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Thread: Parents who raise children as vegans should be prosecuted, say Belgian doctors

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.

    Parents who raise children as vegans should be prosecuted, say Belgian doctors



    Doctors in Belgium have called for parents who raise their children as vegans to face prosecution after a number of deaths in schools, nurseries and hospitals.

    It is estimated that 3 percent of Belgian children are forced to follow the strict diet, which rules out any animal products, including dairy and eggs.

    The Royal Academy of Medicine of Belgium published a legal opinion on Thursday, which could influence future court judgments and is the first time a health authority has taken a position on veganism in the country.

    The opinion said it was unethical to subject children to the diet because it didn’t include animal proteins and vital amino acids which can help growth and prevent health problems.

    The vegan diet could only be made safe for growing children if complemented with medical supervision, regular blood tests and vitamin supplements, which most parents were not qualified to provide.

    “We must explain to the parents before compelling them,” said Professor Georges Casimir, who led the commission that wrote the report, “but we can no longer tolerate this endangerment.”

    "This restrictive regime requires ongoing monitoring of children to avoid deficiencies and often irreversible growth delays," the legal opinion said, "It is unsuitable for unborn children, children, teenagers and pregnant and lactating women."

    "It is not medically recommended and even forbidden to subject a child, especially during periods of rapid growth, to a potentially destabilising diet, requiring frequent supplementation and control,” it said.

    “This concept of nutrition is similar to a form of treatment that it is not ethical to impose on children.”

    The opinion was published after a request by Bernard Devos, a regional government official responsible for children’s rights and protection in Brussels and the French-speaking region of Wallonia.

    Mr Devos asked for the opinion after children suffered health complications, including a number of deaths, in schools, nurseries and hospitals, Belgium’s Le Soir newspaper reported.

    It would make it easier for him to enforce the separation of a child from parents who insisted the youngster followed the restrictive diet.

    Professor Casimir warned that such a strict regime would now legally qualify as “non-assistance to a person in danger”, a crime which carries a sentence of up to two years and fines in Belgium.

    A person cannot be convicted of the 1961 offence if he is unaware the person is in danger but the legal opinion now made it common knowledge that a vegan diet can kill, he told Le Soir.

    The pediatrician said, “When we are children, the body manufactures brain cells. This implies higher requirements for protein and essential fatty acids. The body does not produce them, it must be brought in via animal proteins.

    “We are talking here about stunted growth and psychomotor delays, undernutrition, significant anemia. Some developments must be done at a specific time in life and if they are not done, it is irreversible.”

    Dawn Carr, of PETA, said, "What a load of ignorant codswallop! NHS nutritionists confirm that while a meat- and dairy-based diet is what strikes people down in adulthood – as it can lead to hardened arteries that cause stroke, brain aneurysms, and heart attacks – a well-planned vegan diet is perfect for babies and children.

    "Kids, including my own, thrive on a balanced vegan diet, but as with any dietary regime, it's the parent's responsibility to ensure their child is getting all the necessary nutrients. And yes, that's easier to achieve on a vibrant vegan diet rich in whole grains, vegetables, and pulses."

    Heather Russell, dietitian at The Vegan Society, said: “Nutritional planning is important for everyone, not just vegans. It’s possible to provide all the nutrients needed for growth and development without animal products.”

    “Both the British Dietetic Association and the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recognise that well-planned vegan diets can support healthy living in people of all ages, including infants, children, teenagers and pregnant and breastfeeding women,” she added.

    In 2017, in Beveren, Belgium a couple were sentenced to a suspended six month sentence after their seven-month-old baby died of malnutrition and dehydration.

    The infant’s death was blamed by doctors on the parents’ choice to only feed it vegetable milk.

    A survey published last year found that 44 percent of Belgians had cut their meat consumption, despite the country’s fondness for Flemish beef stew and frites cooked in beef, horse or goose fat. 16 percent of Belgians said they eat mostly vegetarian.

    The trend mirrors that seen across Europe, as concerns over climate change and animal welfare grow.

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/201...d-say-belgian/

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jovialis View Post
    Doctors in Belgium have called for parents who raise their children as vegans to face prosecution after a number of deaths in schools, nurseries and hospitals.

    It is estimated that 3 percent of Belgian children are forced to follow the strict diet, which rules out any animal products, including dairy and eggs.

    The Royal Academy of Medicine of Belgium published a legal opinion on Thursday, which could influence future court judgments and is the first time a health authority has taken a position on veganism in the country.

