I’m sure you’ve heard about the Italian parents who were accused of starving their baby because they put him on a Vegan diet. Well, now it seems that the Italian parliament wants to make that lifestyle illegal for children altogether. Elvira Savino, from the conservative Forza Italia party, is trying to have a law put on the books that would hold parents legally responsible for feeding their children a Vegan diet, or what they are calling, “a diet devoid of elements essential for healthy and balanced growth.”
From the article:
“I have nothing against vegans or veganism as long as it is a free choice by adults,” she told Reuters on Wednesday, days after she presented the proposed law in the lower house Chamber of Deputies.
“I just find it absurd that some parents are allowed to impose their will on children in an almost fanatical, religious way, often without proper scientific knowledge or medical consultation,” she said.
For those of us who are vegans, and for all the parents who have healthy, thriving vegan children, we know this lifestyle is FULL of sufficient nutrition. However, there are still some uneducated pediatricians and dieticians who know nothing about it (and won’t learn about it) and therefore advise against feeding children thusly.
If you don’t know what a vegan is, or even the difference between them and vegetarians, it’s in the fine details; vegetarians do not eat meat, fish, or poultry but vegans not only avoid meat but all animal products (including honey). Some won’t even wear leather.
The law asks for a jail sentence of a year for raising a child on a vegan diet and up to four years if the child develops a permanent health problem. If the child dies, as a result, the sentence goes up to seven years. It will apply to children under 16 but penalties increase, by a year, if the child is under three.
Savino is a meat eater.
More from the article:
“Last month in the northern city of Milan, doctors determined that a one-year-old boy who was taken to a hospital had the weight of a three-month-old because of a vegan diet.”
I totally understand wanting to protect children from starvation. And, these parents, no matter how well-meaning, were not doing a good enough job. There is absolutely no reason why a child shouldn’t thrive on this diet and I know plenty who do. But, Savino believes that peds should report vegan parents to authorities, just like they would if they noticed signs of physical abuse on a child and that is ridiculous. And reporting someone for what they eat is a step too far.
Savino’s draft still needs to be discussed by parliamentary committees before it goes to the floor for a debate, which they expect to happen this year.
Source: NBC News