Vegan Parents Charged with Neglect After Nursing Baby Dies

Health & Wellness on 03.31.11

 

Photo: nerissa's ring/Creative Commons

Just a few weeks after a couple in Greece was denied adoption because they're vegetarian, a vegan couple in France has been charged with neglect following the death of their 11-month-old daughter.

The parents, Sergine and Joel Le Moaligou of Saint-Maulvis, called the ambulance when they found their daughter "listless" in March 2008, reports Brietbart -- but the baby was dead by the time medical workers arrived. She weighed only 12 pounds and was "pale and thin," prompting the emergency workers to notifiy the police.  

An autopsy showed that the baby was deficient in vitamins A and B12, which "increases a child's sensitivity to infection and can be due to an unbalanced diet," while the deputy prosecutor said that the lowered vitamin levels "could be linked to the mother's diet."

While the article doesn't draw a direct link between the vegan diet and the daughter's death, it does report that the baby had never been fed anything other than breastmilk (most babies start eating mushy foods around six months, and rely on them for the bulk of their calories by around 9 months). But since vegans eat only fruits, vegetables, soy, grains, and legumes -- and, according to the American Heart Association, vitamin B12 only occurs naturally in meat and other animal products -- it is possible that the mother could have had a vitamin B12 deficiency that she passed to her daughter.

A spokesman for the couple told The Daily Mail that the Le Moaligou's had refused modern medical treatments for their daughter in the past, ignoring advice from their doctor to take the baby to the hospital after her nine-month check-up when she was losing weight and had bronchitis.

"They preferred applying clay or cabbage poultices whose recipes they found in their books," Daquo is quoted as saying. "These are people who read the wrong things at the wrong time."

The couple also has a healthy 13-year-old daughter. 

 

Top Articles on Health
How Vitamin B12 Works
Why You Want Your Baby to Be Fat (No, Seriously)
When Starting Solid Foods for Infants, Easy Does It