Vegan Diet for Babies Good or Bad
Baby and Vegetables
Jade Sanders and Lamont Thomas
Lamoy and Joseph Andressohn
Did the Vegan Diet Kill These Babies?
There is a wide controversy on if babies, especially newborns should be on a vegan diet. Is this healthy or is it a death sentence?
We have all heard of the stories of starvation and death of babies given this type of diet. Were these parents at fault? An infant can not choose what goes into his or her body.
To recap on the death of Crown Shakur who died just 6 weeks old on April 25, 2004, he weighed only 3.5 pounds. Crown Shakur’s parents, Thomas and Jade Sanders were both Vegan and wanted to stick to their Vegan way of life, even when it came to their new born son. He was fed on soy milk and apple juice. Vegans do not consume animal products in any form. This includes diary products as well.
Both of Crown’s parents claimed they didn’t think their baby was in danger until minutes before he died. Prosecutors said the couple intentionally neglected their child and refused to take him to the doctor.
The jury (who had four vegetarians on it), were convinced by the prosecution that the couple intentionally neglected and did not feed their child. May 2007, Lamont Thomas and Jade Sanders were both found guilty of malice murder and child cruelty to the death of their son. Both parents were sentenced to life in prison.
In 2005, Joseph and Lamoy Andressohn were convicted of manslaughter on charges in the death of their 5 1/2 month daughter Wovah (died on May 15, 2003). She weighted just under 7 pounds. The Miami-Dade Medical Examiner's Office concluded that the child died from malnutrition. Authorities say the baby was fed only wheat grass, coconut water and almond milk.
An autopsy found the child's thymus gland was almost nonexistent. Defense Attorney Ellis Rubin stated that a defect was responsible for the infant's low weight at the time of death.
The prosecutor attempted to negotiate a plea bargain. The couple refused saying they were innocent. The prosecutor continued with the plea bargain until it finally went to court. Lamoy and Joseph Andressohn were cleared of manslaughter but convicted of child neglect.
These are two cases of four infants who have died given a vegan diet. Did these babies die of malnutrition or was it birth defects? Which could be the case for baby Wovah.
My Opinion on a Vegan Diet for Babies
I am neither a vegetarian nor vegan. I have been on a vegetarian diet in the past. I don’t think I would have the discipline to be on a vegan diet. I love diary products too much. A diet in this nature can be very healthy as long as nutritional supplements are added. There is a lot of truth to red meat products not being as healthy and harder to digest. I have a great respect for anyone who chooses this type of lifestyle.
An infant needs the right about of protein and vitamins. Soy milk and fruit juice do not give enough nutrition. Vegan diets may lack in vitamins A, B and D, and minerals like calcium and zinc. The diet may even lack DHA, the omega-3 fat found in fatty fish. This is vital in the development for the eyes and brain to develop properly. Supplying an infant with the missing supplements, may be possible but hard to achieve.
In my opinion, a diet like this can benefit toddlers and children but a parent should stay away from this type of diet for their newborns.
Before a parent decides if a vegan diet is right for their children, I they should research and read as many books on this subject. Discuss what is the proper nutrition is with their physician.
My heart goes out to the families who have lost their children.
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© 2010 Sandy Mertens
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