if he’s coming down with a cold or such. He started wanting food around 6/7 months but still BF every 3-4 hours. He’s off the charts for height and in the 75% IIRC for weight. I feel so very sorry for these parents… not sure what their circumstances were but didn’t the child exhibit symptoms? Many posters mentioned sagging skin… wouldn’t that ring a bell?? I don’t do many well baby visits – I observe my child and weigh him occassionally. Didn’t the parents do any of this?? Again, heartbreaking.

  16. I first saw this story on Naturalnews and Adams is of course actually in support of veganism. I do become angry when I think of all the parents who feed their kids worthless junkfood, pump them up with worthless vaccines, and let them sip out of BPA coated plastic bottles yet they don’t get their kids taken away. Our society is so messed up.
    Really that mother should have been supplementing though I don’t think she should be prosecuted as she was only doing what she thought was best and meant no harm.
    Kelli\’s last post: Cancer Is A Disease Of The Modern World

  17. Others have read this story and taken it to be that the parents refused medical care when their daughter was ill — which they did. It seems that all around their choices were inappropriate and that they stuck fast to a belief system until it actually killed their daughter. I am afraid that next, this will be the mainstream going after all parents who believe in natural health. But that’s not really the issue. The issue is that what these parents were doing — both the vegan diet and the natural health treatments — were not appropriate in THIS case. Long before it got to the point of severe illness, they should have recognized that something was not right and gotten their daughter help — from a trained naturopath or other health professional. It did not need to be mainstream, necessarily. My information said that they simply read a book at home and attempted to treat the little girl themselves. THAT is what was inappropriate, given the girl’s serious condition. Some type of professional should have been consulted here.

    I disagree that 12 lbs. is an appropriate weight for an 11-month-old. My children both weighed about 18 lbs. at a year and were in the bottom 5% for weight for their age. (Breastfed on a traditional diet, eating lots of eggs and pastured meats.)
    Kate @ Modern Alternative Mama\’s last post: Recipe Collection- Baked Lemon-Pepper Fish

    • Now the lame MSM is going to try to make natural health look bad thanks to the poor decisions of this one mom. But really, they should have taken her to a professional naturopath instead of trying to treat her themselves. A kid that young…

  18. Maureen McLaughlin March 31, 2011 at 10:40 am

    They were most likely not taking him to the pediatrician for “well visits” otherwise I believe this would have been caught sooner. Tragic.

    • I totally agree, a pediatrician would have noticed. So the negligence wasn’t on the diet itself, maybe, but the lack of “monitoring” of the baby’s health.

  19. The author is this article has absolutely no knowledge of nutrition. I get my Vit A from spiralina and carrots. Humans get Vit D from the sun, Vit E from Olive oil and flax oil and nuts, and Vitamin K is found chiefly in leafy green vegetables such as spinach, swiss chard, and Brassica (e.g. cabbage, kale, cauliflower, broccoli, and brussels sprouts); some fruits such as avocado, kiwifruit and grapes are also high in vitamin K. I know plenty of vegan moms who breast feed and none of their kids are obese nor do they have allergies nor do they die.
    This article reeks of anti-vegan sentiment, but I’d like to see the same author confront the fact that 1/3 of American children are obese. Isn’t that child abuse as well?
    b-12 is in many plant based foods, such as fermented foods, some seaweeds, nutritional yeast.
    This mother did not have the slightest clue on what a well balanced diet means, it has nothing to do with veganism.

    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

      Hi Sarah May .. the vitamin A in plant foods is not true vitamin A. It is beta carotene which only converts 5-10% AT BEST in the gut to true vitamin A. If a person has any gut imbalance at all (who doesn’t these days?) then little to no beta carotene will be converted. Yes, I agree that the obese children eating fast food are malnourished and the parents are negligent as well, but they aren’t dead at 11 months. Overweight and dead are two completely different things.

      • I’ve been quite enjoying the comments in this thread thus far.

        “Yes, I agree that the obese children eating fast food are malnourished and the parents are negligent as well, but they aren’t dead at 11 months”

        Please provide me some a case where parents decided to feed their new born child fast food until they were 11 months old. -_-

    • First beta-carotene which is found in plant and animal foods is not the same as vitamin A. It must be converted in the digestive tract. Small children, the elderly and those with thyroid disorders or gut dysbiosis cannot make that conversion at all; among those who actually can make the conversion it is grossly inefficient.

      Vitamin D can be manufactured in the skin from sunlight; however, unless you live in tropical and semi-tropical latitudes, the process is inefficient.

      You’re right that olive oil and nuts are a great source of vitamin E.

      Vitamin K1 is found in leafy greens and plant foods, but is largely inactive. Vitamin K2 is active and is found in butterfat and fermented soy. Multiple studies have illustrated that vitamin K1 is not as effective in the prevention of chronic diseases including cancer as is vitamin K2 (which you get from animal sources and fermented soy).

      Vitamin B12 that you get from seaweeds and fermented foods is inactive and may actually block the uptake of true vitamin B12 which is otherwise only found in animal foods.

      It’s interesting that you say this mother doesn’t have the slightest clue of what a well-balanced diet means (how do you know that anyway? do you know what she was eating aside from a vegan diet?), because if you were well-informed you’d have a better understanding of the differences between K1/K2, beta carotene/vitamin A, conversion rates and inactive B12/B12.
      Jenny\’s last post: A Recipe for Spring- Strawberry Mint Sorbet

    • Did you know that about 45% of the population can’t convert plant vitamin A (beta carotene) into usable vitamin A (retinol)? This baby was A deficient, and I bet that’s why. If you can’t make that conversion, you could be eating your weight in carrots and still be A deficient.

      Some people also can’t produce certain fatty acids and amino acids that are necessary for life. Some people can live okay for awhile on a vegan diet, and some people will quickly develop health problems — as this baby did.

      Unfortunately many people don’t have the slightest clue what a well-balanced diet means. We have diet “experts” telling us all day long that animal products will kill us and we should be on a “healthy plant-based diet,” and yet have you EVER seen a warning on an article or advertisement promoting veganism that says, “Please talk to a nutritionist before starting a vegan diet” or “you will need to take supplements if you cut out all animal foods”? People promote these diets because of ideology, but they are negligent in warning people of the risks. Is it any wonder people think that they can just cut out all animal products and be healthier, without any special planning?
      Sheila\’s last post: Unplanned parenthood

      • Well, no matter what one persons beliefs on the “best” diet are, it’s a pretty big jump to say that the baby died because her mother was a vegan. Seriously, vegan mothers nurse their babies every day and these babies aren’t dying. It seems totally ridiculous to me, and I’m not a vegan at all. She is also brunette, I noticed. Perhaps babies nursed by brunette mothers are more likely to die? Wait, I have a question, how many babies nursed by SAD eating mothers die every day? I have a very healthy (never been sick) three yr-old who is very petite. She’s not even on the charts and likely was about 12 lbs at one yr. (she’s only 25 lbs now at 3.5).

  20. from

    Interestingly, the breast milk of vegan mothers has been shown to contain significantly lower levels of environmental contaminants, such as pesticides, dioxins, and bovine growth hormone, than the breast milk of meat-eating mothers.

    • I’d be much more interested in comparing this IF the mothers eating meat were eating only pastured meats. I’d also be interested in actually seeing the nutrient content of their milk vegan vs. omnivores. That is much more telling.

      The problem with all of these pro-vegan tactics is that it lumps EVERYONE who is not vegan into one group. There is a VAST difference in health between those who eat SAD and those who eat traditionally. This distinction is never drawn in research as it is assumed that CAFO meat and pastured meat is all the same; it’s not. Show me some research that proves that a traditional diet is actually worse than vegan (not SAD) and then we’ll actually be comparing apples to apples.
      Kate @ Modern Alternative Mama\’s last post: Recipe Collection- Baked Lemon-Pepper Fish

      • The labeling and ‘lumping’ goes both ways. Vegans also have different diets and nutritional standards, yet people often refer to our diets as heavy in soy, refined carbs and other processed foods. I am a vegan mother of two toddlers. I still breastfeed, make homemade almond milk with coconut butter and sunflower lecithin, almond kefir and yogurt, nut cheeses, fermented vegetables, sprouted grains and green smoothies with chlorella and spirulina for my kids. We eat what I consider to be a natural well-balanced diet that includes cold pressed oils, fats from nuts, seeds and avocados, fruits and mostly raw vegetables, sprouted tofu on occasion, brown rice, pasta, steamed root vegetables, flax crackers, the list goes on…I even make homemade vegan ice cream.
        My point with all this is that a vegan diet is not ‘extreme’ it is just a matter orienting yourself towards natural ‘living’ foods and making delicious creations out of them. I’ve had my blood work looked at by a naturopath and diagnostic testing and I am not deficient in anything. The naturopath said that a vegan diet is working very well for me, even through the stress of two pregnancies and breastfeeding for almost 4 years.
        Being vegan is not a sacrifice. If it were, we would look into alternatives. I agree with others that if you are experiencing problems with your diet, you should be flexible and open to change. There are many simple changes, such as adopting backyard hens and adding a few eggs to your diet, that don’t contribute to the animal cruelty/environmental problems that most vegans are trying to avoid. You don’t have to go to McDonalds, that’s for sure!
        The facts of this case do not lead to the conclusion that a vegan diet is ‘unhealthy’. They lead to the conclusion that the parents failed to address the unique circumstances and needs of their baby. I think it happens all the time but just manifests itself differently (diabetes, asthma, obesity). These are far more prevalent and lead to far more deaths than vegan malnutrition. It is unfortunate to see people using this case as a platform to attack vegans and question their ability to raise healthy children. I don’t ever feel the need to attack omnivores for their diet choices. Of course I think factory farming doesn’t meet up to any sensible human’s standards, so those have got to go! :)

  21. In reality, I think grass-fed cow milk would be considered plant based, no? Maybe not, I’m just thinking out loud.

    Well-baby checks are a rip. They are not going to catch anything like this because allopathic doctors use “percentile” charts given to them by the formula manufacturing companies. Each chart is slightly different. It means nothing to be in a certain percentile. Many generations survived without being “percentiled”. If a parents can’t weigh and measure their own child, we’re all in deep trouble.

    I think every young Mom in the entire world should read How To Raise A Healthy Child In Spite of Your Doctor – Dr. Robert Mendelsohn, who was an allopathic pediatrician for 30+ years and decided they were doing it all wrong. Actually, it should be required reading before giving birth. The book is old – written in 1984, but the advice still pertains. The nutrition advice he gives is a little outdated, of course, but some of it is still pretty worthwhile. I would look to him for other guidance in raising children, and WAPF for nutritional information. Just my 2 cents.

    The other tell-tale sign, which should be more obvious but seems to be lost on vegans and even vegetarians is this: if the Mom is malnourished, so will be the baby. Whether it’s during pregnancy or while breastfeeding, baby will only get what Mom gets. Wasn’t the Mom of this child able to tell that she was low on B vitamins for go-juice??

    Most of the breastmilk I see coming through my infant day care facility has NO fat in it at all. It’s just like skim milk. I can’t imagine a baby getting much nutrition from that. Most of the Mom’s of infants I care for aren’t vegan or veggie, but they’re still very afraid of butter and eggs (real foods). They are USDA Food Pyramid indoctrinated, for sure.

    I agree with Sarah (or whoever it was) when she said that most people believe that breastmilk just magically gets its goodness because it’s *breastmilk*. How naive is that? If the mom isn’t eating proper foods, the milk doesn’t have anything nutritionally worthwhile either.

    • I’m vegan and my breast milk was almost 1/2 cream at the top when I had to pump and store. My firstborn was 9 lbs 10 oz at birth and jumped up to 11 lbs at 2 weeks. My pediatrician said it was because of my milk that she gained so fast. So my experience was different than what you have seen.

  22. I followed your link. Does the WAPF have a page just like that but for kids/babies?
    What did that baby die from? This is off topic but I want to eat more traditional foods but I also feel the need to eat off the Biblical Clean list. Do you have a opinion about this? Sometimes I wonder if I should follow the list or if it’s outdated. The reason is because I don’t want my family to eat animals that are actually unclean or unhealthy. I think the list was made for a good reason. But I guess native people lead long healthy lives eating unclean animals. I’m torn.

    • Christin, here’s a couple of links:

      This one for babies from WAPF:

      Here’s one for toddlers and older children:

      and another:

      **P.S. I hope those work. I had to use snip url because since WAPF recently redesigned their web site they obviously still have a few bugs to work out — because their links are humongous!

      If they won’t open, just go to and type in Nutrition for a growing baby and then type in Nutrition for older children (or something to that effect) and you’ll get a list of topic titles to choose from.

      Hope that helps.

      • christin – not trying to change your mind, what you decide to eat or not is b/w you & your Lord. AND He told Peter “what God had cleansed no longer consider unholy” (Acts 10). Just something to think/pray on.
        God bless.

        • Christin, I imagine you’ve read The Maker’s Diet by Jordan Rubin? If not, I highly recommend it. Yes, Peter dreamed about eating “unclean” animals, and Christians are no longer under the old Mosaic covenant. But I agree with you that God loved the Israelites and would’ve given them his dietary laws in their best interest. He loves us too… so is avoiding pork and shelfish still in our best interest? I don’t know. But I have heard some good nutritional arguments against both pork and scavenger-type shelfish. For me, it’s not a faith issue, but I do avoid pork and shellfish. There are a million other fantastic things to eat, why bother with pork (except the occasional small amount of bacon, for flavor)? :) I wish you the best in your soul-searching! God knows your heart, and he will lead you.
          Danielle @ Analytical Mom\’s last post: Butter Spread

  23. There is an unfathomable amount of ignorance in this world. That is just a fact. NO ONE has all knowledge of everything. (except GOD) I do feel sorry for these parents; ignorant and unaware of what they were doing, maybe even blind faith.(Which also requires some understanding of what you are believing IN) I see parents everyday who are giving their kids toxins, drugs, horrible nutrition, etc. There will be a price to be paid. All you can do is try to educate those around you, and remember that you too were in ignorance of something at some point. Have mercy, and find out what is important to you and your family. DON”T RELY ON THE GOVERNMENT, MEDICINE, or some EXPERT. Thanks Sarah for helping educate. God bless!

    • ROFL! Wouldn’t want to rely on people with actual qualifications when it comes to something as important as health!

  24. So, if you don’t exploit an animal by eating it or stealing from it, you’re bad…is this what I’m to glean from this article? Why is using animal products a mandate in this country?

    I just don’t understand why people think it’s weird to drink mother’s milk (milk from your own species) but completely OK to drink the breast milk of a COW. Why is this a normal accepted practice?

    Oh, and vilifying the couple when they’ve lost their baby is shameful and disgusting. Thanks,
    all you “Christians”, for verifying the hypocritical, intolerant stereotype you all are so good at.

  25. Wow. “abstinence from all animal foods is a danger to one’s health and most particularly, your baby!” Uhm, Sarah, not true. A vegan diet can be very healthy but like with every diet, people can get it wrong. The reason we need to get B12 from supplements is simply because our veggies are washed – cyanocobalamin is naturally found in soil and fermented things. The only animal foods with significant levels of B12 are calf’s liver and sardines, which not everyone eats. And vitamin A is abundant in red and yellow fruit and vegetables. All the vegans I know are quite knowledgeable on nutrition and would never dream of feeding a child just breastmilk esp when not taking supplements.

    I think very few people actually know anything about nutrition other than what they learned at school and home, which often is very limited and outdated. I didn’t know that B12 was so crucial until a few years ago, and I don’t know many people who have a clue that you need, say, vit D to help calcium bind to your bones, or vit C in order for your body to use iron.

    This is a tragic case of parents not being particularly clued up and doctors not doing more when they did have concerns. At any rate punishing parents for being ignorant and suspicious of Western medicine smacks very much of Big Brother, and putting the blame on a vegan diet smacks of bias.

    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

      EvylShnukums, I don’t even know where to start with the gross inaccuracies of your comment. There is NO VITAMIN A in plant foods. Only beta carotene, which must be converted into true vitamin A. Most people convert little beta carotene to Vitamin A even if they are in excellent health with perfectly balanced guts. Our wonderful FDA allows beta carotene in supplements etc to be labeled vitamin A when it is not vitamin A. The B12 you are referring to is an inactive form of B12 and actually causes more B12 (from animal foods) to be needed by the body. Plenty of B12 is found in grassbased dairy, eggs, seafood, and beef – readily available sources if one seeks them. How can a diet that requires man made supplementation with B12 be a correct diet? It can’t. This is why veganism never existed in traditional cultures (vegetarianism did, but not veganism).

      • Well I’m open to being corrected – please list some sources. But in the interest of credibility, kindly check them on Sourcewatch first.

        At any rate, whether veganism is a natural diet is entirely beside the point. Not one of us eats “naturally”. We import food, we cook, freeze and season it, you get the idea. Everyone should supplement, to ensure optimum health. How natural is it to eat a factory-farmed animal or GM grain? And how natural is it to drink another mammal’s milk? Don’t confuse nature with culture.

        Veganism is an ethical stance as well as a diet, and when properly managed and supported with supplements, it is perfectly healthy.

        In fairness, has any study been conducted on how many babies of omnivores die of malnutrition? If these were omnivore parents who refused orthodox medical treatment for *bronchitis*, would their diet even be mentioned? Would people ask whether the baby had had enough vit C? I don’t think so.

      • The Carotenoids (found in plants) are converted by the body into vitamin A (I don’t see a problem with this- do you?)

        Vitamin B12- although not found directly in plants, is made from bacterial fermentation which can happen to plant based sources, thus producing B12 (I don’t see a problem with this either).

        Unless you are a complete raw food-ist yourself (everything raw- including your meat and getting your milk straight from the cow’s udder)- I don’t see why you think it’s problematic for a vegan to get B12 from a source that may have gone through some kind of fermentation or processing. Or why you think it’s a problem to get vitamin A from your own body’s processes…

        Being a long time (18 years) vegan- I get plenty of all vitamins and minerals from my diet that does not rely upon pill supplements (although when pregnant, like all woman should- I have erred on the side of caution and taken a vegan pregnangy/lactation multivitamin).

        An added advantage of being Australian is an inbuilt love of vegemite- high in B12, so quite easily getting all the B12 one could need.

        • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist
          Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist November 2, 2011 at 7:59 am

          Conversion of carotenoids into true vitamin A is not very efficient in the body and does not happen at all if there is any gut imbalance whatsoever. Vegans are all supposed to take vitamin B12 because the bacterial fermentation in the gut is an insufficient source to maintain health.

          • vegans dont have to take b12 supplements as long as they are able to get enough in their diets. most americans dont get enough of many vitamins in their diets, be it vegan or not, because our food sources are so processed. this is why b vitamins are added back into breads and pastas and that is why many americans (vegan or not) take a multivitamin or other supplements (how many meat eaters do you know who are anemic? isnt that a main source of iron??).

            lets face it. this baby died from neglect which included nutrient starvation. the article states that the doctors suggested things for the parents to do to help the baby, like give it medical attention when it was sick, and they CHOSE not to. this case is no different from any other cases where parents withhold traditional medicine and their child dies. it has nothing to do with veganism in itself. diets that are very limited in anything will cause malnutrition. i have several meat and dairy eating friends who are severely deficient in b12 and vitamin d, both of which you claim can only come from animal sources. i am vegan and am not deficient in either (or any other vitamins or minerals). i have my levels checked regularly because if there is a deficiency in something it would cause me to adjust my intake accordingly. if this mother was eating a well balanced diet and was aware of possible health complications and common deficiencies during pregnancy (your body depletes you of even more when pregnant and breast feeding) she would have taken the steps to correct and prevent them. even AFTER she was told about the deficiencies and shown the warning signs she CHOSE to ignore them.

            what about the uneducated mothers who give their infants honey and then they die from botulism? what about the parents that give their infant peanut butter before they are “supposed to” and the child has an allergic reaction and dies? what about a child who has a food allergy and the parent doesnt take every single necessary step to prevent an allergic reaction and the child dies? these situations are all diet related but we would not think of prosecuting the parent. it has a LOT more to do with the specific situation and how the parent neglected this child in gross ways BEYOND the dietary restrictions. it was the lack of change and action AFTER she was informed by doctors of her deficiencies, it was the lack of medical care when her child contracted infections that ravaged her little body and caused her to lose even more weight and strength. it was about the neglect. and diet was one area (of many it seems) where this child was neglected.

            it is ridiculous to take 5 or 6 extreme cases of something (someone linked the 6 cases of other “vegan related deaths of infants all over the world”) and even compare them to the millions of healthy vegans with healthy babies and families. some vegans have unhealthy diets and just as many non-vegans have unhealthy diets as well. you can not TELL me that there has never been an infant death from a meat-eating mother’s vitamin deficiency in her breast milk! if we are going to lump everything together like you, sarah, are doing, lets look at ALL of the cases of child neglect leading to death. a majority of those included mothers who eat meat!! OMG, EATING MEAT CAUSES INFANT DEATHS!!!! same line of thinking i am afraid, except i am willing to recognize the insanity of that statement and dont actually try to pass it off as fact. :D

            and dont bother listing links with your little vitamin quotes in them because there are just as many out there that say otherwise. you are using google to link you to random “studies” and trying to use them as valid arguments when you are completely unwilling to look at all of the data (yes, some conflicting from both sides) and make a rational informed decision based on that. this whole article was written as an attack on vegans and you are just attacking anything anyone says otherwise. so basically it is a one sided argument with yourself. have fun with it.

