If you are a parent considering raising your child plant-based, consider the case of a 12-year-old girl raised on a strict vegan diet. The girl ended up in the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Glasgow, Scotland suffering from a severe form of rickets.
The girl had already experienced multiple fractures and been diagnosed with a degenerated spine comparable to that of an unhealthy 80-year-old woman.
Fast Food Diet Better for a Child than Veganism
Say what you will about a child who eats junk food, if the diet overall includes animal foods like eggs, meat and dairy…even if from fast food joints…this type of bone degeneration simply does not happen.
For all the downsides of The Standard American Diet, it is shockingly still a better choice than even a whole food vegan diet (aka “plant-based”) that is devoid of numerous critical nutrients a growing child’s body demands.
Pediatrician Discredits Veganism for Children
Media reports indicate that the hospital doctors were under pressure to report the girl’s parents to police and social workers.
Dr. Faisal Ahmed, a pediatrician treating the girl, warned that the dangers of forcing children to follow a strict vegan diet need to be publicized. (1)
If raised strictly vegan, the child would almost certainly have severe deficiencies of Vitamins A and D, both of which are essential bone nutrients that can only be obtained from animal foods.
In all likelihood, the child would also be lacking needed calcium, zinc (the intelligence mineral), B-12 as well as other B vitamins, Vitamin K2, the EPA and DHA fatty acids, and the sulfur containing amino acids methionine and cysteine.
Although the human body is theoretically capable of converting beta carotene from vegetables like carrots into true Vitamin A, children are not able to do so efficiently if at all.
Sunlight could have provided Vitamin D but only if the family spent a lot of time outdoors year-round in a tropical area. Northern climes like Scotland simply do not offer the benefit of Vitamin D-producing sunlight for much of the year.
Other Cases of Child Vegans Suffering Severe Nutritional Deficiencies
Sadly, this is not the first time vegans have been accused of child abuse though it may be the first case involving crippling bone damage. More typically, vegan babies end up in the hospital from malnutrition caused by the use of soy milk instead of infant formula.
Given soy milk alone, babies end up with severe vitamin, mineral, fatty acid, and amino acid deficiencies, which is why soy formula manufacturers are required by law to add methionine and other nutrients that are critical for a baby’s growth.
In 1990, the FDA investigated after a two month old girl in California was hospitalized with severe malnutrition. Her parents had fed her soy milk instead of soy formula. Because of this and a similar incident in Arkansas involving the SoyMoo brand of soy milk, the FDA issued a warning on June 13, 1990. Since then, most brands of soy milk include warning labels in tiny print on their packages.
Clearly, voluntary warning labels have not been enough, and there have been deaths as well as hospitalizations of vegan babies fed soy milk. Vegan parents in Atlanta were found guilty of the death of their six-month-old baby. To supplement the mother’s inadequate supply of breast milk the parents had fed their son soy milk and apple juice. The baby was only 3 1/2 pounds when he died of starvation. (3)
The sad truth is that numerous vegans have been charged and found guilty of unintentionally starving their children from all across the globe, including parents in Belgium, Sweden, Italy, Australia, and the United States among others. (4-10)
Vegan Breastfeeding Dangerous Too
In France, a vegan couple was sentenced to 5 years in prison for the death of their 11-month-old daughter. The baby, who was only 12.5 pounds at the time of her death, had been exclusively breastfed by a vegan mother.
An autopsy showed her to be not only severely underweight and malnourished but severely deficient in Vitamins A and B12. (2, 11-12)
The mother had cared enough to breastfeed, but had an inadequate supply of poor quality milk because of the severe nutritional limitations of her plant-based diet.
While veganism for very young children can be catastrophic, the tragic case of the 12-year-old Scottish girl illustrates that plant based diets for older children are also dangerous. Although finally getting medical treatment, the child’s long-term prognosis for recovery and a normal life remains grim.
Sadly, the word about the dangers of veganism for children doesn’t seem to be getting through to the general public. The continual barrage of highly flawed propaganda-ridden, documentaries such as What The Health guarantees that more well-intentioned but seriously misinformed vegan child malnourishment cases are likely to follow.
(1) Parents of 12-Year-Old Vegan Girl Who Has Degenerative Condition May Face Charges
(2) French Vegans Charged with Neglect After Baby’s Death from Nutritional Deficiencies
(3) Vegan Couple Serving Life Sentences for Starving Baby to Death
(4) Vegan Couple Who Fed Child Only Raw Fruit and Vegetables Charged with Murder
(5) Sydney vegan couple starved 20-month-old girl leaving her toothless and with rickets
(6) Baby Death: Parents Convicted of Killing Son with a Diet of Vegetable Milk
(7) Swedish Parents Jailed for Almost Starving Vegan Toddler to Death
(8) Strict vegan parents starved their baby of nutrients so badly that the one-year-old developed cerebral palsy and was in intensive care for a month with rashes and internal bleeding
(9) Italian baby raised on a vegan diet hospitalized for severe malnutrition, removed from parents
(10) Vegan couple will serve life sentences for starving baby to death, Georgia court rules
(11) French Couple Sentenced to 5 Years in Jail for Vegan Breastfeeding Death of 11 Month Old Baby
(12) Vegan Parents Face Jail