Vegans are always going on about how their diet is better than that of a meat eater’s and how it’s certainly possible to get everything that your body needs without resorting to eating animal products. Unfortunately, recent events have indicated that this isn’t true for everyone.
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Over in Antwerp, two parents have been handed a six month suspended jail sentence after it was determined by a judge that their seven month old baby Lucas had died due to malnourishment, probably as a result of his vegan diet. He weighed only nine pounds at the time of his death, which is at least seven pounds underweight. His vital organs had shrunk to half their normal size.
His parents argued that they fed him on a vegetable milk made of oats, buckwheat, rice, and quinoa, that should have been enough to give him the nutrients his body needed to develop, and also argued that there were extenuating circumstances that contributed to his malnourishment. For one, his mother did not lactate and Lucas rejected any formula they tried to give him, which led them to the conclusion that he was lactose intolerant.
However, the case against them argued that they refused to take him to an official doctor, instead listening to the advice of homeopathic specialists and this refusal to listen to trained specialists permeated throughout the trial. Judge Bustraen (pictured below) summarised the case in the following way:
The [death was the] result of the systematic offer of food which was not suitable.
His health was seriously impeded, and he eventually died.
The defendants knew the precarious health situation of their child, yet refused to call in medical help in time.
It is clear that the defendants have already been severely punished because they need to proceed with life in the knowledge that they are responsible for the death of their son, who they truly loved.
RIP. It’s uncertain whether the vegan diet was directly responsible for his death – nutrition specialists state that it is possible for babies to develop healthily following a strict vegan diet – but it seems like it was certainly contributory and it could possibly have been avoided if the parents had perhaps consulted a doctor or not adhered to it.
Unfortunately we’ll never know. This should serve as a warning for any parents wanting to raise their children on a vegan diet – it’s possible, but make sure you consult every outlet when pursuing it, as your baby could end up dead because of it. Nobody wants that.
For more vegan stuff, check out three reasons why it’s definitely a good idea to become a vegetarian. Just saying.