  26. I think it is sad all around, but charging the parents is just wrong. I was a vegetarian for many years. It isn’t all about defending animals, or ethics, or whatever. I ate that way because I thought it was healthy. My motives were purely selfish. There are tons of cookbooks, magazines, and research that says this way of eating is healthy. Why would parents vegan/vegetarian parents question all that supposed knowledge? I have no doubt these parents were doing everything they believed was best for themselves and their baby. My goodness, we are just a punishment-driven society. How about some compassion instead? Rita

  27. Amen, Amy. We humans make mistakes and people die sometimes, including our own children. What a cruel punishment. It’s enough.

    I also blame the government: public education and the food pyramid, add the Gods’ recommendations on healthy diets and it is so easy to see how this woman could be soooo ignorant. Oh, did I say “Gods”? I meant doctors.

    The truth is that governments kill more people, either intentionally or un, than any other entity. FAR more. They actually kill them or simply allow them to be killed thru faulty laws and regulations. I wouldn’t trust Big Brother to protect my children from me or from anyone else as far as I could throw Him.

    I just spent a few days with my oldest (as in “long term”) girlfriend from college. She is a news producer for CBS in a major market and has been since the late 70′s. She didn’t know about raw milk, that fats are good for you, that cholesterol is a myth, never heard of pastured meats, does not know how to read a label…. The list goes on and on. If we lived together for a year, the education would be just beginning (as it is for me at 55.) I’m talking about an intelligent woman who works hard for a living in a news organization. Ironic.

  28. first–my caps key is sticking so no caps… ;-0

    anyway, this is a tough one, but for the issue with the baby not being on solids yet…my second child is now 3 years old. she refused solid food until she was about 2. completely refused it. in that i mean she would not eat it. if i managed to get a bite of food into her mouth she would spit it out. we got really freaked out but the pediatrician told us not to worry, to keep adding formula to her bottle–my breast milk had dried up at this point–and we would assess things based on her weight and overall health. since she was healthy there were no worries. she also was not constipated ever. i have no idea how, but she was fine. now she is 3 and a half. right after her 3rd birthday she started eating meals at the table with us. she still drinks her baba around the clock but also will eat solids. she looks better now–she had circles under her eyes before she started eating solids and has some more meat on her–but she never looked really unhealthy and always had energy and was fine on the growth/weight chart.

    so i guess my point is that just because a baby is not eating solids doesn’t mean the parents are doing something wrong or that the baby will die. my concern is that the parents in this situation may not have consulted with their doctor. we did and were given assurance that things were fine. but if our daughter had been underweight and deficient we would have done something–tube feeding or something.

    this really just breaks my heart–for the baby and the parents.

    • I could not just pass by without trying to help you. Do you know that the way to capitalize letters is to use the shift key? Before I took a typing class, I used the caps lock key before and after every capital letter. When you said that your caps key was stuck, it reminded me of this. All you need do is hold down the shift key while you type the letter you want capitalized. Much easier. Caps lock is only for when you want to type in all caps… which should be almost never.

  29. Although there is a chance that it was the strict vegan diet, we need healthy bowels to absorb nutrients. My daughter was in the lowest 5th percentile for a child a year younger than her, why? Turns out that it wasn’t that we weren’t feeding her enough nutrients, it was that she had a food allergy (soy)that damaged her bowel health , so she wasn’t able to absorb much of the nutrients we were feeding her. We improved her bowel health and she began to gain weight again. Please keep in mind these people lost a baby, the tradgedy speaks for itself, it need not be commented on with such viciousness.

  30. hmm… the thing that concerns me is as a parent choosing to follow a diet not based on the USDAs food pyramid is: when am I going to be accused of neglect because I feed my children heart stopping cream, butter, and liver?

    Also, how many other children fed a standard American diet are tested for nutrient deficiencies in random cases of infant death? A mother whose child has spina bifida, is she charged with neglect? She may not be vegan but her diet certainly has a terribly deleterious effect. I see this not so much a vegan vs omnivore debate but a sign of the terrible ignorance we have in general regarding the proper feeding of ourselves and our children. I think that men of good will can have this debate, though legal action scares me.

  31. Interesting article and discussion. My hearts goes out to the parents who lost their baby, and I believe that no amount of state issued punishment will surmount to the pain they’re already in and will have for life.

    I may be overly simplifying things…but I believe that God created this planet with all of the things we need to be healthy. Animals, plants, etc. You don’t hear of major health issues in those that stick to the basics. Man made, processed, chemical added, and over/under eating and laziness are the things that make up the majority of health issues that lead to an early death. Debating “big brother” policies, and blaming the government for all of our problems is not going solve the problems we create for ourselves. Anything that is taken to any extreme is dangerous to our health. I think our society tends to overcomplicate things and usually in an effort to make money. As a parent, my goal is to make informed decisions and to watch out for extreme views and beliefs that are not tried and true…after all humans didn’t just arrive on this planet.

  32. This article is appalling and just plain insulting. Just because ONE mother was uneducated, stupid, or possibly had other health issues that may have led to unknown deficiencies does not mean that nursing mothers cannot follow a vegan diet. That is insane.
    So we are being neglectful if we aren’t giving our babies lots of animal proteins and hormones? Because modern science shows us that that’s really healthy, right?! Wow. Seriously?!
    When was this article written, 1950? SO ABSURD. People are clueless about what “vegan” means and what a healthy, well-rounded vegan diet consists of, clearly when you read the comments here you can see that. It’s this sort of ignorance that makes me feel sorry for people and I just have to laugh at their abundance of judgement and lack of education on the subject. I feel sorry for these parents who lost their child, and that they are being treated like criminals, when they are clearly misguided and did not do any research on what proper vegan nutrition consists of.
    I had an extremely healthy pregnancy, my traditional doctors, and later my midwives, were always very impressed with my bloodwork, I had a complication-free and wonderful home birth, and a baby who more than THRIVED on vegan breastmilk. My midwives would joke about how I should patent my breastmilk and sell it to make vegan superbabies. He became so huge and chunky and healthy on ONLY vegan breastmilk and people were blown away by how bright and happy he was.
    My son was a chubby, happy, healthy infant and now as a 26 month old vegan who still breastfeeds is a healthy happy boy who is in the 95th percentile for height and 75th percentile for weight. Articles like this show how any moron can get published on the internet, and people should take what they say with a grain of salt. Completely ridiculous.

    And was this seriously a question to anyone- of COURSE the mother’s diet affects the milk which affects the baby. How could anyone possibly not know that?!

  33. Meat-eaters also get B12 deficiency. It’s not a dietary issue. There are babies with meat-eating parents that die. But Sarah said babies of vegan parents should have zero infant mortality for it to be ok. That’s a double standard

    B-12 isn’t about diet. Meat eaters also get b12 deficiency. If a woman didn’t have enough b-12, she probably couldn’t carry a baby to term. And it takes years for a b-12 deficiency to develop. The baby was 11 months.(and died of pneumonia)

    prosecutors are lawyers and will say anything to manipulate the jury

    The importance of meat is a sociological belief. To see what’s natural, you’d have to look outside the “box”.

    Dr. Benjamin Spock, M.D.
    Dr. Dean Ornish
    Ben Franklin (on the $100 bill)
    Dr. Douglas Graham
    Dr. Mercola
    Neal Barnard, M.D.
    Michael Klaper, M.D.
    John A. McDougall, M.D
    Carl Lewis
    Betty White (88 – last remaining Golden Girl)
    Jay the Juiceman (89)

    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

      Dr. Mercola is NOT a vegan!! I am questioning your entire list at this point given the hilarity of listing Dr. Mercola. A friend of mine knows him personally, and he very much eats meat.

      It doesn’t matter if individuals are vegans .. there are no traditional cultures that ever were as they would have died out from inability to reproduce. Fat soluble vitamins from animal foods are required for healthy hormone function. I’m still waiting for a vegan to list one for me.
      Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist\’s last post: Grassfed Goes Gourmet

      • I’m sure there are a few- but one group I can name off the top of my head are some Aryan tribes in the Himalayas who have been living completely vegan for at least 5000 years (and still around and breeding).

        • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist
          Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist November 2, 2011 at 7:57 am

          Sources please? I’ve never found a single one. Most likely you are referring to a vegetarian population whose spiritual leader is perhaps vegan but he is unmarried and not expected to reproduce. The parents MUST ALWAYS eat animal foods or infertility is the result.

          • you keep saying this ridiculous idea that vegans cant reproduce and then ask people for SOURCES to say otherwise. how about if YOU list one? just so you know i have linked people to your article so they can laugh at how uneducated you are. and also so they can giggle at you way up there on your high horse THINKING you look smart. :D i know that is evil, and it wasnt my intent at first, but i keep thinking that you are JOKING when you make these insane comments. it is seriously good for a belly laugh! thank you for the entertainment!!!

          • p.s. people laughing has nothing to do with being vegan or not. it is the random “facts” thrown out and how a sad case of neglect and abuse got turned into an argument about veganism in the first place.

          • Look up the Hunza..stop asking for sources…look it up obviously are too lazy and have no desire to learn…hence your article is biased and tclosed minded..that is your problem. at least have an open mind…veganism is not a new trend..the first man and woman in the Garden of Vegan…or if you prefer the apes!

          • I can’t figure out if you are lying to be simply confrontational, or if you really believe this….I have 4 children and I’ve been vegan since I was 19. They are beautiful and healthy.

  34. this is just my opinion and i could be wrong but i think fungal infections are to blame…am i wrong to think that vegans eat a lot of yeast and sugar? eating yeast, sugar and grains will get you unhealthy.. for more info i highly recommend checking out this info:

    • Some vegans might (through unhealthy food choices), but most vegans eat a lot less sugar at least than the standard meat eater (although this may not be true for Americans as they have more “vegan” junk food than other western countries). This is primarily because a lot of junk food (candy, crisps, heavily processed foods etc. ) are not vegan, so we don’t eat it. Other western countries also do not put sugar in bread and other basic staples like Americans do, so speaking from an Australian perspective- vegans don’t have anywhere near as much sugar in their diets. But from working in the US for two ski seasons- I noticed that there is a whole lot more vegan junk food available and most things that I would have considered to have been savouries in Australia or the UK, tasted sugary in America… So, you may be right about SOME American vegans (but I wouldn’t want to lump them all into the one basket as again, a lot of vegans are health concious and would try not to eat the vegan “junk” food or would eat it in moderation.)

      • That makes sense. I’m a fellow Aussie and being vegetarian tends to keep me out of fast food places since many of them sell literally nothing I can eat. If you’re really strict even the fries are often off the menu because of beef flavouring.

  35. I am curious about one thing in this sad story. I was not aware that, during autopsies, a persons vitamin intake is tested. Is this normal?

  36. I’d love to know why all the vegans act like they’re better than people that eat meat? Saying things like the only natural diet, ethical choice etc. More like a fashionable, trendy choice that you get to look down on people for no reason at all. I don’t care what you eat; I don’t know any of you people (obviously), but why do you feel the need to criticize others?

    • I’m not criticising you. The vegan’s here appear only to be defending their choices against those who are criticising them – I think you have it around the wrong way.

      Perhaps I should criticise- as I do think my food choices are more ethical than a non-vegans. Not wanting to harm animals when there is no nutritional need (yes, that’s right) to do so and wanting to be healthy- is not a bad thing – or do you see being peaceful as bad?

      And is not “fashionable” or “trendy”- vegans have been around for a long time. We’re just more noticible now with modern technology.

  37. Hi Sarah,

    Excellent article. I have always wondered about vegans. You would think that if they run a vitamin B 12 deficiency that they would come to the conclusion that their diet is not a good one. I don’t understand them. In any event, this is a tragedy. And I am with you. I would not prosecute the parents but I would educate them so as to avoid this problem in the future.

    One thing I want to mention…when I gave birth to my son, he was early and so I had to express my milk and then feed him with a little tube. I would store my milk in the hospital nursery fridge. There were a few other new moms who had to do this too. I was shocked at the variation in the color of the breast milk. One or two of us had very yellow milk, while others had pale yellow milk, and still others white milk. While I was pregnant I craved butter, meat, etc. I did not yet know about WAP and Sally Fallon but I followed my intuition and ate what I craved. (I also have a great mom…86 and in fabulous health…who NEVER ate anything but full-fat food and advised me to do the same.). Interestingly, my milk was very yellow.

    Unfortunately, I did not produce a lot of milk. I was 40…and later found out I had a blood disease that even made it difficult to carry a full term pregnancy let alone produce breast milk…so I needed to supplement my son’s milk. (He’s my miracle baby!) I thought about the milk bank thing but ruled against it as I just had a general uncomfortableness with the idea.

    At that time I discovered Sally Fallon’s book. It was a lot for me to digest and am only now – years later – fully trying to incorporate ALL of it into our lives. But I did take the section on homemade formula to heart. I want to share with your readers that even if you can’t follow the recipe to the letter, it’s still worth doing. It did provide good nutrition for my son. He grew and developed beautifully. He is tall and slime but with a strong physique and a wide face with great teeth. Almost 13 years old now and never a cavity or ear infection. From the days of his infanthood, I have continued him on cod liver oil and butter oil. He does get sick now and again (as a matter of fact he has a summer cold right now) but overall he has excellent health – better than his peers – and no allergies. So although it can be hard for some of us moms to accept that we may not be able to make enough milk, Sally Fallon has provided us a wonderful alternative.



    • most folks today have B12 deficiencies..has nothing to do with being vegan. y doctor told me their is a run on B12 and her pts, except me, are NOT vegan! do some research

  38. As an educated vegan mother of a thriving 13 month old, I have to say that this author is probably leaving out important details in the child’s death. Firstly, it’s a tragedy and denouncing all people who consume a certain diet is too extreme. The author obviously doesn’t know much about nutrition.
    I breastfeed my son on demand still and he eats solids. I had a check up a few weeks ago and my doctor said that my health was perfect; I’m not deficient in anything.
    So many of these comments are absolutely ridiculous. There’s nothing wrong with being vegan.

    • Happy Crazy Mama March 30, 2012 at 12:22 pm


      The MAIN problem was the ‘lack of solid food’, which caused malnutrition. I think we ‘sensible mothers’ know when to introduce solid food to our infants, but not later than ELEVEN MONTHS after the baby’s birth.

      Putting the blame (mainly) on the VEGAN part is unfair, although I love eating meat myself, and support breastfeeding as much as I can.

      Be it SOLELY feeding the eleven-month-old baby with formula milk, or milk of a mother omnivore mother, the baby would still be starving and suffer from malnutrition, obviously, if not dead now……

  39. Pingback: Vegetable over Meat « betweensy

  40. This is the most ridiculous article I have ever read. I’ve been eating a healthy, balanced vegan diet for years now. I know countless vegan families with healthy, thriving babies and children. The United Nations, Dr. Benjamin Spock, former president Bill Clinton, and countless other prominent people and organizations all hail a plant-based diet as essential to our livelihood as a species. Articles like this come around every now and then with biased, incorrect information and vegan families, and it makes me wonder who is really behind them, because there is conclusive proof (found in books like The China Study) that prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that living vegan is the best thing we can do for our health, for the animals, and for our world.
    Animal products are laden with saturated fat, cholesterol, and become carcinogenic when
    heated. This is really and truly a rare instance where someone wasn’t eating a balanced diet, regardless of it being vegan or not. For more info, visit The Physicians Committee for
    Responsible Medicine, -Lindsay Wolf, founder of

  41. Actually as a practicing doctor I can tell you that being a vegan mother and breastfeeding doesn’t actually in and of itself cause malnutrition in infants. In fact there are numerous cases of malnutrition deaths in ‘meat eating’ mothers every year. Call your local child services to find out. It isn’t a particular diet that is to blame, its a lack of vigilance. So ANY diet can cause malnutrition, not just vegan, but a meat eating diet as well. And for the record there are numerous plant based foods that provide a large helping of Vitamin A, Vitamin b12 and it is more then possible to have a healthy diet on just plant matter without supplements. Supplements just make the diet easier to maintain.

  42. Here via Cracked. Nice job being a total nutjob! It gave me a good laugh at least.

    (In case you’re wondering why you’re getting so much traffic, you were linked!)

        • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist
          Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist October 4, 2011 at 6:19 pm

          On that point we most definitely agree. The parents were definitely whack jobs .. obviously sucked in by the cult of veganism which tragically resulted in the death of their baby because they couldn’t observe the obvious .. their baby wasn’t growing or thriving on the nutritionless breastmilk of the poor mother.

          • I don’t want to get heated, offensive, or arguementive but you’re generalizing all vegans based on the decisions of people we are all aware are total whacks. The baby was thin and sickly because it was riddled with diseases due to the parents ignoring doctors advice for things they learned in a book. I just don’t think it’s right for you to attack all vegans based on the actions of 2 idiots. Attack the parents all you want, but they are a singular, outstanding case that bears no connection to anybody else.

          • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist
            Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist October 4, 2011 at 8:31 pm

            I see your point but I don’t feel I am generalizing. The child may very well have died even if not sick. Breastmilk from vegan mothers is inferior to the breastmilk of omnivore mothers. The sickness perhaps hastened the inevitable as these parents weren’t feeding any solid foods and this child was subsisting on nutritionless breast milk that was not allowing growth or development in any way.

          • BOOM! That has to be the most level-headed comment on this page! congrats! (in all seriousness) You involved every element of the story; idiocracy, a diet that wasn’t correctly supplemented, actual fact, and you acknowlegded another’s view! And I looked back and I was wrong, you haven’t been attacking vegans, that was everyone else, my bad, I apologize.

          • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

            One good friend that I care very much about happens to be a vegan. I have nothing against vegans personally even though I regularly bash this manner of eating on this blog as it can lead to nothing but ill health in the long run. If someone wants to make themselves ill eating this way that’s fine, but when a child dies because of it, that is really bad which was my motivation for writing this post in the first place.
            Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist\’s last post: Peanut Butter Swirl Ice Cream (Dairy Free)

          • How long is the “long run”- I’m still waiting to get ill from being a vegan. I’m 32 and have been vegan for 18 years and vegatarian before that (I’m actually horribly allergic to dairy- it’s like ingesting poison). I’m fit and healthy. I also know quite a few well-read lifelong vegans who come from a line of vegans- they all seem to be flourishing with good health- perhaps we’re just flukes huh, or living off the stores of the wild boar consumed by our great great great grandparents?

          • Dairy is not poison. It meerly gives some people gas, say like SOY BEANS do.

            However it has long been a debating tactic among those without “a logic” to stand on to accuse the other side of the sins of which your side is guilty.

            We see this tactic at play here when those (in their words) poor, persucuted Vegans say they are pulled from pillow to post by us nasty and crual omnivors. It is the Vegans who do all the pulling, disapproving and looking down on. AMW, just wolf down a cheese burger with all the fixings, it’ll improve your outlook on life.

          • In a recent census, countries with the highest rate of osteoporosis were United States, England, Sweden & Finland. Countries with the highest consumption of milk? United States, England, Sweden & Finland – in that order. Coincidence? Well no, because the fact is that any acidic diet is unhealthy. Dairy is extremely acidic. So acidic, the body leaches nutrients out from the bones to balance the PH. Strong bones come from calcium – not dairy. In fact, broccoli has far more calcium than milk. And broccoli won’t summons things like hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, type I diabetes, and lupus.
            So uh, yeah, dairy is pretty poisonous … perhaps more to some than others … oh and, if it’s not organic, it indubitably contains puss. Heard that from a milk farmer myself and further researched it.

          • There are many studies that have shown a few of these things, however, many are suppressed or similar results avoided by the meat and dairy industry. Dr. John Mcdougall would be a good place to start.

          • Think about it. I’d like to hear from the mother’s doctor, and the babies pediatrician. I would certainly hope that both of them knew she consumed a vegan diet. If she is going to be charged with neglect, so should both her doctors. This problem starts with the training of doctors, how many doctors do you know that are TAUGHT ABOUT NUTRITION?

          • Keith, you have obviously never known someone with actual lactose intollerance. If you are actually badly lactose intollerant, dairy products do not just cause gas! It causes you to poo yourself.

          • AMW- but you may not have started out completely vegan? (I am asking- not telling). Not all people start out vegan- most (not all) start out life eating some type of meat products, and later make a conscience decision to become vegan. (Correct me if I am wrong- this is my personal observation.) It could have been (with this woman’s life and her baby) that there was a deficiency with her milk is all. The baby could have had problems digesting properly within it’s own body. I do feel for this mom. Personally- I bf’d y oldest for 4/5 months, and then he went to formula and solid foods along with breast milk. (This was because he was eating more than I was producing- and I produced a lot- I also worked, so was unable to keep up the pace that way. He is actually the only one who doesn’t get sick- and our family are omnivores. I make sure my children eat more veggies than meats, but they still eat both.

          • You have still entirely avoided the requests of at least three people for evidence to support your claims, so I am going to assume that you cannot. But if you might consider this again, here is my original request “Can you please cite the evidence, grey literature or actual studies that support your statement “breast milk from vegan mothers is inferior to the breast milk of omnivore mothers” and “.. this child was subsisting on nutritionless breast milk…” I am very interested to see the scientific proof to substantiate your comments. Thank you!”

          • I’ve heard about a lot of vegan cases where the baby dies so most vegans don’t take self responsibility in what they eat. A lot of babies come out mentally retarded because of vegan parents which I’ve heard from some professionals. The dietary cholesterol which you can only get from meat, dairy, fish, and eggs from the fatty portions of those foods also have a lot of important factors for the babies’ growth. Veganism isn’t healthy and people that follow that lifestyle are very unhealthy mentally and physically. It also slows down your brain and they can be very incompetent and slow because they aren’t getting the dietary cholesterol and many other nutrients. Dietary cholesterol speeds up the brain synapses so you can think at a much greater rate. If a person is one of the rare vegans that are actually intelligent there’s a thousand people in their class of intelligence that are far above them because those people eat meat. Vegans tend to give up at their level and are very mediocre at that level even if they have a “reputation” of being good at that subject which they aren’t if you notice all of the flaws and inaccuracies of how they think which is just common sense stuff they don’t get.

          • Yes, I would like to see an actual study comparing milk samples. People keep asking to see the evidence but none is forthcoming.

          • I would guess there was evidence at their trial- but no one is presenting a case here, so no one is going to provide evidence, this is all opinion.

          • Surely, you hold many degrees in medicine and nutritional science to boast such an ignorant claim as that.

          • It seems to me that these vegan parents were very likely well-intentioned and loved their child. I do not believe they should be criminally charged as losing a child is punishment enough. However, it is obvious that their judgement was greatly impaired and that is ultimately what brought about such a tragic result. I can attest to the vegan diet being insufficient as there was a period of time that I ate vegan. My own judgement was greatly impaired as it can be anytime one is deficient in certain nutrients. While I seemed quite healthy in many other ways (lost weight, had decent energy, etc.), I now realize that some of the detrimental effects of a poor diet are not always so obvious. I think Lierre Kieth makes great points when she talks about how a vegan diet can greatly effect one’s judgement and mental health. Also, I noticed someone on here said that Weston A. Price promoted vegetarian diets, but can we just clarify that vegetarian and vegan are very different nutritionally. I know of no high performing athlete that has thrived as a vegan, but plenty live as vegetarians– that consume dairy, eggs and even fish. Anyway, just thought that needed to be pointed out.

          • I would normally agree with you Sally. However Vegans tend to make such a$$e$ out of themselves by preaching how their ethics, lifestyles, or morals are superior that I think that in this case they need to thrown the book at this pair to serve as an example to others. By making this unfortunate pair pay the highest possible price under the law for their foolishness, perhaps other children may escape a similar fate.

            Besides, people with a Vegan world view are always making foolish statements about wanting to see humans become extinct etc. The parents of this poor child would be a good place to start decimating the human race. Make em, either put up or shut up. This child’s parents tortured it for 11 long months. Even that 20 year old crazy A hole in Connecticut didn’t force his shooting victims to suffer so long.

          • There is nothing foolish about following a more compassionate lifestyle..Open your mind and stop making sweeping claims. It seems to be that vegans are the ones who always have meat shoved in their faces!! meat is everywhere! ads etc…so who is being brainwashed here?

          • Questions Everything May 23, 2013 at 8:08 am

            I disagree. Most Vegans, and Vegetarians, are horribly misinformed about their health. Just look at all the logical fallacies in ‘modern nutritional science.’ The myth that eating a high fat diet causes diabetes. I have no clue where this came from, but you read about it everywhere. However, it simply isn’t true, as you can learn from just about any High School Biology text book. Saturated fats and animal proteins break down in our bodies as fatty acid chains and proteins. These are essential for a body to function, and don’t spike Insulin levels. However, then you have the ‘informed’ nutritionists and doctors claiming to base your diet on grains. These empty carbohydrates break down as simple sugar (which in high enough amounts in your blood is toxic) and this spikes your body’s insulin. Since blood sugar is toxic, your body tries to get rid of it first, causing the rest of the calories you consume to be stored as body fat. And oh yeah, those high insulin levels, they tend to be what leads to diabetes. Who was it on here that said we need to listen to ‘Doctors and Nutritionists’ instead of bloggers? Cause they don’t know jack. Some of us actually paid attention in science class. Our bodies run most efficiently on fats, supplimented with simple, natural sugars like those found in things like apples, and other fruits and veggies, and the only animal EVOLVED to handle eating grains? Birds. Not people.

          • Your so right, hence the protein diets, I’m diabetic and there are not alot of foods on a vegan diet that are recommended for diabetics, lots of vegetables, like carrots have a ton of carbs in them and “most” fruits are incredibly high in sugar. I am at my healthiest when I stick with a low carb, high protein diet that has mostly low fat meat like fish and chick at it’s core. I love fruits and vegs but i have to eat everything in moderation. Also do beans and nuts, avacados not have protein in them, is there not foods that a vegan could eat that have protein. I think if your going to do this kind of diet then be better informed.

          • Very interesting as I have heard of a handful of people
            who had gotten rid of their diabetes by going on a balance vegan diet.

          • The amount of truly unhealthy, pale, deficient vegans suffering for their moral choice is fairly astounding.

            Punishing their body on the alter of anti meat hipsters.

          • Anti-meat hipsters? Wow how ill informed are you?

            Also, just as a said point, all the vegans I know are very healthy

          • Oh my goodness. Where are these Vegan making these foolish statements about wanting humans to become extinct. This is the most absurd statement ever. That is like saying Christians are against medicine because god should heal them!

          • Sorry, egg is not a vegetable. If somebody eats an egg and fish, he’s not a vegetarian.

          • Jennifer Muirhead May 23, 2013 at 5:59 am

            No, vegetarians don’t eat meat. Eggs might not be a vegetable, but they aren’t meat, just an animal product, like dairy or honey (unless the egg is fertilised, which commercially produced ones usually aren’t).

          • Should we assume there have been no healthy babies raised on the breast milk of a vegan mother? That is highly suspect. It seems on odd case and I would imagine there’s more to it.

          • Vegan breast milk is the best for babies with a long, herbivorous digestive tract, like ours. If you say it’s better by eating animals, then you are saying that animals are the only creatures capable of digesting and converting plants into bio-available minerals and nutrients…so the only way to get those is by eating the animals… who ate those plants. Then why do you need to eat plants too? Do you believe people began on this earth trying to gnaw their way through raw flesh with flat teeth? Or do you believe fire randomly sparked and they knew how to cook? LOL

          • Humans have been using tools and fire for quite awhile. There are people that eat raw meat right now. Humans can handle raw meat. Using tools to help cut is perfectly logical. Also humans on the ocean could have gathered sea creatures that weren’t all that hard to eat.

            Opening oyster shells and that sort of thing would be possible. Even monkeys will use rocks to do things. Ample seafood is available with simple tools.

            The herbivorous animals all derive most of their energy from short chain fatty acids converted in their digestive tract from fiber and other plant matter. Our digestive tracts do not have the capacity to do this. If we eat a large amount of plants we end up with a ton of energy from carbohydrates not fats.


            The whole video is good but starting at 3:30 is the Herbivore SFA explanation.

            We are not naturally herbivorous as we don’t have the capacity to do this conversion to enough of an extent to provide most of our energy needs.

            We can get most of them from carbohydrates, but considering all the other animals don’t work that way I find it highly unlikely that we are different than every single other one.

            Carnivores eat mostly meat with fat and get most of their energy from fat and use protein for rebuilding the many things in the body which need amino acids. Herbivores eat mostly plants, but the plants are converted to short chain fatty acids resulting in a majority of their energy coming from short chain fatty acids.

            Gorilla’s cows etc…

          • No where in this article did I see any mention that the child was being soley breast-fed with absolutely no other nutrition being given to the child. If that’s the case, then it wasn’t the breast feeding that was the problem. It was the fact that the parents weren’t properly feeding their child and making sure it was properly nourished.

          • When I see things like “exclusively breasted” to me, that means no formula or bottles.

          • The article mentions a deficiency in two area’s: B12 and Vit A.

            B12 and Vit A are not the ONLY nutrients in breastmilk so saying that her milk was ‘nutritionless’ (not that that’s even a word) is misleading, nay, LYING.

            There is more to this story that you have conveniently left out. Not to mention that this article was sponsored by a formula company.

            ‘Healthy Home Economist’:
            There is nothing healthy or economical about formula, so the fact that you are writing an article sponsored by an organization with a vested interest in decreasing breastfeeding rates in order to increase it’s profits is a huge conflict of interest. I know for a fact that you were approached with a host of information on why your article is a lie, and you chose to ignore it.

            I hope you enjoy your pay check from WAPF.

          • Can you please cite the evidence, grey literature or actual studies that support your statement “breast milk from vegan mothers is inferior to the breast milk of omnivore mothers” and “.. this child was subsisting on nutritionless breast milk…” I am very interested to see the scientific proof to substantiate your comments. Thank you!

          • Can you please give research supporting the statement about quality of breastmilk?
            In India we have a very special diet for breastfeeding mothers. Has that research taken into account these vegetarian practices or just the uninformed newly vegan American subjects?

    • linked to many places!! all sent here to laugh at the insanity of her answers and things she is quoting as “facts”. has nothing to do with people being vegan or not, as many non vegans are getting just as much fun out of reading this now too. :D

  43. I’m a 35 year old vegan mother of two, I was raised vegan, my parents are vegan and so are my grandparents. I breastfed both of my children, I have never been deficient in nutrients, in fact my doctor who was initially outraged that I was a vegan is amazed at how healthy I was throughout my entire pregnancies. During my pregnancy the only supplements that I took were prenatal vitamins. My children are both healthy and happy and in the 95th percentile for their age and are rarely ill.

  44. One last chance to have a mini-rant before I log off.
    When I’ve been criticised for being a vegan, it has not been because I have been sick, unhealthy or deficient in anything (becasue I haven’t been), it has just been some meat-eater who thinks that by me not eating and living the way they do, that I am somehow having a go at them. What’s more, is the people who tend to have the go at me are fat/obese, lazy and/or unhealthy- it is sometimes hard not to laugh at them, I surely don’t want to be like them. I’ll take my healthy fit self over their cholesterol ridden couch potato selves any day.

    I have noticed that the fitter/healthier version of meat-eaters are not so judgmental of vegans, they themselves see the benefits of reducing their consumption of animal products and junk food in general. I still have respect for those meat-eaters (even if I don’t agree with all of their food choices- it is possible to agree to disagree and leave it at that).

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  49. >Assinine attacks on veganism (THE most natural diet; nature’s intent) are frustrating.

    if you really believe that humans aren’t supposed to be omnivores, well, then you’re too stupid to help.

  50. Sarah, I don’t think you are rude or condescending. I think people are just scared to find out the lifestyle they have been living all these years, may actually harm them. It puts them on the attack! And by the way people, I actually somewhat dislike the way meat, eggs, dairy taste! I’ve only recently in the past year started forcing myself to eat more of it, after reading “Nourishing Traditions.” I’ve suffered with depression, and low energy since I was a small child, and definitely think it was my low fat, little meat, no eggs, little milk diet!! Keep speaking the hard truth! You are my favorite health blogger!!

  51. It would behoove you to get your facts straight before making such gross assumptions.
    Your “clear message” is actually not clear at all, it’s just a figment of your unfortunate imagination.
    According to an article (one where research was actually conducted): “’The couple did not follow the doctor’s advice to hospitalize the baby who was suffering from bronchitis and was losing weight when they went for the nine-month check-up,” Mr. Daquo said.’” The couple decided to use a natural means to treat their baby. Unfortunately, the story ends very sadly.

  52. There are a variety of diets that can be healthy and appropriate for pregant women and their infants. I am a pregnant vegan (11 years) and plan to raise my child an ovo-lacto vegetarian. Neither my midwife or the pediatrician who will see the baby after birth are concerned about me being vegan because they have taken the time to talk to me about how I ensure that I have the appropriate nutrition daily. I think that it is important for vegans, vegetarians and omnivores who are pregnant and nursing to take precautions to be sure that they are getting enough vitamins. Prior to getting pregnant I had blood tests run to be sure that I was not deficient in any nutrients including vitamin A, K, iron, and B-12. I eat many fortified foods and take a vegan prenatal vitamin approved by my doctor. One of my good friends is struggling with B-12 deficency but she is a meat eater. She was told by her doctor that B-12 deficiency is very common and easily solved by taking a vitamin. She recently began taking a vegan B-12 sublingual and is now doing just fine. All pregnant and nursing moms need to be serious about providing good nutrition to their little ones and should consult their doctors about appropriate nutrition.

  53. you know. i laugh at people that are vegetarians. I eat animals. What do animals do? They fart. What does farting do? Kill the ozone. What do plants do? Plants make the air breathable. So the vegetarians are killing the world. im eating the problem and they are eating the solution.

  54. I am a vegetarian. I was not a vegetarian when I breast fed my 3 children. Each and every one of them started eating solids of some sort by the time they were 5 months old. The parent being a vegan was not the problem. The problem was that 1. She did not take the necessary supplements to accomodate herself and her baby, 2. She must not have been seeing a pediatrician and having the baby monitored for health on a regular basis (post natal check ups I think they’re called) 3. She must not have given her baby the opportunity to try a variety of solids baby foods (cooked or mashed and vitamised of course). Please do not knock vegans or vegetarians for the neglect or ignorance of one set of parents. People are vegan or vegetarian for a variety of reasons – mostly to do with not wanting to take the life of an innocent animal or condone it’s pitiful existence or cruel slaughter. I am sure that they would not have intentionally caused the same to their own child.

  55. sucks for the baby, sucks for the mother

    but everyone (personally im an avid meat eater) just eat what you want, and do NOT try to make me eat what you eat just because it’s morally superior, IT IS NOT! if I want a salad ill eat the salad! if i want a huge steak you best believe ill kill the cow myself to get it.


    • True that !

      I really cant stand when people said vegan is natural/nature intent. If my teeth can still chop off meat and so I will.

      And not all natural things are good anyway. This vegan lifestyle look more and more like a religion from my point of view. And this article proof that this is not the best lifestyle anyway. You will die no matter what you eat. Have a common sense and see, it’s not about what you eat but about the quality of your food.

      So keep it balanced between meat and veggie, dont over consume, have a happy life and die.

  56. My sister lives in France and has had two girls there. With the first child she was a vegen and a practicing buddhists, and a very well educated one. Her doctor, as EVERY doctor in france, told her in the fist couple of months of that first pregnancy that she could not stay on her diet and that she would HAVE to start introducing some meat into her diet. ALL doctors (especially in france) talk to expecting mothers about this. Her doctor was very respectful of her beliefs and also that her body was not used to meat, so talked to her about how to safely introduce this into her diet. Her doctor also talked to her about when it would be a safe time to start her children on a vegan diet later in life. My sister changed her diet because like any sane person, she understands that ideology can’t always give you what you need in life (almost all mothers need to dramatically change their diets and life for the safety of their children). She still eats small amounts of meat, and so do her two daughters. I respect the vegan diet, it’s a choice, so is drinking alcohol. But just as the logic of not drinking when you are pregnant, doesn’t mean that drinking when your not, is a bad thing. Nor does trying to use this case to establish proof that vegan diets are unhealthy simply because it is hard during and after pregnancy. I have never met, or know a vegan that does not know this information just as much as the rest of us know about smoking, drugs, and alcohol. This woman KNEW this information and decided to put her baby at risk, unfortunately she, and her baby, paid the ultimate price. She should be on trial, not the vegan community.

    BTW, you should al read this before you try and protect this couple.

    • I live in the United States, and here it IS okay to be vegetarian while pregnant and while breast feeding. There are a whole bunch of people who have done so and their babies are perfectly healthy. Maybe your county isn’t informed enough(:

  57. I hate to bring this to all of your attention, but neither Vegan, Vegetarian nor Meat ( Animal ) based diets are perfect. Both should have some kind of vitamin supplement for things they’re missing. Sadly, you guys are like Macintosh users versus the PC users in a community where one side things they’re better than the other and can never agree to disagree and move on. This is a sad thing that has happened here and you all are putting your personal views and opinions of each other above what has happened instead of discussing what really should have been done to prevent this.

    There is NO such a thing is the PERFECT diet! Get that out of your heads now. I have a friend who almost died not long ago, because of his immune system was not properly sustained through his diet. Care to guess what his diet is? Well I wont go and tell you because it would end up with you throwing it back at me not knowing what I’m talking about. Well I’m completely opposite of him in terms of Dietary status. He’s been trying to get me to change but nothing he puts up as an argument for and why levels out to any better than what I’m doing.

    Why? Because I do monitor what I eat, I do pay attention to things in my diet. Anyone that doesn’t is a fool. If you think your so called perfect view based on your own diet can’t cause you problems, think again. Any diet can cause severe health issues if not properly maintained, it doesn’t matter what you choose it matters how you maintain it. He failed to maintain a part of his diet and it almost cost him a lot more than he bargained for.

    I don’t wish this on anyone, but sitting here on a site pointing fingers, calling foul, trying to say that this group of people is attacking us over this group’s way of life versus mine is a load of bs that you can shovel some place else. Problem I see is everyone has their reasons for and why and their opinions on the matters vary. You can either say ok, I agree with you or take the Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert approach and one of you go thumbs up and the other thumbs down and move the heck on!

    Almost as bad as people discussing religion and politics, none of them can ever agree on anything and they’re always right everyone else is always wrong. Sheesh!

  58. I am a strict Lacto-Vegetarian (Vegan+Cow’s Milk+Honey). There is absolutely nothing wrong in being Vegetarian/Vegan. Pregnant women and mothers with infants need a “different” sort of vegetarian diet than just routine office-goer vegetarian diet. In India, there are special vegetarian snacks and some diet methods especially during -1 year to +2 years of child birth and these methods are being traditionally/religiously prescribed for more than 5000 years and malnutrition won’t happen if strictly followed. The cause in this article’s case could have been the “style” of vegan/vegetarianism which hasn’t evolved for that particular climatic conditions and NOT the vegan/vegetarianism itself. Yes, Western school of medicine attribute veg diet to lack of B12, Hemoglobin etc.. but it is not the complete reality, it is just a perspective of the “English Medicine” ( that’s what we Indians call non-Ayurvedic school of medicine as).

  59. I am a strict Lacto-Vegetarian (Vegan+Cow’s Milk+Honey). There is absolutely nothing wrong in being Vegetarian/Vegan. Pregnant women and mothers with infants need a “different” sort of vegetarian diet than just routine office-goer vegetarian diet. In India, there are special vegetarian snacks and some diet methods especially during -1 year to +2 years of child birth and these methods are being traditionally/religiously prescribed for more than 5000 years and malnutrition won’t happen if strictly followed. The cause in this article’s case could have been the “style” of vegan/vegetarianism which hasn’t evolved for that particular climatic conditions and NOT the vegan/vegetarianism itself. Yes, Western school of medicine attribute veg diet to lack of B12, Hemoglobin etc.. but it is not the complete reality, it is just a perspective of the “English Medicine” ( that’s what we Indians call non-Ayurvedic school of medicine as).

  60. The trick to a healthy diet is moderation and exercise. Simple. The vegan mother in the article didn’t balance her diet with the proper vitamins, nutrition, etc. Nothing wrong with being vegan or vegetarian or meat eating, as long as you’re eating right, organic, good quality food and balancing it out. I understand the ethical argument, but organic meat is different from McRibs.

  61. I’m vegan, and I’m not deficient in anything. I’ve been tested. But I pay very close attention to my diet and which vitamins I take. She clearly didn’t, which is inexcusable. Vegans and meat eaters alike need to do this when they are having/breastfeeding a baby. She neglected this necessary step, and it led to her baby’s death, but not because she was vegan. It is because she was irresponsible and couldn’t do it in a healthy way. There are many healthy babies born to vegan mothers, but these mothers make sure they get proper nutrition, as everyone should. It also strikes me as odd that she didn’t notice something was wrong until it was too late. Think about it logically. There are other things at work here besides veganism, such as total disregard for proper nutrition when it is most important.

  62. Happy Crazy Mama March 30, 2012 at 11:58 am

    The reason of the baby’s deficiency of the needed nutrients is NOT ‘vegan’ mother, nor ‘breastfeeding’!!!

    The reason of the baby’s death is, in simplest words, ‘starvation’!!!
    When a baby reaches SIX MONTHS old, she can no longer SOLELY depend on milk (whether it is formula or real milk from mother); instead, she has to start consuming SOLID food, in a progressive way, of course.

    By ELEVEN months, if a baby is only fed with MILK, *starvation* occurs not for no reason.

    By saying this, I would like to point out that the focus of this report has been shifted, from the REAL (major) cause of the problem.

  63. Many of the responses I’ve read have been wrong, so I just stopped reading them quite honestly. Most health professionals know that the key to good nutrition is a balanced diet. That means eating vegetables, fruits, grains, dairy, and meats/poultry. Everyone should limit their intake of sugars, oils and fats. It’s about balance, and what works for one person may not work for another. If you choose to not eat a balanced diet, and eliminate animal products, you have to take supplements and consult with a physician. Just because you consume animal products, though, does not mean you are healthy. Many Americans fail to eat leafy veggies, lean meats, etc and require supplements too. So there’s not to say that the vegan diet is any better or worse, but it isn’t a “balanced” diet. And people should stop using words like “natural” and “Standard American diet”. These words aren’t regulated and there really isn’t must truth to them! The fact of the matter is that human beings need to eat certain foods because our bodies just don’t make certain vitamins and minerals. If you choose not to eat those foods, or the wrong amounts of those foods, you’re putting yourself at risk. Live with it and stop pointing fingers! And when it comes to parenting, you really should strive to feed your child a well-rounded diet so that they can get off to a healthy start until they are physically capable and mature enough to make their own lifestyle decisions.

  64. I would like to point out that according to this article there is no indication that, while the baby may have “suffered” from deficiencies in those nutrients, those deficiencies were the cause of death. I’m saying this from a neutral stand point, and I would really like to know what exactly was the cause of death.
    It is difficult to remain objective while discussing emotionally charged subjects, however we must do so if we hope to ever learn from our mistakes.

  65. I agree that state intervention and punishment is adding insult to injury in this distressing time of losing a child. The story does serve as a warning of the worst case consequences of malnutrition in infants due to malnutrition of a nursing mother. Cases such as this happen all the time in countries with severe famine, but in a country where food is abundant it raises questions over choice in our diet. We have so much choice of food and yet choose to eat the wrong things in many cases, but most mothers usually completely change when pregnant and nursing to accommodate for the needs of their baby. This is a sad example of not doing that. I am not anti-vegetarian, but I do believe that parents are responsible for a child’s nutrition and should not choose to deprive them due to their own morality.

  66. Vitamin B12 is formed in bacteria – vegans used to have no issue getting this when we ate straight from the ground and didn’t use so many herbicides and pesticides and be so obsessive about cleaning our fruit and veges.
    Meat eaters have such good B12 levels because meat is full of bacteria and the animals they eat have good levels because the a feed on pastures which they poo on – meaning bacteria!

    The issue is not that there are no non-animal sources of B12, the issue is that our food production and prep these days is too clean and steralized. Vegans know to take suppliments for this reason, and this shouldnt have happened.

    • I find it hilariously funny that Vegans and mill-run-vegetarians are always railing against one form of civilized modern amenities or the other. Why if they can’t savage GMOs or other modern farming practices their heads would explode. Yet the very Vegan-Enviro-Vegetarianism lobby that preach the loudest against “Chemicals” in our food, are the very group who would drop dead first without so called NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS (Hidden chemicals) lurking in their Franking food.

  67. Sarah writes, “Breastmilk from vegan mothers is inferior to the breastmilk of omnivore mothers.” I find this statement severely disturbing on numerous levels. The most disturbing being the lack of inclusion of any scientific evidence to support ANY statement made by Sarah, actually by anyone, thus far. I fear people may be relying on you, Sarah, for information and you have grossly misinformed everyone who has read this blog and your comments hereto. By providing nutritional guidance, which you have attempted to do in many of your replies to comments, you have a moral obligation to provide accurate information, as opposed to simply spouting your “beliefs”. But have no fear half-ass blogger. Much to my dismay, I have done the legwork for you. I have provided you with a link to Debra S. Penney’s scientific study, “Nutritional Counseling for Vegetarians During Pregnancy and Lactation”, published in the Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health Jan-Feb, 2008, vol 53(1), Pages:44. I have provided a link to the study below. If you are unable to access the study, it is an indication you do not have the creditionals to do so, which is also an indication you are lacking of the credentials to provide opinions for, or give advice to, anyone regarding nutrition.

  68. Moneer Abdullah April 2, 2012 at 5:09 pm


  69. Most vegans I have encountered act like members of an elitist, freak-cult. When someone eats a salad, you generally don’t see people act grossed-out or get all preachy about the treatment of vegetables or pesticides. However, eat a steak in front of a vegan and you’re in for a show, and a good lecturing!

    “they all seem to be flourishing with good health- perhaps we’re just flukes ”

    That’s probably because they are taking the suppliments necessary to sustain their _natural_ eating habits. Although I have yet to find the magical Suppliment Bush where I would acquire these additional vitamins and minerals if I were to live off the land, so to speak.

  70. I blame the doctor actually… knowing that the mother was vegan, they should have told her that she needs to supplement to have enough vitamins for her child. It isn’t her fault, she didn’t know that what she was doing was wrong. I was already told that being vegan while breastfeeding can be tricky because you don’t get enough vitamins, but the milk is actually a lot healthier than the milk of a mother who eats animal products. We didn’t originally eat animal products to begin with, we ate fruits and vegetables. I am currently breastfeeding, and my daughter has problems with acid reflex. Her pediatrician said that I should cut diary products from my diet to help with her acid reflex. So yes, it is plausible that vegan mothers have better breast milk. As I said, it isn’t her fault that the doctor wasn’t informed as to what vitamins were needed. She didn’t neglect her child, she was doing what she felt was right. They are going to charge her with neglect, yet CPS doesn’t take children from meth addicts. I was told in the hospital that they have seen many babies go home with mothers who tested positive for every drug in the book… and guess what? They still have their children. In my opinion, it is worse for your child to be alive and be a drug baby than it is for them to die when you were trying your best. The point is, at least this mother CARED enough to even breastfeed. Most would just give the baby formula. So how about you consider that before you say that she was a bad mom.

  71. Ummm….What this article neglects to offer is by whom this mother herself was charged with ‘neglect’ and by what authority and where it is in the world this occured….So Sarah, would this be too much to ask you to provide in your story?

    I offer little opinon on other people’s dietery habits as myself I eat just about everything which could be considered edible. Howerver this is maybe one of the hollow and opinionated articles I’ve ever read.

    • Yes, could you please site your sources? Where and when was this mother charged, and what, exactly, did her diet include? We need to know so many additional fact before we make all of these judgements… vegan or not!

  72. If anyone bothered to read the article to the end, you would see that the baby had been suffering from bronchitis and losing weight for 3 months. They had seen a doctor who referred them to the hospital, the parents refused, refused antibiotics, and instead made home remedies for the baby. The baby probably died due to complications of the bronchitis. If any one else has ever had a sick baby, then you should know that sick babies don’t like to eat….especially sick babies who can’t breathe very well.

    The parents vegan diet is, clearly, NOT to blame. The fact that they refused to seek treatment for a very sick little baby is. NEGLEGENT, yes, but not because they are vegan.

  73. I’d say the neglect came from failure to act. The mother MUST have known there was something wrong with her child prior to death.
    Both my pregnancies were vegan. My two children were born at 8 pound 9; and 10 pounds respectively. I gained 20 pound with both of them. There is certainly nothing wrong with their brains – l, and they are very healthy.
    However l have always made sure they have been monitored under a paediatrician.
    It just takes a little thought and research, if you want to do it right – and l expect the health of your children, and of yourself for the sake of your children, would be extraordinarily important to those concerned about their environments, the welfare of animals and their own nutrition.
    Just a side note, my gynaecologist has strongly recommended a home birth for my third child. The reason? Maternity wards in hospitals are being very much taken up with – not drug addicted, or alcoholic mothers (as l’d have thought_ – but obese mothers. These mothers are, according to him, giving birth to extremely malnourished, small babies – and the mother is suffering from many ailments herself. Both mother and baby are spending far longer in hospital than their healthier counterparts….My point? An irresponsible, negligent diet, is an irresponsible, negligent diet – regardless whether or not one chooses to eat meat.

  74. Hi

    I live in Europe where this happened and the case you mention was a neglect case which had many other aspects to it other than the parents being vegan. The baby was over 11 months and had not had solid foods introduced to the diet (usually a combination of breastmilk and solids are recommended from 6 months). The baby was suffering from bronchitus at 9 months old and a doctor advised she was taken to hospital, but the parents refused and tried their own alternative treatments at home instead. Their lawyer said: ‘”They preferred to use recipes [treatment] based on clay or cabbage poultices that they got from their books,” It was the fact they failed to get medical help when needed that led to the death of the baby NOT the fact she was breastfed. This led the bronchitus to develop into pneumonia which was the cause of death.
    Unfortunately the media has sensationalised this story to emphasise the alternative nature of the parents’ lifestyle and to raise controversy about breastfeeding. This has led the story to picked up by those who are anti-breastfeeding and anti-vegan.
    All parents need to follow medical advise if their baby is ill regardless of whether they are breastfed or fed artificially. It was the parents’ failure to do this which led to the tragedy.
    Tammy\’s last post: My Paleo philosophy

  75. I don’t want to take sides, but I thought I would share my story. I wanted to try a whole foods/ plant based diet. I did a lot of research before I started and made sure we would be getting adequate amounts of everything we needed. I bought beans and tofu and plenty of the other items that were suggested. Well, 2 weeks in and my 4 month old, breastfed son got horrible cramps and constipation… due to this diet. Apparently, the protein isn’t the same and a baby needs it. A lack of it can actually hinder brain development. The first thing I did was eat a hot dog. My baby is more important than my diet!

    • Well, did you REEAAALLY do it all? Did you take B12-supplement? Did you get DHA and EPA Omega3 (From algae oil)? Did you eat all the essential amino acids?

      There are no “right proteins”.. The fact you write this proves how little you know. The thing that matters is getting all the essential amino acids, which you can from a vegan diet as well.

  76. I’m not sure if this applies to vegans or just vegetarians but apparently in India people can get B12 by accidentally eating insects, rodent droppings and human manure which have ended up in their food. However because of human hygiene these sources of B12 aren’t as common.
    April\’s last post: Easy Fried Veggies and Egg Recipe

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  78. I have compiled statements from scores of well known docs around the world that a vegan diet for a baby/toddler is nothing short of child abuse. I learned it the hard way with my baby and her sick vegan mother. I will attempt to prove it as child abuse. I only need a judge or two to agree. All of the vegans I’ve come across seem to have very very low IQs. To lend a hand to them, child abuse is bad and is criminal.


  79. Pingback: Research that vegan diet is best and our ancestors were not big meat eaters - Page 4 | Mark's Daily Apple Health and Fitness Forum page 4

  80. “… vegans STILL think their diet is healthy — it’s unreal. It’s more of a religion …”

    This is true. I have never met or talked to a vegan who if the subject of their diet came up, did not get a faraway hypnotized look in their eyes, much like the look you see in the eyes of a devout serpent handling Christian fundamentalist. In fact Vegans remind me of Roy Moore the Alabama 10 Commandments judge more than they remind me of any moral vision shared by rational humans.

  81. I eat meat myself, so obviously I have no problem with meat-eaters… but seriously, meat eaters who condemn and criticize vegitarians/vegans have to be the lowest form of scum I have ever seen on an internet forum…….Don’t be mad that you dont have the inner strength to make the sacrafices these people make because they feel its wrong that an animal should die everytime they want to fill their belly……meat eating is a luxury…a luxury that can only be manifested by the death of an animal that wants to live……I applaud those who make sacrafices so that other creatures may live, plain and simple

  82. By your own ill chosen words you have reveled that you yourself are the “Lowest form of scum” easily equal to if not exceeding the scum you claim others are. But it is OK Vic, words like yours are what I expected. Thank you for confirming my faith in the Vegan community as well as exposing it to everyone for what it really is.

  83. To all of the folks who are pumping out facts, statistics, percentages–what have you. Back up. We don’t know the bottom line. At the end of the day, one study says one thing, while another perfectly credible one says another. Nor do we know every detail behind this story.

    It is very disappointing to see folks berate each other on here and embarrass themselves. Were are never going to agree with each other, so why in the world call each other names?

    I am a vegan, not your stereotypical kind, and I have three children who were born to me as a vegan, and raised so. We all have semi-annual check-ups with full blood screening and no one has ever been deficient in any nutrient. All of my children are ahead of the curve, are bright, growing well and perfectly healthy–and yes, I breastfed all of them. We don’t judge others by what they eat. That’s their choice. If my children were to decide to eat animal products one day, I wouldn’t love them any less, although I suspect they’d always keep their love of good food. I am very scrupulous about ensuring they have a balanced diet.

    Please, don’t lump all vegans into one pile. We’re not all the same, just as meat-eating people are not all the same.

    As far as this news story goes, please know that there are many, many factors we don’t know here in order to cast judgement. No parent would hold steadfast to starve their baby.

  84. Funny how if the baby of your average non-vegan parents dies of neglect, malnutrition, or similar vitamin deficiencies(which is still very possible as a meat-eater) you won’t see that on the news…

  85. There’s actually a great deal of research that supports reduced animal products in our “traditional American Diet.” It may not be for everyone, but there is an increasing amount of evidence that animal products are associated with higher levels of cancer, heart disease, metabolic disorders, and our nation’s growing problem with obesity. Veganism may be controversial, but the issues with our overconsumption of animal fats is hardly equivocal.
    Here are some sources:

    • Veganism is not controversial. The Vegans are the ones who create controversy because without controversy they would simply fade away, like fluatance . Besides, there is not one, I repeat NOT ONE speck of evidence that Veganism is any better for you than eating a balanced omnivore diet but there are dump trucks full of evidence that Vegans are less healthy. All the Vegans have provided in the way of proof are slicked up left wing web sights all of whom are either begging for money or sight each other’s supposed research, some also have a particular political axe to grind with some segment of the population. That is not proof, it however is proof that there is no proof to support the Vegan lifestyle..

      • Hi Keith, I beg to differ about the lack of evidence regarding the recommendations to reduce animal products, but it seems to me that you are not interested in science as much as you seem to have a political agenda or personal sensitivity to the idea of veganism so I won’t bother sharing the plethora of nutritional science literature that exists. I’m also not familiar with “fluatance” so I can’t comment on how that “floats away.”

        • I guess you think that a web sight named “” or “forks over knives.” like the two links you provided above, are an unbiased source of information? Web sights like these are only interested in mining the bank accounts of the gullible who have feelings of guilt over their diets or lifestyles. Veganism is just the same old New England Puritanism we all are familiar with, exemplified by interference in our lifestyles or else by busy body blue nose sexual repression. Vegans need something to make them feel superior over the rest of us and Veganism is that “thing“.

          • Like all religious extremist you continue to be so wrong that almost the whole world recognizes the error of your beliefs, and only remain silent out of the sense of embarrassment they feel towards you. But thank you anyway for proving the readers of this blog with further such proof that I am correct and that Veganism is a extremist religious fraud.

          • You are probably the most fun troll I have ever encountered. You’re welcome. I’m glad I could help you in your cause to instigate. I just had one question about the context of “religious extremist,” did you mean that to refer to “relating to or manifesting faithful devotion to an acknowledged ultimate reality or deity” or “scrupulously and conscientiously faithful.” Thanks for clarifying! Happy Thanksgiving!

          • I only meant to compare your words to an attempt on the part of vegans, and many if not most vegetarians to “convince” us that they alone are the legitimate guardians of our morals. They are out to make a living by skinning those who feel guilty about their diet. Veganism in other words is a combination of blue-nosed political ideas like Pat Buchanan’s tempered by Buchanan’s blue-nosed counterpart, Ingrid Newkirk.

      • You should read The China Study by Dr. T. Colin Campbell. It is the most extensive nutritional study, spanning 50 years, in which it shows the healthiest diet consists of no more than 10% of one’s diet coming from animal products.

        • SO? ! ? ! ? That’s what us omnivors do for Christ’s sake. Thats just another strike against the Vegans Christina.

  86. I did a quick internet search and there are shocking numbers of babies who died due to malnourishment. I can hardly believe it. While a good number of the articles are related to this particular case of a vegan mother, most of the others are non-vegan breastfeeding moms or non-breastfeeding moms. It doesn’t sound to me like there is a strong case for the veganism being to blame.

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  88. Are you aware of the fact that Weston A Price actually advocated a vegetarian diet? Not to mention, a properly planned vegan diet can and does provide for the necessary nutrients, even b12 and Vitamin A. A diet of french fries, oreos, coffee, and beans is a vegan diet, however it is not a healthy one and will leave you deficient in a multitude of vitamins and minerals. A properly planned vegan diet provides all that is necessary, of course if breastfeeding or pregnant one needs to be aware of the signs and symptoms of these deficiencies and if they present themselves most certainly the mother should allow herself without guilt to consume animal products. I was a breastfeeding vegan for 18 months, my son is extremely healthy and well nourished. I have recently become pregnant and found that my body required animal products. I will return to my vegan diet after birth, and do so without any qualms about the potential health of my child.

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  90. While I appreciate the concern, a baby has died, it’s very sad, this article is really ridiculous. This child did not die because the mother was vegan or because she refused to eat meat. I was a breastfed baby. My mother was a vegetarian. There are TONS of breastfed babies with vegan mothers who live happy healthy lives. Now, I’m not saying that because my mother was a vegetarian, a vegan diet for 11 months won’t harm the baby. What I’m saying is that it wasn’t being vegan that caused it. It was being stupid. Being stupid is what killed this baby. A child needs to be introduced to baby food LONG before 11 months. It doesn’t have to be the store bought, processed crap that most vegans would complain isn’t healthy enough for their babies. No, you can make it yourself with a blender. By 11 months this child should be transitioning OUT of baby food into solid foods. Breastfeeding your child for 11 months is great but only for their required milk intake not for their entire sustenance.

  91. Meat eaters have cancer January 30, 2013 at 11:10 pm

    All meat eaters have cancer the fat bastards they never chose their diet yet they always have comments about a vegetarian or vegan diet because they’re so damn fat they can’t even climb stairs if you want to make an ignorant website with ignorant comments I figure hey I can to. all you fat bastards out there stuffing your pie holes tonight I can’t wait until you have prostate cancer and diabetes. Your heart attacks make me smile

    • On December 15, 2012 I posted the following:

      “… Vegans tend to make such a$$e$ out of themselves by preaching how their ethics, lifestyles, or morals are superior that I think that in this case …”

      I hate to say I told you so but I did tell you so. Above please find the loving, moral, and ethical response of someone called… “Meat eaters have cancer” I won’t dignify it by reposting it here. Doesn’t that person make you vegans proud of yourselves? Aren’t you proud of the fact that you are associated with a person that displays so much of the “Breast Milk of Human Kindness?” If this is the loving ethical movement you champion please remove me and all other Americans from your dinner guess list. I have always maintained that Nazism was closely entwined with Animal Rights, and the poster “Meat eaters have cancer” is the proof.

    • “… Vegans tend to make such a$$e$ out of themselves by preaching how their ethics, lifestyles, or morals are superior that I think that in this case …”

      I made the above statement before Christmas of last year. Then on January 30,2013 one of those lovely vegans displayed his or her superior morals and ethics for all of us to see. Way to go there, “MEAT EATERS HAVE CANCER”

      You are the reason that I was so glad when Apple founder Steve Jobs died from colon cancer. Jobs was a life time vegetarian or vegan but his life style could not protect him from colon cancer any better than veganism or veganism protected Paul McCartney’s wife from breast cancer. And neither will being a vegan do anything special for the health of you or of anyone else..

      What made Jobs’ cancer so special was that when it was first discovered it was early enough to cure with surgery and chemo. But Jobs was so arrogant or else Jobs was so convinced in the “righteousness” of his life style that he went on an even MORE “SPECIAL” vegan diet and I suppose that he also sat cross legged contemplating a crystal imbedded in his navel. Either way Jobs fully expected to be cured of colon cancer, how sad.

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  93. Pingback: 12 year old vegan has the degenerating bones of 80 year old | Terry L. Tipton, D.C. blog

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  96. Hi! I’m new to your blog. I noticed in your post about donor breastmilk you talked about how when you changed your diet, you saw your breastmilk change….One thing you mentioned was not drinking pasteurized milk. I noticed on your link to Westin Price in this post, it mentions drinking milk….My question is this: I do not have access to raw milk – is it better to drink no milk at all (as a nursing mom) or to drink whole/pasteurized as a “second best”? I would value your opinion! Thank you.

  97. Pingback: ...but what if my breasts don't work? | Scratch Mommy

  98. Pingback: From Karo Syrup to Goat Milk – The Formulas May Change, but the Booby Traps Remain the Same | Best for Babes

  99. I find some of this ridiculous. Let’s start with this mother. If your child is being breastfed only and you KNOW that breastfeeding causes malnourished people then WHY oh WHY did you know consistently take the supplements in the three areas where Vegans are traditionally vitamin deficient on a daily basis. Parenting fail. She was neglectful of herself and her baby.
    To the question of veganism, to each his own. Take your vitamins.
    I eat everything-beef, pork, seafood, cow’s milk. I breastfed both of my children. My daughter was breastfed for the first year. Anything after and it is not really for the kid it’s for you. Be real. By about 5-6 months she was saying words and by 9 months she was walking. She was very quick to walk, talk, and learn. However, she ate like any adult-still does. She was eating food with us before the age of one. She was hungry. She will grow big and tall like the rest of the women in my family and her dad’s family. She is now larger than most kids at 7. She is very big. And she likely eats more food than I send to school with her. She has a horrible metabolism-I did too and intense exercise only kept me small until now at 33 where my metabolism is dead. Really. My son never made it past the first few weeks. He couldn’t attach properly and feeding him was painful. The breastfeeding help lines couldn’t help me to get him to latch properly. And he was on Enfamil shortly after that. Both children are smart because I am. However, she is smarter, perhaps because she was breastfed or maybe because she is the older of the two. He doesn’t pick up things as fast. There are noticeable differences and I believe the feeding method has everything to do with it. You try to get them the best if you can as long as you can.
    The issue with this situation is that that child was missing out on vitamins that could be obtained from food or formula. They weren’t feeding that baby. And at that age if your baby is sitting around on the nip and is not walking and talking then what was the point of all your breastfeeding? It’s supposed to get you smarter, healthier, more capable kids and not less capable attached to the nip kids. What are you people doing?
    Veganism does work for some. It is not for me because I love a good steak. And it is not for people who are not responsible enough to tow the line. I take my vitamins every day. Things that I need because I don’t eat enough veggies or get enough sun. If I can do it as a meat eater she should have been doing it as a responsible vegan.

  100. Where are the sources for this article? All of the links are broken , it doesn’t mention names, and I don’t see it mentioned on other sites other than bedroom bloggers’.

  101. Lious von Hindenburg May 19, 2013 at 5:25 pm

    “While I’m not sure I favor charging the parents in this tragedy as it smacks of Big Brother far too much for my comfort level, it does communicate a clear message to other vegans”

    What a weird way to use the word, “smack”. There’s better words to use and better ways to commmunicate. I can’t take this writer or site seriously anymore if that’s the kind akward language they are going to use.

  102. Sorry to say but both sides are wrong. Many, if not all vegan and vegetarian parents will start their infants on the same diet as them, considering children are highly sensitive to what you do and dont put into their bodies. I know many that will feed their children sufficient amounts of animal biproducts so they will be able to grow properly. Besides the fact that the baby was fed vegan breast milk, it should have been fed solid foods since the age of 6 months along with his mothers milk. the baby was malnourished and it can only be blamed on the parents, not on the life style.

  103. This article says that the baby was deficient in these vitamins, not that this deficiency actually caused his death. It is a slippery slope indeed to begin prosecuting parents for their diet, when we are unable to determine exactly what impact poor diet, as a choice or due to economic constraints, does to a fetus or newborn. What about drugs and alcohol? Tobacco? How do we decide who faces litigation?

  104. Was the baby ever seen by a Pediatrician? The Dr. should’ve caught it! I wouldn’t hold the parents responsible unless the baby was never seen by a Dr. To pin it just on the mother and her breast milk, there has to be more to the story!

  105. This is a tradgedy. If the mother has lost her child it is bad enough. She was doing her best lives her life she believes in. What’s the ulternatives GMO baby formula? She does not need to be punnished for this. This is not right. Giving birth is hard enough, taking care of a new baby, she sadly must have gotten run down. For god sake give her a break she needs to Morn.

  106. O.k. this woman is 70 and looks maybe in her 40s. She’s vegan. She’s a grandmother. How many meat eaters reading this are close to being in this good of shape?

    And this woman is also vegan and 70+. Also in good shape:

    I personally consume a little dairy but have been vegetarian for a long time.
    Most people that don’t know me guess that I’m about half my age. I almost never get sick, even if I’m very close to very sick people. I’ll take drinks of sick people’s drinks and not get sick.
    To those that say some doctors say people need meat, I will say this. There are also doctors that say people DON’T need to eat meat. Just because a doctor says something, doesn’t mean it’s true.
    Vegetarians and vegans shouldn’t JUST not eat meat. They should make sure they’re eating healthy and getting enough nutrients.

  107. It’s called “failure to thrive”.
    Just because it happened to a vegan mother, the author is all excited and has her dick all hard. Chill, woman.

    Yeah, it has happened to millions of omnivores.

  108. Kiran mudnaney May 20, 2013 at 4:03 am

    In India over 60% of the population is pure vegetarian since centuries and they have nice and plump babies.. Its not the meat but the care and precaution with which you raise your child.. What happened so suddenly that the child died.. If the child was deficient of the nutrients he must’ve shown some signs of weakness and sickness.. He must’ve been very weak if he died of any deficiency, why didn’t the parents take care then.. I mean the doc should’ve prescribed meds for that.. I see this case as an attack on vegan diet.. N you don’t just breastfeed your child for so long, you gotto start semi solid diet and other nutritious juices, dals, etc. by now.. A child starts to crawl and even take lil steps by the age of one.. I find this article highly debatable..

  109. Breaking news! My vegan wife gave birth to an 8.5 pound baby! Now she’s (gasp) exclusively breastfeeding him and he weighs 15 pounds at 3 months! 90th percentile! Quick! Blog about it! Oh, not newsworthy?

  110. Not sure what to do on this one. What about charging the pregnant mother who eats pizza and doritos with something as well?
    This mother was taking things too far with her personal diet, and that’s fine, she can risk her own life, but not the kids’ life as well.
    Balance is the key and eschewing all of anything except things like tobacco which have zero good effect is just plain batty.

  111. My own mother was NOT a vegan, or vegetarian by any stretch… But when I was about to turn 1(one) years old, I was in the hospital and almost died from anemia. I always heard how I spent my first birthday in the hospital, having had blood transfusions, etc. My mother did nothing more than shove a bottle of milk in my mouth any time I cried, according to what I was told( obviously not by her). I know that, by this age(1), I should have been eating some form of solid food. That said, It is more about what the mother feeds the baby, rather than the fact that she is a vegan or not. Shame on her for not starting the baby on solids..this whole vegan things seems to be along the lines of religion. It should be a personal thing. Period.

  112. Some of these comments attacking veganism are SO ignorant.

    The issue here was not the diet – it was the mother. She wasn’t eating properly to sustain herself, let alone a baby. There are PLENTY of vegans who thrive on a properly-balanced vegan diet and raise happy, healthy, breast-fed kids.

    If a meat and diary eating woman who was bulimic or anorexic breast-fed a baby who later died from malnutrition, people would have attacked the mother for being irresponsible. THAT’S the real situation.

    If you think veganism is somehow to blame for this, you are IGNORANT.

  113. A simple test for the meat eaters. You are starving, walking down the road on a hot summer day you see a burger that has been in the sun for three days, you also see an apple for the same amount of time. which one do you think will kill you if you eat it? By the way, the true carnivorous animals can eat that burger and not get sick as their digestive tract is set up for that. But keep fooling yourselves on eating meat.

  114. The comments are even more disturbing than the article itself. I feel sorry for that poor baby. The bottom line is that that baby died because of the parents fanatical ideology. I’m not talking about their vegan diet but all their actions as whole. And before anyone starts slinging mud and de-evolve into childish name calling, let me remind you:

    1. The baby was 11 months old and was fed only breast milk!
    2. The mother refused to take her child to the doctor because of her beliefs and only get medical professionals involved when it was too late!

    She saw that her own child was severely malnourished and horribly sick and she still refused to get her proper care. The baby was twelve pounds at 11 months! I feel sorry for that poor baby who was essentially starved and neglected.

    Harm none. Do as you will. I believe this. If you want to be Vegan. Go for it. If you refuse to see a doctor for whatever reason you choose. It’s your choice. But to subject that belief onto a defenseless baby to the point of severe medical problems is WRONG.

    The parents were charged because their actions led to the death of their child. Period. I don’t think they should go to jail, and more than likely they won’t serve jail time (read the update). And I agree that the loss of the child is the pain the parents will always carry. But the charges brought against them were right and justified.

  115. One incident does not prove anything. Was she eating processed foods? Does she have an eating disorder? What about all of the vegans in multiple cultures that have high survival rates and long life spans? True Vitamin A? Really? Is that a medical term? This is “spin” – and it goes against current scientific literature. It speculation On the parts of all involved. Just had my test results back – Vitamin B12 and Vitamin A both came back perfect along with all of my other nutrient levels.. low cholesterol, low blood pressure.

  116. Pingback: Vegan Parent’s’ Diet Kills Baby | | Stewart A. Swerdlow & Janet Diane Mourglia-Swerdlow

  117. Smacks too much of Big Brother? Absolutely not. Nobody’s saying that people’s diets ought to be dictated but these parents’ idiocy killed a child.

  118. There are so many cruel very stupid comments on this that I can’t even continue to read. I would just like to say, and forgive me if it has already been said….a breastfeeding mother’s nutrients are leached out of her body by the breastfeeding infant making her milk more or less perfect. If this poor mother’s infant died of malnutrition from the milk it means the woman is extremely sick as well, why was this not caught at any of her prenatal doctors appointments? Furthermore, a Vit B12 deficiency takes many many years to develop…I’ve been Vegan for 6 years, and I’ve gone through 1 pregnancy being vegan, all perfect levels, healthy pregnancy, healthy and perfect baby….and I’m breastfeeding my baby, he is 9 months old and is 23 pounds, I believe the doctors said 97 percentile….I’m sure that there are other factors in play other than this woman’s diet, its incredibly unfortunate that these factors weren’t caught before it was too late. Unfortunately babies die…It’s the worse thing in the world, I know this first hand…but a vegan diet is not to blame.

  119. I’m 51 and I’ve been into physical fitness since I was 14, back then any coach would teach you about nutrition or would encourage you to because it’s very important to eat right if you want the right results from physical fitness. I know nutrition because I experimented a lot with it. There is not way this baby would have died from the milk of a vegan mother. Now B 12 is only produced by bacteria, we get it from the bacteria in our large intestines, that’s the only source. Vitamin A is mostly in orange and yellow and there is no other kind of Vitamin A, where they got that I don’t know. Though there is a defect of the mammary glands where they don’t produce the milk properly. this could have been the problem.

  120. Give me a break! What do you think happened in our hunter-gatherer days when meat was not always available due to hibernation or location? The human race would have ceased to exist a loooong time ago if mums had to have meat in order to feed our babies. Even women in third-world countries who don’t get much to eat can breastfeed their babies. Breastmilk is a complete food and makes up for a lack in a mother’s diet. This article is just another example of breastfeeding being demonized. Why? Because it empowers women. Because our sick economy can’t make money off of breastmilk the way it can off of baby formula (which is a DRUG, not a food), nipples, bottles, bottle warmers, and other landfill fodder. And no, I’m not vegan. I’m not vegetarian. I am, however, sick and tired of breastfeeding being treated like it is a risky choice. What is risky is feeding chemicals to an infant — which is “as close to breastmilk” as gasoline.

  121. Don’t forget K2. They may not have tested for it but this nutrient is absolutely essential and found in meat and milk products. It’s still depleted if you eat corn-fed beef or other meats that have not been raised on a proper diet.

    • And I should add that there is no such thing as a vegan primate. ALL primated eat meat of some kind. Often in the form of grubs and insects, which are excellent sources of K2 and B12 and other nutrients missing in a vegan diet. Our bodies need meat!

  122. Concerned Citizen May 21, 2013 at 12:17 am

    I seriously just want to say one thing. We are Omnivores. We have canines that are for ripping apart meat. Saying that “Eating a vegan diet is completely natural” Is complete crap. We were designed to eat meat. If you choose to eat only vegetables, then that is a choice, but from a biological standard, it isn’t natural. At least not the natural norm.

    As for the “lots of babies who are breastfed by vegan mothers who are just fine,” this is true. But you are forcing your decision onto your children. If the mother exclusively breastfeeds her child, and is on a vegan diet, the child will have a much harder time processing meat later. On top of that, I know one too many vegan mothers who make there 1-4 year olds eat only a vegan diet. Again, you are forcing a decision that you make because you want to, onto your children.

    • by having your children eat meat, aren’t you forcing your meat eating views on your child anyways? Your children need to get direction from whatever you feel is right, be that a vegan diet or an omnivore one. As a parent you need to do what’s best. That’s like saying that a Christian parent is forcing their views on their 1 year old when they bring them to church. That’s like saying you’re forcing your views on your child by making them wear clothing. Of course you’re going to “force” your views on your children, it’s your job to point them in the right direction and teach them about life and what you feel to be the right path.

  123. Very sad, they people lost their baby. But really? To blame this woman for being a Vegan is absolutely ridiculous. I am sure there have been a lot more infant deaths from non-Vegan mothers, we just don’t hear about it I am not a vegetarian or a vegan. But some of the opinions on here are mind boggling. She probably just didn’t eat properly. Period. And she probably didn’t even realize she was doing harm to her baby. My ex-daughter in law ate nothing but crap while she was pregnant and breast feeding. I am amazed that those kids didn’t die from malnutrition. McDonald’s, hotdogs, chocolate bars chips. Her main diet. It made me ill to watch her do this to her babies. I know lots of vegetarians and quite frankly, I would love to eat a plant based diet, but I am too used to meat and my husband wouldn’t appreciate me changing over. Its all about balance. If we follow the Canada Food Guide, we should be fine. I eat meat, but very small portions. So sad that this poor woman has to be condemned on top of losing her baby.

  124. Well this has really started a debate. I dont think this is a simple case of the parents being vegans. Yes a vegan can become B12 deficient quicker than a meat eater – almost 80% of people who are diagnosed as B12 deficient are actually meat eaters. I eat a whole food plant based diet and I take a B12 supplement.

    This is more about the fact that even if the parents did eat meat its actually the childs digestive system that then has to absorb it. If the parents were not vegan would the autopsy have looked for B12 deficiency or would it just have given a verdict of sudden infant death syndrome? We will never know.

    I dont think that we should all get onto the parents for their bad decisions – lets face it there are children out there who are being raised by meat eating parents and are in more danger from dietary diseases etc than this poor baby would have been.

    Please dont judge someone just because they choose not to eat meat

  125. You may want to mention, if you’re interested in honesty here, that the neglect had mostly to do with the fact that after the child had fallen ill, the parents refused to consult a doctor. I think the author of this article is too interested in promoting a frankly ridiculous point that honesty has eluded her.

    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist
      Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist May 21, 2013 at 11:40 am

      Sorry, that is wrong. The child fell ill because of nutritional deficiency from being breastfed by a vegan.

      • And what exactly do you blame when a child of a meat eating parent dies from failure to thrive? Do you blame that woman’s breast milk too? Even though she is eating meat?

  126. most of these people have probably never even had an official dietary class. the fact that the stomach is specifically designed to break down proteins ‘including meat’ and the fact that i have led a healthy life while eating meat makes me realize a few things.

    people are uneducated, google-stupid, idiots.

    moderation is everything in any diet.

    most dietary bigots have never had any sort of nutrition class. at all. ever. get off google. go to school.

  127. Anyone who believes that vitamin B12 is “made by our gut flora” is SERIOUSLY MISINFORMED and likely willfully ignorant!!!!! B12 is SYNTHESIZED by our gut flora, not CREATED from it. Our gut flora helps to break it down so our bodies can use it, it doesn’t make it. B vitamins only come from outside sources; humans must EAT them either from a vegetable or animal source.

    Veganism isn’t 100% bad, and neither is being a meat-eater. That being said, humans are most certainly made to eat MEAT. We are not made only to eat vegetable matter; if that was the case, no vegan would ever have to take a nutritional supplement in order to be healthy.

  128. HERES the real problem
    “was deficient in vitamins A and B12 as a result of her parents ‘dietary imbalance.’ The deficiencies were found to have increased her risk of infection. ”

    Not that the mother exclusively breastfed but when her infant became ill she did not seek assistance and instead tried homeopathic remedies and allowed the infant to die.

    “Joel and Sergine Le Moaligou were accused of further negligence by refusing to seek medical assistance when she contracted bronchitis.

    Instead of taking her to hospital the couple tried to treat her with cabbage and clay poultices and massages with camphor and garlic oil. “

  129. I do believe that a vegitarian diet can be handled correctly, but yes, the one thing that stands out in my mind is that so many moms who breast fed their little ones gave me a ration of crap when I stopped after 6 weeks. Typically I wouldn’t think much of it, but just ilke the article says, they believe they can eat whatever they want and breastfeeding is simply enough. I would see them drinking sodas, eating highly sugary items, high carbs etc. Things that are basically just processed crap! I had not one ioda of envy for them for being able to carry on their breast feeding much longer than I did, because my six weeks of BF’ing was mainly organic, natural, gluten free, high in protein and very much primal. My son is 18 months old now, and it’s still pretty much that way, for me and him now! :) Due to circumstances beyond my control, I was left with little to nothing by six weeks when it came to breast feeding and i knew my pride could not get in the way, I had to supplement. I wish I knew then what I know now about milk banks etc, but even after reading this, it does make me aware that I don’t know what diet the mother donating her milk is on…what she’s taking…drinking…eating. You know? I do agree breast is BEST! However, advocates should take note, that just because they are BF’ing does not mean in any shape or form they have the 1up on those who are not unless they are taking fine care of their own nutritional intake, cause yes, what you eat, baby gets, just like during pregnancy.

  130. If anyone read this article, they would realize that the child died after not being treated for bronchitis. The parents did not have a healthy diet and they neglected the baby. This does not mean that a healthy vegan diet would be bad for any adult or baby. This post is sensationalist and misleading.

  131. This is not a vegan issue. Dont give the media what it wants you blind indiots. Im vegan and Im an example, my Doctor says. Even my cardiologist said he wishes everyone would eat like me! B12??? Bogus.

  132. Do your research guys. This baby died after contracting bronchitis. The parents decided to try to treat the poor thing “with cabbage and clay poultices and massages with camphor and garlic oil.” So yes, they were negligent in that sense and it’s a terrible tragedy – but the baby did not die of malnutrition. The fact that the parents were vegan is quite irrelevant.

  133. I have to say, I was raised vegan, simply because we were too poor to afford dairy. However, my mother fed us plenty of legumes, potatoes, green and orange veggies, and fruit. When we went to the doctor, he said “these are the healthiest kids I have ever seen”. May I remind how many people suffer from heart disease because of their excessive meat intake. I’ve taken care of patients in a heart hospital, believe me, it’s bad. The point is that no matter what diet you eat, it MUST BE BALANCED. Think about the chicken nugget girl, 17 yr old that only ate chicken nuggets? And, also, I exclusively breastfed my youngest for his first year of life, there is nothing wrong with it, he was a chubby little fellow, and now is strong and healthy (mind you, I ate a balanced vegetarian, mostly vegan diet). However, if you don’t have the right balance in your diet, your child won’t either (you can not make vit. out of nothing). Look and stop attacking a certain type of diet, instead realize that this is what happens when people don’t eat a balanced diet.

  134. Her Dr. should have told her to continued to take her prenatal vitamins. I was told if you are thinking about getting pregnant , are pregnant or breastfeeding you should take them.

  135. The baby should have been introduced to other foods months prior to its untimely death. I believe this parent was just very uneducated and had no support. Otherwise, I just can’t see why else this would happen. I know plenty of vegan mothers and their children are absolutely thriving and healthy. This is so senseless. Why wasn’t the baby brought for well checks at his pediatrician? I personally can’t cut meat out of my diet but I still respect people’s choice to do so. This is just a case of someone not paying attention to the signs that their baby would display in the case of being severely malnourished! Very sad!

  136. Ohhhh, okay, now let’s blame the diet and say how the vegans are morrons, now that we find an excuse to unleash my inner hate about people that are different than me.

    My sister is vegan has been over 15 years, and my niece now is almost 9.
    She has NO health problem. My sister didn’t eat anything that came from an animal before, during and after the birth. How does that sound? According to some people, my niece should be dead by now.
    The fact is, my sister isn’t dumb. She knows what she needs, and OF COURSE, she looked into that when she got pregnant. She knew what to do, and so she did.
    Probably several people here didn’t read the other article about why they got 5 years in jail. It explains that THEY DIDN’T GO TO A DOCTOR, they tried to heal the little baby at home.
    That was the fuc*ing mistake.
    Anyone that has a sick baby, or that’s even sick, should go see a doctor. Some people decide to do not go and pray, and sometimes the sick person even die because of it. Let’s blame religion? Noo, we blame the stupid person. So why with veganism it should be different?!
    Of course they did something wrong, and that was not having the vitamins the mom needed, and not going to a doctor before.

    And now, my opinion, I don’t think they should go to jail because of it. Of course they didn’t want the baby to die, they were the baby’s parents! They were fuc*ing stupid, but I’m sure they’re hurt now because of what happened, and they will always blame themselves for that. If they are going to jail because of it, do the same to every religious person that did what I said above. And do the same to everyone that made a mistake, thinking that was doing the right thing. Blame the doctors that couldn’t save the patients, and made mistakes in a surgery. Send them all to jail.
    If you can’t do that, or if you can’t at least see the things with an open mind and compare to other situations like that, so you go study a little bit more and get your bullshit opinion out of here.

    • PERFECT response! YES!! Every vegan I know is very educated and pays very close attention to their signals from their body and is practically militant in safeguarding the health of their children by making sure their diet is extremely healthy and well-rounded. This parents were prosecuted for being “hippies” in my opinion. Thanks for this wonderful response.

  137. roisin mccarthy May 21, 2013 at 7:09 pm

    I am struggling to believe this is the whole truth in the matter, I think the article is very breif and obviously swayed to get a response. I can’t quite understand how this works in realtion to all those mothers in countries where a balanced diet is not available still have surviving infants. Surely in India most diets are close if not vegan.

  138. I have been happily vegan for 10 years. Since deciding a vegan lifestyle would suit me I have breastfed 3 healthy, happy and intelligent children. Nobody reports the happy-ending stories do they?? rant over.

  139. What happened was terrible and tragic. But there are ways to raise your baby sufficiently without meat. My mom was vegetarian when pregnant with me and I was raised vegetarian. I eat meat now cuz I love it! But those were very unaware parents of how a baby needs nutrients more than adults because they are growing and still developing.

  140. Michael Sean Macdonald there is a big reason that the homozygous died out and the homosapien survived .. to all you narrow minded hippies and wanna be hippies the meat eater survived and the plant eaters died out thus making meat our natural diet . that being said i believe a true vegetarian for humane reasons is very admiral just dont give me that natural diet bullshit .

  141. If anyone bothered to read the article”, the child was sick. They did the stupid thing by not going to get proper medical care, and *that* is why the child died. And even if she was lacking in nutrients, it does not mean all other vegans/vegetarians have that problem. Her parents just lacked good judgment when it came to healthcare and a *proper* vegan diet.

    The author’s argument is like the abstinence argument…. If you’re going to be dogmatic and try to pretend all other options/choices are not viable (but are somehow often better supported by hard data), you’re going to have a bad time.

  142. The vegans in these comments seem to have little concept of what the Healthy Home Economist actually endorses. Their arguments are based on why their vegan diet is better than the Standard American Diet. But Sarah doesn’t endorse the SAD – she endorses the traditional diet. Grassfed, unadulterated beef, unpasteurized dairy, pastured eggs, liver, fish oils. Foods naturally rich in vitamins A, D, E, and K, and free of GMOs and pesticides. All other diets that are vitamin deficient are inferior – this includes veganism and SAD. Vitamin supplements are inefficient and certainly not “natural”. Whole foods, naturally rich in the vitamins our body needs, is what this website endorses (as far as I know).

    That said, everyone’s body is different. There are some people who can’t digest meat. There are some people whose bodies can’t digest only plant matter. Veganism can work perfectly for one person, and completely starve another. Eating meat works for one person, and causes bowel problems in another. Everyone’s body is different – some people’s digestions are far more resilient than others. Some people can thrive perfectly well on a fast food diet! But most of us will have innumerable health problems if we try to live on that much fast food. Same goes for veganism.

    The traditional diet is, in my opinion, the healthiest one for the most amount of people, since it puts an emphasis on whole, unprocessed, nutrient-dense foods, naturally rich in vitamins and minerals that our body needs.

  143. The pleas ring hollow about not criticizing the Vegan parents of the 11 pound, 11 month old infant whose parents basically starved the poor child to death in a misguided attempt to save its life. There can be many reasons for an 11 month old child to die, but in this case there is only one. That reason is the parent’s slavish devotion to an inherently unhealthy religious orthodoxy, Veganism. If Veganism was so healthy to start with why in the Sam Hill are so many Vegans on this forum making excuses for the mother by saying that her only sin was not taking her vitamin supplements “religiously.” Anyway you turn in this tragedy you can‘t get away from the word “Religion.”

    Look at it this way. Would the parents be guilty of a crime if they gave their 11 month old a live rattlesnake to play with, like other religions encourage their adherents to do? If the snake fatally bit their toddler what punishment would you say is appropriate? It’s the same principle and only someone with no principles themselves will attempt to defend parents who starve an 11 month old to death either accidentally or on purpose, end of story! There is also no difference in this case from the recent incident where two animal loving parent’s “pet” python got out of its cage in the middle of the night and swallowed their child. Doing anything less than condemning the father and mother in any of these tragic cases is a green light for anyone reading your words posted here to let it happen again.

  144. I have to agree with Shane, reading many articles and studies indicating such. I spent many years eating a Weston A. Price diet, and while I believe many things promoted by them, I do not believe all. While drinking a quart or more of raw milk a day and eating tons of butter and eggs, (and following all other WAPF advice) my weight ballooned and I was fatigued and foggy all of the time. The problem? Major milk allergy, leading to hypothyroidism. Am I yeasty, am I Celiac? No, been tested time and time again. Just a milk allergy, leading to inflammation and disease. It took me over 35 years to find it. I am now on the mend. I do eat less animal foods now than I used to, and while I see the importance of some animal foods in the diet, I truly do not subscribe to the belief that all of the milk and eggs promoted by this group are necessary for health, and in fact, may be a detriment to many others like myself. I found the opposite to be true in my life, citing a diet high in natural, organic plant foods to be very healing to my immune system after years of attack.

  145. This is stupid. I mean, the parents must be idiots – not because they are vegan, but because they could have gotten those nutrients easily without breaking their moral code. I’m positive France has farmer’s markets and farms, most farmer’s markets will sell raw organic milk and cheese – I bet you could even visit the chickens who lays the eggs and the cows that provide the milk. No need for the mom to eat meat, but I can’t see a moral or ethical problem with consuming the milk or eggs of animals you could visit. I’m not a vegan, but I only eat organic/wild caught/free range/etc. – my apologies if there are no organic farms or farmer’s markets in France. I suspect her doctor didn’t inform her properly or that they were just neglectful – I mean, there would have been signs long prior to death, right?

  146. If you’re a vegan, do you think it’s fare to force your baby to become a vegan too?? i belive all baby less than 5 yrs old needs complete source of food and vitamins. I
    Might not be an expert on this things. However i believe it’s worth to speak what i have in mind.

  147. 5 yrs prison …!! Wtf .. Govt is so cruel.. Parents who lost her child oh god …
    In india millions of people are veggie …. I dnt see anything like this…. This govt n all people just want to blame anything … Very sad …

  148. This is an awful, awful story, but there is more to it. I had to look it up because it didn’t sound 100% to me…
    She actually died of pneumonia and other health concerns that the couple was treating with poultices. Yes, she did have nutritional deficiencies, which leads me to believe they were not feeding her often enough and the mother’s diet was not full of enough healthy food. The American Dietetic Association actually endorses the veggie/vegan diet and states they “are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence, and for athletes (citation:: National Institutes of Health/Pubmed).” Some people believe they can be vegan and just eat breads and pastas, which will obviously lead to problems, but it can be a very healthy choice if done right. Btw– I’m not vegan.

  149. I truly believe that humans weren’t designed to eat a Vegan or Vegetarian diet. I do agree that in north America too much meat is being consumed but when each food is eaten in moderation such deficiencies wouldn’t happen. This story is tragic indeed, however, it just shows us how educated you much be when you decide to deprive yourself of animal foods. I think a breastfeeding mom should at least consume eggs and raw dairy.

  150. I cannot judge what exactly happened to this mother and her baby, but I am ready to defend my vegetarian position and nobody will convince that meat products are necessary for human beings. My son is born vegetarian from vegetarian mum, and I am proud of him!

  151. This article is just an attack on vegans. Look at the site of any doctor saying meat is traditional world diet has a product to sell. You don’t have to look hard to find that most of the world’s cultures were plant eating and the ones who ate meat died at a much younger age. Look into the potato famine…look into China, Japan, so many countries who have always breastfed healthy babies. Our modern agriculture has taken the right nutrients out of our soil for us to produce b-12 (but easy to get from the health food store) and it’s crazy to assume vitamin A would not reach the baby in adequate levels from eating plants. This lady could only reach this state by eating nothing but white bread and is clearly a rare case, or you’d hear about it much more. If you like meat, you will find a way to justify it, plain and simple. If you bother to make an in-depth study that does not fit your desire, you will apparently go on the attack. ….but knowledge is power.

  152. Meat production is the #1 cause of global warming, our planet will now allow us to keep living off the animals we breed to kill and eat for much longer.
    AND, no one is saying ALL the “other” stuff in animal products that are not good for mom or baby! Anyone Vegan or NOT can suffer from malnutrition. Good whole foods and super foods and a few supplements have everything you need without the negative effects of animal product. Here is some info as well:

  153. What rubbish! sacred foods? there is nothing sacred about the meat, egg, or dairy industry! I hope your readers have enough sense to see that this is utter nonsense!…the body stores B12 along time and it takes a very long time to feel any negative affects..and death is NOT. For this one story there are many more of stories of healthy vegan babies? and what about cultures that eat little to no meat and have huge populations? i think it is sad that this infant died..but to draw a correlation to the mother’s veganism without further inquiry is irresponsible..Moreover it is messed up to charge the parents who already are suffering from having lost a child..How many baby’s of meateaters die or get sick? how many children get cancer b/c they eat meat and dairy from infancy? Having been in the medical field, I have seen many unhealthy parents and children and what did they have in common?: meat, milk, cheese and eggs! why aren’t those parents who make their kids obese and sick charged with child abuse then? B/c it is considered normal to eat corpses and secretions from other species bodies. What a twisted world we live in then!! For some reason to feed your kid healthy food, what comes from the earth, is objectionable, yet when they are fed addicting unhealthy food and preparing them for future dis-ease, they are not held to acct for it!

    • wow! How hateful can you be? People make different choices in their eating and make mistakes and you are basically saying that because YOU don’t agree with their lifestyle choice that it is good that their baby died? How heartless and cruel can you be? What if it was a normal omni mom and her baby died of some other kind of dietary complication, would you be so cruel. You are heartless and hateful.

      • Michelle C, what No Vegan said is that Vegans are an awful bore and that they hold everyone who does not adopt their Vegan lifestyle as the dregs of the Earth. While I find No Vegans’ post in poor taste I also find it totally appropriate considering how bigoted your average Movement Vegan is towards non Vegans.

  154. Even though I’m not vegan or vegetarian, this does worry me (if it’s true), but I can’t help but wonder if the doctors were lazy and jumped to conclusions the second the mother admit she was vegan. There might have been other factors at play, but in my experience with most doctors nowadays is they work off a system, make a lot of assumptions and generally don’t care. Maybe there are successful vegan mothers out there and this is just one case out of many that went sour. Meat-eating mothers can have sick and dying babies too.

  155. B-12 deficiency is as common in meat eaters as it is in vegans. Even if you eat clean. Look it up. Do your homework and get your blood work done. B-12 deficiency is common for those who lack the “intrinsic factor” which is the inability to absorb b-12 no matter how you consume it. Doctors can test to see whether your body has the normal ability to absorb B-12. “Do you lack the intrinsic factor”. get tested. Research how a high fat diet reduces B-12 absorption.

  156. Breastfeeding advocates insist (because it is backed up with ample evidence) that mothers eating a COMPLETE diet will produce breastmilk that meets babies growth and development needs. It is in every preparatory course to become a lactation educator, counselor, IBCLC etc. that strict vegan mothers be referred to an RD, preferably one who is also an IBCLC, for counseling in ensuring that adequate micronutrients and calories are maintained. This is a tragic illustration of lack of support and education both prenatally and after birth, as well as unnecessary bashing of a lifestyle choice which is frequently managed in such a way as to support a healthy, thriving infant.

  157. OMG! First of all, all the hatred towards people who choose to follow a vegan diet is really unwarranted, and there ARE ways to be pregnant and BF on a vegan diet. How come parents who choose to formula feed and the formula kills their baby (yes, it happens!) aren’t prosecuted for feeding them something totally unnatural instead of breastmilk? How come moms who BF but are living on a diet of McD’s and Whoppers aren’t charged with neglect when their children are found to have dietary deficiencies? How come people will get all up in arms over this, but will turn a blind eye to the obese 5 year olds at the McD’s playground? If y’all think that these parents were so awful, why aren’t you calling child services on every 80 lb 4 year old you see on the street? Get off you high horses and be a little sensitive? “Alternative” choices are always persecuted but the status quo, no matter how neglectful and unhealthy, is still considered the “best.” No doubt this is sad, no doubt these parents probably should have been more proactive in making sure their baby was of sound health and wellness, but until you all are ready to hold ALL parents accountable for “poor” choices (like formula feeding, elective c-sections that kill the babies, etc) you all need to just shut up!

  158. Charmaine Sammut May 22, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    Just a comment – it is not true as this article says that breastfeeding mothers are told it doesn’t matter what you eat your baby gets all it needs from breastmilk. In fact breastfeeding and pregnant mothers alike are constantly being told to eat a healthy balanced diet – in this way the baby gets all it needs from mother’s milk!

  159. Sarah are you kidding when you say this? “While I’m not sure I favor charging the parents in this tragedy as it smacks of Big Brother far too much for my comfort level”

    It has nothing to do with “Big Brother” what it has to do with are parents who were negligent, wonder if you think the parents who refuse to see doctors and pray instead shouldn’t be charged with crimes either?

    Both parents should be charged to the fullest extent of the law.

  160. Humans started out as vegetarians, they were scavengers collecting plant based foods until they acquired the knowledge to hunt for food so yes veganism and vegetarianism is as natural a diet as eating meat is now. That being said, my friend of 22 years has been a non meat eater and on/of vegan since she was 14. She breastfed both her boys for two years. She raised them as vegan and never allowed them refined sugars or foods until they were old enough to choose what they wanted to eat. Their father was a meat eater so eventually the boys opted to add meat to their diet (the mother never attempted to stop them) but now one of them who is a young adult has chosen to be vegan again. Both her boys are healthy kids, they are now 16 and 19. She did her homework. She took her kids to see doctors and busted a nut ensuring her boys stayed healthy. Vegans are not ignorant people. They can be, but so can meat eaters. If anything, I think main stream eaters can be equally ignorant as they don’t question what they eat much. Hence why we have an epidemic of obesity and diabetes. Those that choose not to eat meat or animal products make their decision based on what they feel is right for them and have to do a lot more homework on getting around nutritional deficiencies. That being said, I have another friend who had a baby 6 months ago. She is a meat eater and uber conscious about nutrition. She stays away from processed foods but eats a typical diet. A month or two after her boy was born, she was still breast feeding her baby regularly but her baby’s weight dropped suddenly. Even though the baby was getting lots of milk, something was interfering with the nutrition she was passing on. I can’t remember what it was exactly but now she has to take meds to keep her milk production at what it should be. She has some serious side effects because of it but she does what she has to for her baby so yes meat eating breast feeding moms can encounter nutritional imbalances too. That being said, I am a meat eater but I am a also a high oxidizer so my body type requires a high protein diet. Other body types do quite well on a vegan diet. I don’t think it’s fair for anyone to judge the choices others make with their own health. I have a high degree of respect for vegans, it’s not an easy diet to sustain, I know I tried it. For those that think veganism is stupid and unfounded check out Annette Larkins and maybe you will understand why some people choose to be vegan in the first place.

  161. “parents are charged with neglect” Who the heck gives permission to charge a parent after losing their child? Are the Gov out of their damn mind?

    • Have you thought about the fact that if nothing is done to the parents that this might just happen again? I would hate to think they get away with this and have another child and allow it to die the same way. That there is MURDER plain and simple, they had to have known and yet did nothing to prevent that poor child’s death!

  162. First of all shame on you all for your judgmental commentaries unless anyone here has their P HD in medicine.and is a nutritionist, your internet research can suck it. THe parents just lost their child and that’s sad, but the biggest part you are all missing is clearly there was deficiency and the baby needed supplements. The parents failed to seek medical attention for their child! So they failedto get their child help or they had some kind of mental issue preventing them from sayong hey, baby is sick he needs help let’s take him to the doc and listen to what the doctor says. So whether the deficiency is from the diet or not is truly irrelevant!! It’s more about why the hell did these people not.take care of their sick child?!?! If you read the bathrooms from these deficiencies they present themselves and are hard to ignore! So hi one cares about your dietary debate and mid slinging and judging. I feel bad for these people that they were so ignorant.and have e lost their child. I pray for that poor baby

  163. The problem today is, all the new books. The crazed people who say that spanking and yelling causes dis orders and anxiety. And now this whole meat is horrible for the human body. The new parent books need to be tossed…. This is new stuff. My parents, their parents did just fine, it’s these new 21st century parents who think they know best because they picked up the newest child rearing book at their convenient whole foods market. Healthy is fine and dandy, however, a newborn/ infant need different nutrients than an adult. I honestly think this new “fad/trend” of new feeding without any animal products what sever is the whole problem of why people are more sick now than ever. The folks who are falling for this natrual way to go are gullible and ignorant. Your body needs fruits and vegetables and meats, or you are taking supplements… So you might as well set aside your personal wants and values and make sure your babies and children get what THEIR bodies need in order to grow up healthy. And let them decide if they want to jump on the fruits and veggie diet wagon. People who are malnourished get more sick despite meat intake or not. Meat does not specifically cause certain diseases, it “might” contribute in some people but it is not definite.

  164. This is tragic.. but the govt. should not charge… don’t you think the parents are grieving enough already..

  165. but if the mother decided to rip that baby apart she would even have had doctors help her, (abortion) . how I HATE the double standard of our society. “oh we must care for the babies, take care of the kids” when people stand up for the rights of babies a bit younger then others, we are told to shut up. HYPOCRICY

  166. I cannot believe the mother was only charged with neglect&5yrs for depriving her child of enough nutrients to take his life,at 11mts old he should have been started at least at 6mts on solid foods,a child growing like that needs more then milk,and it isnt fair for the parents to push their diet on the child so you dont eat meat,you make that decision for our child as well ? its wrong and of course it is their fault,how would you not see your chlld getting sick,theres no possible way they didnt see their child getting sick&not thriving like a noraml child should,this child should have been taken in long before this and it could have been prevented and what happened to check ups? I have a 2&3yr old and i had monthly check ups until 12mts,then it went ot every 6mts,why woudlnt the doctor not report having this child in for the required check ups,they check weight,they check their skills,they check everything so if hwe was being brought in this would have been detected,i dont think just a neglect charge is sufficient for depriving your child so severely that he lost his life

  167. Let’s think about this logically here, some people are just stupid, plain and simple! Take people back a few 100 thousand years and what did most people eat…PLANTS!! That was basically all there was for them to eat! Yes they hunted and if they were lucky and actually caught something they would eat meat but most of the time the lived from the women gathered, plants. It’s sad that this happened as it was very preventable but let’s not forget there are A LOT of stupid people in the world, many which should NOT be allowed to have kids, yet such is life!!

  168. I say hell yes they should be charged with Murder!!!!! I am positive that they were informed by her gynocolist during pregnancy and most likely the hospital too that she would have to do something (either supplement some formula or take extra b12 and A vitamins or just eat some meat) to ensure her child’s health. She knowingly did not do so and murdered that poor baby! How long did that baby suffer malnutrition due to her arrogance before dieing. To say nothing should be done to the mother is beyond unacceptable in my opinion. How she eats is her business but she should NEVER have done this to her child, knowing full well the health risks!!!!!!!

  169. This couple were actually Fruitarian. While this is done healthfully by some, you’d better know what you’re doing. Implying that this & a less restrictive Vegan diet are the same is misleading. The Mother was so distraught afterwards she took her own life. To use tragedy in this context, at the expense of the family is really pretty wrong.

  170. The message that people should be taking from this article is that if you’re breast feeding, you need to make sure you are getting enough vitamins! If you can’t do that, or for some reason (it happens sometimes) your baby is not thriving on breast milk, then you need to switch to formula. This has NOTHING to do with the baby not having solid food. NOTHING. No baby needs solids before 12m.

  171. This baby died from the parents neglecting to treat the infant for bronchitis. They attempted to treat at home with natural methods and by the time they did call for help it was to late. Formula fed babies get bronchitis all the time. Some even die from it to. But I bet they don’t do a break down of vitamins and nutrients on those babies. So the baby was deficit in Vit A and B12! I know tons of people are! These parents were judged because they exclusively breastfed and had a diet different from the “norm”!

  172. Typical fucking liberal dumbasses. So fucking engrossed with their ultra trendy diet that they couldn’t even tell their child was sick or in the process of dying. Parents should be jailed for the next decade with hard labor. This is unacceptable, parents most likely never even took their kid in for a follow up at three or six months to a doctor.

  173. this is bogus, if you read the actual news article, you’ll see that it was because of pneumonia and NEGLECT of the parents. it’s true that the deficiency MAY be in part because of recent diet change but that could be because the parents NEGLECTED to make sure they had a balanced diet.

    “Daquo said they had a mistrust of traditional medicine and preferred to treat their children’s complaints with advice from books.

    “The couple did not follow the doctor’s advice to take the baby to hospital when they went for her nine-month checkup and found she was suffering from bronchitis and was losing weight,” he said. Instead they treated her with cabbage poultices, mustard and camphor and washed her with earth and clay instead of giving her baths, the court heard.

    Daquo said the couple had been reading “the wrong things at the wrong moment”. “They preferred to use recipes [treatment] based on clay or cabbage poultices that they got from their books,” he said.”

    do your research, don’t believe this garbage. how can you sit there and tell me with a straight face that the american diet – astronomical levels of heart disease, child obesity, child diabetes – is so much better?


  174. I don’t think the parents should be charged. I think they are suffering enough. There are to many facts that are not in this article. as for what the diet of the parents that is not for us to judge. it also does not say if they were trying to give the child any other foods or vitamins. so people butt out.

  175. How horrible and tragic. I can’t see the sentence of 5 years as being the right punishment for them. They must feel so much guilt and self-hatred…imprisoning them will just destroy them. I am upset that they didn’t take their baby to see a pediatrician regularly. Poor family.

    • Vegans are very set in their ways and they will ignore health for their veganism. So because of their purposeful irresponsibility they are being imprisoned. Most vegans get away with it and they do it all the time with everything that they do. In my opinion all vegans should be put in prison.

  176. Regarding the events mentioned in this article: Sad. Pure neglect from parents who should have known better. I’m guessing that many parents don’t realize their legal obligations to caring for a human with special needs such as a ‘baby’.

    My opinion:
    Parents may have objections to eating meat/dairy (be it moral or health driven) but those objections should not be assumed to be the best route for their children. I realize many parents may not want to consider this difference to be true but if the baby/child is not thriving then they need to consider the needs of the other as opposed to the needs of themselves, if they do not its Selfish.

    My wife and I were strict vegans for near nine years straight and wanted desperately to have a baby of our own, so we dropped the vegan diet, started eating meat and through IVF had ourselves a baby girl (last year).

  177. When are we going to start blaming autism on a mother’s diet? Seriously, diets are complex and everyone should be addressing what the implications of our own dietary choices. Vilifying people isn’t helpful.

    There are plenty of children with serious health problems which could have a lot to do with the mother’s diet. Conversations and education about dietary choices are important. Although people interpret health and diet in different ways, these are topics that are beneficial to be addressed. Whether you eat: burgers, pizza and soda; raw food, juice and seaweed; or local produce and grass fed beef — it is quite possible that some nutrient/s is/are missing. Being aware and proactive in promoting healthy dietary habits to children is integral — inutero and beyond. Instead of attacking each other, why not try to understand all side?

  178. The French have free access to health care. One would guess that the child showed symptoms of debilitation such as weight loss, listlessness, etc. They should have taken him to a doctor. They are at fault.

  179. Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

    All you vegans who are saying it wasn’t the diet … didn’t you even read the article? An autopsy was performed on this child and there were severe nutritional deficiencies found in this exclusively breastfed baby!

    Yes, the child was neglected while ill and didn’t get proper medical care, but even if this baby had lived, charges likely would have been filed or at the very least, the child removed from the home. A vegan eating, breastfeeding mother so crazed with the idea that veganism is somehow “healthy” is what caused this tragedy. And all you vegans who think you are healthy – you can thank your meat eating Mother for why you are still breathing. No traditional society EVER survived and reproduced for multiple generations on a vegan diet. E-V-E-R. And a vegan mother with a vegan child doesn’t prove anything. That vegan child must grow up and have children (with a vegan partner whose parents were also vegan) who are healthy and fertile.
    Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist\’s last post: Coconut Sugar: A Healthy and Sustainable Sweetener

  180. Everyone can argue all they like about the pros and cons of any diet. The problem in this case lies not with the vegan diet but with both parents of this child. A vitamin deficiency that results in death does not occur over night but builds over time and displays symptoms in the child /adult that indicates medical attention is required. This child was 11 months old before death and you can’t argue there would have been many indicators that the child was sick before death occurred. The simple fact is that the parents (not just the mother) ignored the indicators that their child’s health was depleting and failed to seek medical attention that in France is readily available. It’s not a case that a vegan diet caused this baby to die but a case of parental neglect. Any parent knows when their child is sick and if death is imminent then surely the parents would have known their child was gravely ill. Argue all you like about food (all of which is affected by mans interference with all food) this case isn’t about diet it’s purely about neglect.

    • In this case Carrieb, you are smearing lip stick on the pig. The pig is that the mother’s vegan diet killed her child, admit it, end of story, There is no other culprit. Did the parents’ New Age medical beliefs contribute to this child’s death? You bet they did, but remember that Veganism is part and parcel of the parents new age belief system. The reason the child died is a combination of the mother’s Veganism, combined with both parents slavish devotion to a patently left wing, ultra-green or hippie life style while all the time demonstrating a total disregard for their child’s welfare. In other words a Vegan diet killed the infant and the parents conspired to let it die. Smear you lipstick on that pig if you can.

  181. I don’t care what you want to do with your life… BUT.. when you bring a baby into this world you DO ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING to provide that baby with EVERYTHING it needs! If you fail to do that, you fail as a parent. But she’s not the only one who failed that baby.. so did her doctors!!
    Shame on the lot of you!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  182. I think the point that is being missed here is at the bottom of this article, “…died without the parents ever seeking proper medical attention.” This isn’t about whether or not it’s ok to be vegan and exclusively breastfeed, it’s about neglect. It takes a long time to die from malnutrition, there would have been signs, and the fact that they never sought medical attention is the real issue. I am a meat eater (lol), and don’t care what anyone else eats, this could have happened to anyone on any type of diet, if they ignored the warning signs and did not seek medical attention, then it’s neglect, period.

  183. I still think idiots like these parents should be able to have a child.

    All parents should go through exams before they are allowed. They are ruining our race as a whole.

  184. Anyone that mentioned that their doctors recommended a vegan diet is either full of shit or should change their pcp. Im a nurse and any SANE practitioner would never recommend a vegan diet. The body needs variety. Everything with moderation. THAT is the best diet. Blaming meat for disease and obesity exclusively is laughable and makes me shake my head at how warped one can become on a pamphlet they decide to read one day. Btw 7th day adventist are not necessarily vegetarian. We dont eat pork or any scavenger of the sea i.e. shrimp, crab. Read a little more before you post people!

  185. By the logic of this article and the French courts, we should also imprison every fat-American parent who eats too much high-fructose junk food when their breast-fed infant becomes diabetic before they are old enough to even pronounce the word… This article is biased and absurd; one inept vegan parent does not equate veganism to being unhealthy.

    • THANK YOU!! i was just trying to make this point the other day! just as many babies turn out unhealthy because the mother has a high fat diet due to eating too much meat? so by that logic eating meat and breastfeeding is murdering your baby too. its rediculous…

  186. There are many ways to breastfeed an infant while being vegan, but they ALL include eating FERMENTED soy, nutritional yeast, and other foods to properly nourish an infant. Even meat-eating mothers must supplement with iron and a multivitamin while breastfeeding. There is a lot of SCIENCE behind all of it. Chances are, just eating tofu and vegetables is not going to give you enough FAT or CHOLESTEROL for a growing baby’s brain and nervous system. These are very important for babies to develop properly.

  187. This is not an issue of vegan vs. omnivore . . . this is an issue of ignorance and neglect, which, by the way, I see plenty of in parents who eat meat. Making this a “vegan” issue is in-and-of-itself ignorant.

    This should frighten every parent because if your child is obese, ADHD, skinny, etc. you too could be charged with neglect. I don’t know the facts in this case so I’m hypothesizing, but take “vegan” out of the equation and you have something that affects every single parent.

  188. Pingback: Baby Breastfed by Vegan Mother Dies | Om girls Guide

  189. Carrot, squash and sweet potato are some of the best sources of vitamin a, so someone with a vegan diet needn’t have an issue getting the recommended intake. However fat and zinc are required for efficient absorption which probably was an issue. B12 is also hard to find in the vegan diet. Still seems a bit french to charge them.

  190. Neither plants nor animals make B12; it is produced by microorganisms, such as bacteria, fungi and algae. Herbivorous animals obtain it from bacteria in their rumens, either by absorbing it or by eating their own cecotrope faeces; rabbits, for example, produce and eat cecal pellets. When those animals are eaten, they become sources of B12. Plants from the ground that are not washed properly may contain B12 from bacteria in the soil, often from faeces; drinking water may also be contaminated with B12-producing bacteria, particularly in the developing world. Mangels et al write that bacteria in the human digestive tract produce B12, but most of it is not absorbed and is expelled in the faeces, with tiny amounts also expelled in the urine. James Halsted, a medical researcher, reported in the 1960s that a group of villagers in Iran eating very little or no animal protein were found to have normal B12 levels because they were living with animal manure near their homes, and were eating vegetables grown in human manure (known as night soil) and not thoroughly washed. The human mouth is another source of B12, but in small amounts and possibly analogue (not biologically active).

    There is some disagreement within the vegan community as to whether supplementation is needed; several studies of vegans who did not take supplements or eat fortified food, including in Western countries, have found no sign of B12 deficiency.[95] Mangels et al write that the disagreement is caused in part because there is no gold standard for assessing B12 status, and also because there are very few studies of long-term vegans who have not used supplements or fortified foods. According to Mangels, all Western vegans not using supplements or fortified foods will probably develop a B12 deficiency, though it may take decades to appear. There are reports that certain plant foods are sources of B12. Mangels et al write that fermented foods such as tempeh and miso, as well as edible seaweed (such as arame, wakame, nori, and kombo), spirulina, and certain greens, grains and legumes, have been cited as B12 sources, as has rainwater. Tiny amounts have been found in barley malt syrup, shiitake mushrooms, parsley and sourdough bread, and higher amounts in spirulina and nori, but these products may be sources of inactive B12. The consensus within the mainstream nutrition community is that vegans and perhaps even vegetarians should eat fortified foods or use supplements.

  191. I have nothing against Vegans really. Your diet is your lifestyle and it’s not my concern what people do with their lives. But the one thing that pisses me off about Vegans is that most of the ones I know live in a house with a steady income, and have the “luxury” to afford alternative products. The short summary is that a “Vegan” diet is also a luxury lifestyle. Please don’t try and preach it like it’s something that everyone can afford to revert to. And I don’t mean “afford” in just the money sense. Not everyone has the time to look for special foods in their busy lives, and most meat eaters (which is majority of everyone……) are just fine.
    The other thing that pisses me off is when someone preaches about how they are Vegan yet they are “perfectly healthy”. I know someone who lives off McDonald’s and guess what, HE IS PERFECTLY HEALTHY. This is not a case of the special snowflake. There are legit concerns about Vegan diets is which is why most people who are “ignorant” about it, are very skeptical about it. Instead of coming off so “better-than-thou” to the rest of us “dumb” meat eaters, how about just explain why your diet works. It really doesn’t help that all the Vegans I know (except this one girl who is very sweet….) come off so bitchy and preachy when people say anything about the lifestyle. Remember, you were once a meat eater too. Just don’t wonder why you get so much backlash for it. Not very many people are willing to sensibly talk about their Vegan diet with all the logical explanations. We just hear a lot of opinions and angry comments which doesn’t help. I wouldn’t go Vegan, but I personally find it interesting to learn about if people would just not bark in my face and act as if meat eaters are all morbidly obese people living in America.

  192. Jennifer Muirhead May 23, 2013 at 5:50 am

    Regardless of the mother’s diet, breastfeeding EXCLUSIVELY at 11 months sounds like a bad idea. They should at least be sampling other foods by then. And for the child to become so ill without something being done about it sooner suggests that something else was going on with the parents.

    Re. vegan breastfeeders, can’t they just take non animal based supplements?

    And wouldn’t upping the seafood in their diet put modern day pregnant women at risk of environmental toxins that could harm their babies?

  193. To clarify on the story:

    The child suffered bronchitis but the parents not believing in traditional medicine (Tami: they probably didn’t even have a regular doctor), they chose to treat her with clay, cabbage, mustard and flour poultice, and camphor and garlic oil massages.
    When seeing how fragile the baby was, they finally called the firefighters who declared the baby was dead.

    Although she was lacking A & B12 (increasing risks of infection), and actually weighed 5,7kg (12.5 pounds) instead of 8kg (17.6 pounds) for a child her age, the prosecutor insisted she didn’t wish to judge their lifestyle. They were judged on a lack of care leading to the death of the baby.

    They got 5 years in jail total, 30 months applicable, and had been there for 4 months waiting on the trial. So counting early releases, they probably did not stay long in prison after that.

  194. this just shows women should definitly not be vegan while they are pregnant and or nursing and that children probably shouldnt be raised vegan as small children, not that it is bad for you as a person. it is bad for pregnant/nursing women and small children.

  195. Annabelle Le Dieu May 23, 2013 at 6:45 am

    The whole story!!! The child died from bronchitis and malnutrition.
    You really should look into the whole story and not advertise the half of the information.

    It’s heartbreaking for any parent to lose a child but to ignore the advice of a Dr and clearly be able to see that your child is suffering from malnutrition and not consider adding food to the child’s diet when they aren’t thriving from breast milk alone, is definitely neglect. It wasn’t a vegan diet to blame though. Just an extremist risking their child’s life, just the same as those extreme religions that wont take the child to a Dr when needed or allow treatment to fix the child.

    • The whole story is that child died from malnutrition period, the bronchitis was only an opportunist secondary infection in a grossly mal nourished child who was vulnerable because of malnutrition.

  196. Check the wikipedia on the components of breast milk. It does not contain Vit. B12 and A.

    Human milk contains 0.8% to 0.9% protein, 4.5% fat, 7.1% carbohydrates, and 0.2% ash (minerals). Carbohydrates are mainly lactose; several lactose-based oligosaccharides have been identified as minor components. The fat fraction contains specific triglycerides of palmitic and oleic acid (O-P-O triglycerides), and also quite a large quantity of lipids with trans bonds (see: trans fat) that are considered to have a health benefit. They are vaccenic acid, and Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) accounting for up to 6% of the human milk fat.

    Composition of human breast milk
    Fat total (g/100 ml) 4.2
    fatty acids – length 8C (% )
    trace polyunsaturated fatty acids (%) 14
    Protein (g/100 ml)
    total 1.1
    casein 0.4 0.3
    a-lactalbumin 0.3
    lactoferrin (apo-lactoferrin) 0.2
    IgA 0.1
    IgG 0.001
    lysozyme 0.05
    serum albumin 0.05
    ß-lactoglobulin -
    Carbohydrate (g/100 ml)
    lactose 7
    oligosaccharides 0.5
    Minerals (g/100 ml)
    calcium 0.03
    phosphorus 0.014
    sodium 0.015
    potassium 0.055

    Having said that, can you still blame being vegan to the baby’s death???

    • “The composition of breastmilk is not uniform, and the concentrations of many of its constituents change during the lactation period and differ between individual mothers.”

      Quoted from your Wikipedia source. WIth a proper diet breast milk will contain Vitamin B12 and A. Do you really think that babies don’t need Vitamin B12 or A for 6 months? That list is obviously not an exhaustive list.

      “In the Gambia, for example, older, partially breastfed children obtain more than two-thirds of their vitamin A and fat from breastmilk”

      You should read the sources listed on Wikipedia if you want to use that as evidence of something.

      Someone else was right though about the parents being neglectful regardless. They could have been non-vegan and if their baby was nutrient deficient for any reason they should have noticed signs of deterioration.

      The fact they didn’t shows neglect regardless. Still it was their improper diet that resulted in not having these nutrients most likely.

  197. So, I flipped through oh about a third of the page or so of comments, and I really feel like I’m back in grade school. All that’s missing is whining for mom and hair pulling. Wow.

    First off – most “diets” aren’t healthy period. Vegan, vegetarian, non-vegan/vegetarian, raw foods only, meat only – it really doesn’t matter what you eat. We’re in such a chemical based society that absolutely nothing will give us the proper nutrition our bodies have evolved into needing. That’s why we have vitamin supplements (both human and animal). Sucks yes because nature provided for us for thousands of years without needing extra help but hey… welcome to the modern world.

    Now… with that being said – in regards to the article sans the “vegan is bad for you” parts… those parents had to have known something was wrong with their child. Being a GOOD parent means you take your child for their regular check-ups as babies (there’s like 4 of them). If after the first 3 months they seem to be more lethargic than they should be – go to the doctor! It’s what a good parent would and should do. Blaming the diet – which in this case yes was the cause because the mother was not providing what her child needed through breastfeeding – based solely on what it is is kind of wrong, but kind of not either. If a mother chooses to breastfeed their child (no matter how long they choose to) – then they should learn what foods/vitamins they really need to eat in order to provide proper nutrition for both themselves and their baby. That is easily found out through a dietician or your doctor.

    Should the parents have been charged with neglect? Absolutely. Any parent who apparently deliberately keeps their child who is too young to fend for itself malnourished -should- be punished for it. Sorry but when you have a child it becomes your responsibility to provide everything they need to survive. However, sometimes even the best parents lose children. It does happen. Should they be punished? Not really no. If they’ve done everything possible and it still happens, they have my deepest sympathies. Unfortunately we live in a world where crazy people exist who think “Well it’s good enough for me, it’s good enough for them” or “I don’t go to the doctor because I don’t believe in it so my child won’t either” and that’s when we have serious issues. Children require different nutrition than an adult. Children are able to consume vast amounts of things that would cause major health issues in adults. And no, doctors aren’t perfect, yes they make mistakes on diagnosis… yet more often than not they save more lives than they hurt. They’re human like the rest of us.

    Good, better, best, bad, ugly, worse, and worst… this is the world we now live in. And for the record………… I’m not giving up my steaks. Cows are delicious!

  198. WHO recommendations:”Breastfeeding is an unequalled way of providing ideal food for the healthy growth and development of infants; it is also an integral part of the reproductive process with important implications for the health of mothers. As a global public health recommendation, infants should be exclusively breastfed1 for the first six months of life to achieve optimal growth, development and health2. Thereafter, to meet their evolving nutritional requirements, infants should receive nutritionally adequate and safe complementary foods while breastfeeding continues for up to two years of age or beyond. Exclusive breastfeeding from birth is possible except for a few medical conditions, and unrestricted exclusive breastfeeding results in ample milk production”.

  199. I seriously doubt that autopsies are performed on deceased formula fed infants “It is welcome that WHO has come out against PAHO linking with the food and beverage industry. Nestlé is desparate to undermine controls on its marketing practices, which contribute to the unnecessary death and suffering of infants around the world and to the global rise in obesity and non-communicable diseases. As I speak, it is attempting to undermine strong baby milk regulations introduced in the Philippines. Nestlé invests heavily in trying to promote itself as a “health, nutrition and wellness” company to distract from its unethical marketing of baby milks and the high sugar, salt and fat content of many of its junk foods”. Hence, I feel terrible for these poor parents who have sustained one of life’s greatest tragedies, and seem to be singled out and punished…I mean really how many grossely neglected, malnourished children in the world, actually survive??

  200. Breast milk is a very healthy way top keep your child healthy living for 5 years. I started my son on a “soft” solid diet at 2 months old. As a good parent you are supposed to give them such a diet. My son grew to be one of the most intelligent and strong children you will ever meet. He was breast fed till he weened himself at 7 months. But we still pumped and gave him his glass to drink. Soft solids are good for the child. like banana, oats and fruits. You mash it and make it into a thin smoothly. Breast milk was not taking away his hunger. Feeding only breast milk and formula was not giving him his fill of food and nutrients. If you realize all babies are vegans till the day you decide as parents to make a chicken meal. You get all the TRUE nutrients from all vegetation this Earth provides. Vegans live 15 years longer than meat eaters and live healthier if they actually eat a proper diet. They should have been feeding their child blueberries with the breast milk. Kids love smoothies. People are unaware of facts when they become parents. Ive seen worse parenting and not one state official will correct the issues. So much abuse and neglect in todays modern day child. I firmly believe that for every person that wishes for a child, they must have classes and training before conception is allowed. Also, a good pyske exam would be best with it. If you dont pass, Then you are not allowed to have children.

  201. I notice people commenting that many other children were breastfed by their vegan mother’s and turned out just fine. Well, like the beginning of the article states, “Vegans have long been advised to take B12 supplements as long term veganism runs the huge risk of serious B12 deficiency as well as other nutrients only found in animal foods such as true Vitamin A. Beta carotene is not true vitamin A nor does it easily convert to adequate amounts of Vitamin A in the body.” These other vegan mother’s with healthy babies more than likely were more concerned about their childs health and took their doctors advice as to how to supply the proper nutrients to their child, while still being vegan. The parents who were charged, obviously did not. And they were not just charged because she was vegan and breastfeeding, it was truely neglect. A child can’t just simply die of nutrient deficency out of the blue. There were symptoms the parents ignored which probably included but not limited to ; weakness, and lethargy.

  202. It’s not just that the baby died, it’s not just that the mother was vegan. It also stated in the article that the mother was vitamin deficient from prolonged time on that type of diet. That is a huge part of this and we are all fighting about whether veganism is wrong. Be a vegan if you want; but regular checkups (which any mom-to be out there would have in developed countries) would have warned her about being deficient. That is where I see the neglect in this. If you know your diet choice creates such a large void in your health, then anyone with common sense would know that it would effect their baby more than them. They could have easily supplemented with formula (or taking some supplements to boost her own system) for a time until the child was older and on solid foods (again, optimal by 1 year, flexible to parents’ choice blah blah blah) when it would be safer. They got what they deserved and I’m sure there was more neglect than just this that caused the child to pass. It’s a sad story and I wish someone would have stepped in before it became a permanent situation.

  203. I think the fact that the parents were vegans should be completely set aside. The fact that the bad was exclusively breast fed at 11 months should be set aside. The reason this case is classified as abuse/neglect is because the parents failed to seek medical attention. They failed to notice that their child was malnourished and they did nothing about it. It doesn’t take a genius to tell when your child is hungry or under nourished. Why not ask a doctor or a naturopath how to make sure your baby was properly fed. It plain and simple was neglect!

  204. Let’s shovel the BS out and examine one well known example of a Vegan diet and see how well it prevented or cured cancer. Steve Jobs the founder of Apple Computer and one of the men who pioneer the medium on which you are reading my words, was a life long Vegan.

    Jobs had more money than God, he could eat anything he desired. Jobs desired Vegan grub. Steve Jobs could also afford the best health care money could provide and plenty of it. Despite his Vegan diet (or maybe because of it since no research has been done on this) Steve Jobs was diagnosed with colon cancer. As stated earlier money was no impediment for Steve Jobs. Jobs could have gone into the hospital had his cancer removed, and because the cancer was discovered early, Jobs stood almost a 100% chance of making a full and complete recovery.

    Sadly, this is when Jobs’ Irish kicked in. Jobs kept faith in his Vegan diet. Instead of having surgery to remove the cancer, Jobs chose to double his bet and adopted an even more radical Vegan diet that was touted to kill cancer cells.

    Jobs should have listened to his doctors. His colon cancer continued to grow and spread, and now the richest Vegan of all times, Steve Jobs is dead from colon cancer. So it seems that a Vegan diet at best is only as good at growing colon cancer cells as an omnivore diet is.

    Now it was Steve Jobs right to eat vegan if he so desired and that is what Jobs believed and what he did. However the people on this blog making statements about the unproven dangers of an omnivore diet, or the unproven benefits of a Vegan diet are no better than snake oil salesmen, and at worst they are murders.

    • There is more dis-information in this post than a benghazi hearing by tea partiers.
      First of all, it was pancreatic cancer, not colon cancer.
      Jobs also overdosed his glycemic index by eating copious amounts of fruits, and drinking way too much fruit juice. Hi glycemic intake can greatly stress the liver and pancreas, contribute to diabetes and many other blood sugar disorders, and have been linked to pancreatic cancer. So his own stupidity did him in, which had nothing to do with veganism. Everything in moderation as they say.

  205. I am getting really tired of all diets at this point and the people pushing them. Guess what? You can extend your lifespan perhaps with this diet or that – or you might not. Genetics, people. They rule all. Every doctor on the planet knows this, every scientist.

    Eventually you will die. That is certain. You can eat kale from sunup till sundown, you’re still going to die. Bacon, the same thing. Fish, eggs, bread, butter, flax seed, no matter what you eat, you WILL die. Something will take us all out. So wasting time in life arguing so vociferously about diet is almost farcical when life is too short to be arguing over it. Get your blood tested – if everything comes back ok on nutritional fronts? Whatever you’re eating is right. End of story.

  206. Just because your a vegetarian or vegan I don’t believe that you should force you child/children to be. My step mother did that and now that my half brother is 12 he decided that’s not what he wanted and decided to try meat and it made him very ill. Just because your something dose not mean you need to make you child that. That’s like saying hey I gay, because I’m your parent you will be too… What they did was very selfish, that child deserved to make his own choice although he could not talk clearly his body was talking…

    • Just because you’re omnivore doesn’t mean you should force your child to be one. If you put a chicken and an apple and a green bean in front of a baby – which one do you think he’s going to eat? Let a BABY decide what to eat? Moronic! They would eat the cat litter!

  207. It is unfortunate for the parents – Was the mother tested to see if she was vitamin deficient? Vegan diets are great but need to be more aware of variety and food combining to make it work. GMO foods are a problem and since these foods are not labeled in the USA …. most people are unaware of GMO and modification have been producing adverse effects… Keep also in mind more people drink purified water which takes the naturally occurring minerals out … Spring water is great source of minerals …
    read comments also:
    (many other sites will verify)

  208. the big picture is the baby was 11 months old with obvious signs of failure to thrive and no medical intervention was sought. This doesn’t happen over night, and is due to neglect.

  209. I am seeing everyone focus on the fact the parent was vegan. The reality is that if she would have taken the baby to the hospital for regular checkups this would not have happened. Either she would have been informed what to do or the medical profession could have reported her for neglect and had the baby removed. So while the diet didn’t help the baby, the lack of medical care was worse.

  210. The reason that this argument is ill-informed and prejudiced and misleading is because there were undoubtedly other factors in the child’s death than veganism. There are thousands of babies who are raised vegan and are perfectly healthy. It’s like saying the mother’s race was responsible — it is an unrelated factor. You can google tons of sites on vegan children that show them raised from babies quite healthy. Protein and iron and all the other nutrients children need are in plants. See the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine online for medical info. on raising vegan kids. They endorse it. In fact the reject feeding kids cow’s milk and meat, as these things are linked to cancer. This article above is very misinformed.

  211. This is sad. Why would you add to the guilt and anguish. They were new parents, how would they know. I mean, if they were told the baby was not getting enough nutrients, yes, they should get punished, but if nobody knew, why blame them. I feel sorry for them. Very, very sad.

  212. Even so if the child is breastfed by a vegan mother, where are the multi-vitamins? When I was having children the doctor always prescribed mult-vitamins. If he or she knew that mama was a vegan you would think that he or she would have prescribed the right kind of them to full fill the babies needs and not be malnourished. Something about this just doesn’t seem right. Like something is missing from the story. As far as going to prison for 5 years. I really don’t see that would do any good. Teaching the parents before allowing any more children would seem like the right way to go.

  213. I didn’t read the entire article. Just read what the French court said. So, the baby was sick and they never sought help. Wow. This makes it even worse. Why? They have health care and let the baby go? Can’t imagine how the baby suffered. :-(

  214. This is very sad, BUT why didnt the pediatrician noticed anything or why didnt he/she ask if the parent was a vegan? If she is a new mom, she may not have been aware that her diet could be harmful to her baby.

  215. I think people want to breast feed way to long these days and that may be one of the problems, my daughter started motioning us (pushing her food away and reaching out for ours and she also made chewing motions with her mouth to mimic what we were doing when we ate) at 4 months she wanted to eat what we were eating and so I mashed little amounts of our food to suppliment her formula, she didn’t like baby cereals and the only gar food she would eat was sweet potato. She was very small when she started eating normal food and she never had any trouble with it. She began drinking 2% dairy milk at 10 months and had no problems digesting it. Homo was too fatty and constipated her. I think moms are told that breast feeding is the best nutrition for their child and so they think they have to do it for too long. If your child is not thriving don’t you think you should change what your doing for that child’s well being. All these health guru’s just want you to do what they say and not think for ourselves anymore. Think about it………..
    By the way my daughter was always off the charts in growth and head size and she is a strait A student so I don’t want to hear anything about how we neglected her. You have to follow your child very closely and watch their development to make sure your doing the right thing for them.

    • You have got to be kidding. Read the WHO statement on breastfeeding. Babies should be exclusively breastfed until 6 months of age and then started on appropriate solid foods. Your statement bout babies being breastfed too long is terribly uninformed. If you did not breastfeed your child, how are you qualified to give your opinion about how long babies are breastfed?

      • H didn’t say she didn’t breastfeed, only that her dd wanted real food at 4 months. Both of you sound ignorant in that you think all babies follow some rule book. One baby does NOT make an expert out of a mother. WHO can only make generalized statements. Parents should not be made to feel like bad parents if they don’t follow WHO. Our society is very fickle on what it thinks about anything. The “right” way of thinking changes with the times. We make the best choices we know to make at the time we make them. We learn from mistakes.

        As someone else mentioned, there is more to this story than veganism.

  216. Vegetarian = no problem. Eggs & milk to the diet with no harm to any animal…especially if you support your local farm and avoid the mass produced versions of those 2 products.

    Veganism = one step too far. Grain fed cows & chickens certainly enjoy the harmony with good farmers. To cut eggs & milk out based on the mass production of said goods(as sickening as it is) is purely a cry on deaf ears.

    Create your own harmony without endangering a child. Seriously. Children love cows & chickens…milking & gathering eggs is an awesome & fulfilling experience. Vegans have to rethink their extremist ways. This article just points that out in brutal fashion


  217. the importance of dietary factors, multiplied exponentially while nursing, can’t be denied. however, this ‘smacks of’ a new mother not being appropriately guided by her medical advisors. regardless of her dietary choices [which as far as i have heard are still liberties every single human on the planet possesses] there are many, many ways to solidly support diet and nutrition beyond consuming animal products. what government agency could possibly be so dense, and not to mention callous, to consider charges of this nature? how absurd.

  218. To be honest, I kind of think most people are missing the biggest issue with this case. In my opinion, both the mother’s diet with regards to her own health and the length of time that she was breastfeeding are both her decision. They are nobody’s business but her own and maybe her husband and doctor. Basically, they are subjective, and pretty much anyone you ask will have a different opinion about them. What is not up for debate, and from what I understand, the reason that these parents were sent to prison, is the fact that they neglected their child. The update to the article clearly states that they didn’t seek medical attention for their child even after is was obvious that the child was sick. For whatever reason, they didn’t take the child to the doctor. There is not a single reason that I can think of that would justify not seeking medical attention for a sick child, especially a baby. Further, it is certainly neglectful of the mother to not consider how her diet would affect her baby. A simple google search would no doubt bring up many articles or sources of information about the topic, allowing her to keep her child healthy whilst still being vegan, or at least vegetarian. Surely she would be willing to compromise a little for the sake of her child. And before I get attacked for suggesting that vegans should have to compromise during pregnancy and/or breastfeeding while no one else has to, that is neither what I am saying or at all true. Women with pretty much any kind of lifestyle alter their diet when with child. They add or increase those things that are beneficial and reduce or eliminate those that are harmful. Also, my point is that she should have considered her role in her child’s health. She also should have taken the kid to the friggen doctor. I saw a post earlier about how the doctors should be held responsible as well, and if there were any evidence that they allowed the situation to continue and did nothing, I would agree wholeheartedly. However, there is not a lot that the doctor if the parents refuses to bring the child in or refuse medical advice, short of calling child protective services. I guess this was just a long winded and slightly tangential way of saying that they were sent to prison for being bad parents and allowing their child to die, not because they were vegan or for how long they breastfed.

  219. This is horrible…however…was the baby not eating food by then? I am confused if the baby was almost a yr old should have been eating food?! So sad!

    • Miranda~ According to the article– No, apparently she was exclusively on breast milk. I agree with your the baby should have been on at least “vegan solids by then”. Sad indeed!

  220. Dr. Fuktard said Vegan diet is natural research it it’s legit, but don’t forget Dr. shytestain said Vegan DIEts will require the all natural and locally grown capsuled supplement of B12 and vitamins A,C,D, AC/DC, R,E,O,SPEEDWAGON and Omega 3. You know I would love to just say it straight whether you are vegan or omnivores or carnivores or whatever if you want to have a natural diet….. like really natural…… learn from nature….. it’s a balance ok the circle of life…. now we don’t have to go pick off what our monkey and chimp cousins are eating or how many gazelles the tiger ate we can just look how nature runs it self…..balance. People keep talking about dental work and well we have both molars and incisors . Anyhow i feel a bit better for wasting my time but ill leave you with this…. no matter what side you are on in this argument you will always be able to find some doctor to say “no there wrong and i am right”. It has been that way since you were in grade school and you were unpopular. I am right you are wrong nah na nah na boo boo

  221. First thing for vegetarians and vegans to note: Infants are INCAPABLE of processing Beta Carotene. The ability to process beta carotene to vitamin A only develops later as a person matures (and even in adults, it’s a laborious process; this is a primary reason why it is difficult to OD on vitamin A from beta carotene; another is demand switching; eating liver, on the other hand, is a fairly easy way to OD on vitamin A as it is a very concentrated source of retinol… that is, vitamin A). Plant based food contains beta carotene, not vitamin A, and thus plants are useless to infants as a source of Vitamin A. Infants must get vitamin A from an animal based source.

    Second thing to note. B12 is only found in animal sources, and rapidly developing infants need a regular source of B12. Vegetable “almost” B12 will not work for infants. Adults can get away with low B12, but infants can not. The reason vegan Indians can get away without animal based B12 for so long is because of the lower standards for vegetables in India (there are far more permissible insect and insect egg levels in India than in Westernized vegetables… This is why Indian immigrants can often have nutrition issues when they move to a Western country while maintaining a vegan diet). If your veganism allows for insects, throw in a fried grasshopper once in a while. It does not take a lot of B12 to meet requirements. If you are breastfeeding, throw in 2 gh’s once in a while… Infants need B12 since they are developing FAST… you, as an adult, are not.

    Ever wonder why high Calcium in plants seem to always be accompanied by oxalates? It is because calcium (in the form readily accessible to humans) is pretty much toxic to plants. Thus, calcium in plants is usually in the form of calcium oxalate. Here, at least, a hope for vegans, you can get readily absorbable calcium from a (mostly) non animal source (that is, straight calium bicarbonate). Although, it *may* be be better to first soak sodium bicarbonate in lemon juice (producing calcium citrate) and taking the calcium citrate (it settles as a milky cloudy layer above unprocessed and gritty calcium bicarbonate, and below what remains of the lemon juice. If you are ovo-vegetarian, you can use egg shell and get a little extra magnesium in the process. Note, you need appropriate ratios of magnesium and animal vitamin D to go with your consumed and absorbed calcium… These 3 work together. If you get plenty of sun-exposure, you can get by without an animal source of vitamin D (animal and plant forms of vitamin D are different, and in infants, the difference can be severe).

    And, lastly, just a bit of a pet peeve of mine: I hear a lot of poorly informed vegetarians and vegans (and, yes even the more-carnivorous folks) make claims that vegetables are the best source of vitamins and minerals. Unfortunately for us vegetarian folks (and vegan folks), this is actually a myth. Animal meats (most especially, organ meats, which most Westerners don’t even eat, BTW) are actually the greatest sources of just about every vitamin and mineral. So much so, that you can actually overdose on some vitamins and minerals from organ meats (I already mentioned, above, the possibility to OD on vitamin A from liver). Be an INFORMED VEGAN and an informed vegetarian. It is not a crime a violation of some ethical code to recognize that animal meats may have better sources of vitamins and minerals far above plant sources. If you are vegetarian, recognize that fact so you don’t come off looking like some ignorant arse to someone who knows better. Recognizing the fact does not invalidate vegetarianism. As a vegetarian/vegan, be informed, especially about the limitations about plant based foods, to protect yourself (and, as applicable to this article, any child you breastfeed). If you can tolerate insects into your veganism/vegetarianism, please do. If not, maybe eat a bunch of figs and pretend there’s no insect material in them (they contain dissolved wasps, an integral part of the fig fertilization process).

  222. You know i’ve dated three veggy eaters in my day, no offence to you guys but all three had these issues. Bad breath, pale skin, got sick a lot, allergies, sun burnt easy, and honestly had a bad oder. The best part they would bug me for eating meat. Very uncool, eat your veggies but don’t push your bs on others. And let your child choose thier own lives. I like hunting wild meat is the best tasting food in the world. I don’t care if its a new age, we were designed to eat meat so stop trying to change it. It’s a fact vegans don’t get the right nutritional value and that is why you look pale and sick all the time. Yes you do, and how skinny some of you are is gross. Sorry but it’s true. I mean what next? Teaching tigers to eat leaves because of the poor little dear he ate had feelings. Oo It’s the natural way of life leave it alone.

  223. I’ll probably get a lot of hate for this, but the parents really should be charged in this case. Babies don’t just die from malnutrition. You’ll see the signs in their bodies, unresponsiveness, lethargy, and changes especially in their eyes and skin with Vitamin A deficiency. The child was 11 months, almost a year if they had been observing those symptoms for at least three months and not doing anything then they murdered their child. A dietitian or a doctor has that title for a reason. Four or five years of study on their field. Guy that stopped in high school and is claiming to know more than any of them in the comments section might need to go back to class as you clearly didn’t understand what you were being taught. Blood sugar is toxic? and they’re all “empty carbohydrates” that don’t provide any fiber or minerals like thiamine right? Where did you get that? For all those people arguing that you don’t need animal based foods to survive what are your qualifications? If none, you’re just sprouting something you heard on the Internet. Please do some research before costing another baby his/ her life. P.S. No one said she had to eat it if it was soo against her belief but at least give the child an enriched formula.

  224. We eat meat, but personally, I’d rather supplement my children with B12 and Vitamin A then feed them spoonfuls of antibiotics and steroids commonly present in grocery store meat.. probably the same steroids that caused the author of this article and the meat eater advocating commenters to become so angry with Vegans, that they would take advantage of a tragedy to make an invalid point. The parents of this child were obviously not educated, plain and simple.

  225. First off, I’m not in favor of a vegan diet, I like eggs and dairy way too much (my family is vegetarian for ethical reasons), but for all those standing on their soap boxes about how you need to consume dead animals (fish, mammals and fowl) to be healthy, you are grossly mis-informed. I am the child of ovo/lacto vegetarians and my mother breastfeed me and my siblings, and we were all (and still are) very healthy. My parents raised me vegetarian and in turn I am raising my children vegetarian.

    My first children were twins who were born early (this had absolutely nothing to do with my diet, rather the weight of two babies confusing my body) and they were on breastmilk from the moment they were able to (maybe three or four days after they were born). And now I have healthy, almost three year old twins, who people are surprised to find out were preemies.

    My third, was born full term at a hefty 9lbs 13oz. And has since grown like a weed. He is very healthy and the doctors are very happy with his development.

    I do take vitamins, but so does my meat eating husband. So don’t go blaming the diet. Blame the person on the diet and the lack of following up with the doctor. The mother neglected her own health and, in doing so, neglected her baby’s. It is tragic, but as someone else mentioned earlier, this is being sensationalized because she was vegan. If the same thing happened when the mother was consuming meat, it would have just boiled down to neglect and people wouldn’t be making the same amount of fuss.

    *BTW vegetarianism is almost always classified as excluding meat and by-products that come from a dead animal, which means that eggs and dairy are allowed. Vegans are those vegetarians who have chosen not to consume any animal product/by-product regardless of whether or not the animal is still living.

    • Yes Shan that is true but you admitted to taking vitamins! That is what a responsible parent does when she has young ones to care for. I admire you for thinking of your children. You say your husband is a meat eater. I’m just wondering are the children considered meat eaters too? Then they can decide what they want to do in the future? Like I said just wondering that’s all.