    The opinion said it was unethical to subject children to the diet because it didn’t include animal proteins and vital amino acids which can help growth and prevent health problems.

    The vegan diet could only be made safe for growing children if complemented with medical supervision, regular blood tests and vitamin supplements, which most parents were not qualified to provide.

    “We must explain to the parents before compelling them,” said Professor Georges Casimir, who led the commission that wrote the report, “but we can no longer tolerate this endangerment.”

    "This restrictive regime requires ongoing monitoring of children to avoid deficiencies and often irreversible growth delays," the legal opinion said, "It is unsuitable for unborn children, children, teenagers and pregnant and lactating women."

    "It is not medically recommended and even forbidden to subject a child, especially during periods of rapid growth, to a potentially destabilising diet, requiring frequent supplementation and control,” it said.

    “This concept of nutrition is similar to a form of treatment that it is not ethical to impose on children.”

    The opinion was published after a request by Bernard Devos, a regional government official responsible for children’s rights and protection in Brussels and the French-speaking region of Wallonia.

    Mr Devos asked for the opinion after children suffered health complications, including a number of deaths, in schools, nurseries and hospitals, Belgium’s Le Soir newspaper reported.

    It would make it easier for him to enforce the separation of a child from parents who insisted the youngster followed the restrictive diet.

    Professor Casimir warned that such a strict regime would now legally qualify as “non-assistance to a person in danger”, a crime which carries a sentence of up to two years and fines in Belgium.

    A person cannot be convicted of the 1961 offence if he is unaware the person is in danger but the legal opinion now made it common knowledge that a vegan diet can kill, he told Le Soir.

    The pediatrician said, “When we are children, the body manufactures brain cells. This implies higher requirements for protein and essential fatty acids. The body does not produce them, it must be brought in via animal proteins.

    “We are talking here about stunted growth and psychomotor delays, undernutrition, significant anemia. Some developments must be done at a specific time in life and if they are not done, it is irreversible.”

    Dawn Carr, of PETA, said, "What a load of ignorant codswallop! NHS nutritionists confirm that while a meat- and dairy-based diet is what strikes people down in adulthood – as it can lead to hardened arteries that cause stroke, brain aneurysms, and heart attacks – a well-planned vegan diet is perfect for babies and children.

    "Kids, including my own, thrive on a balanced vegan diet, but as with any dietary regime, it's the parent's responsibility to ensure their child is getting all the necessary nutrients. And yes, that's easier to achieve on a vibrant vegan diet rich in whole grains, vegetables, and pulses."

    Heather Russell, dietitian at The Vegan Society, said: “Nutritional planning is important for everyone, not just vegans. It’s possible to provide all the nutrients needed for growth and development without animal products.”

    “Both the British Dietetic Association and the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recognise that well-planned vegan diets can support healthy living in people of all ages, including infants, children, teenagers and pregnant and breastfeeding women,” she added.

    In 2017, in Beveren, Belgium a couple were sentenced to a suspended six month sentence after their seven-month-old baby died of malnutrition and dehydration.

    The infant’s death was blamed by doctors on the parents’ choice to only feed it vegetable milk.

    A survey published last year found that 44 percent of Belgians had cut their meat consumption, despite the country’s fondness for Flemish beef stew and frites cooked in beef, horse or goose fat. 16 percent of Belgians said they eat mostly vegetarian.

    The trend mirrors that seen across Europe, as concerns over climate change and animal welfare grow.

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/201...d-say-belgian/
    Good for them. This stupidity has to end. If you want to follow it as an adult, go ahead; it's your body if you want to risk that you don'k know what you're doing, what foods you're combining, that you're taking the right supplements etc. However, infants, children, and pregnant or lactating women are a different situation. You have no right to compromise the development of another human being. A human being, btw, who would have to be given services and perhaps supported by everyone else's taxes, if some people are concerned with those things.


    Non si fa il proprio dovere perchè qualcuno ci dica grazie, lo si fa per principio, per se stessi, per la propria dignità. Oriana Fallaci

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    Good for them. This stupidity has to end. If you want to follow it as an adult, go ahead; it's your body if you want to risk that you don'k know what you're doing, what foods you're combining, that you're taking the right supplements etc. However, infants, children, and pregnant or lactating women are a different situation. You have no right to compromise the development of another human being. A human being, btw, who would have to be given services and perhaps supported by everyone else's taxes, if some people are concerned with those things.
    Vegan diets can work but you probably have to engage the services of a dietician before you follow that diet. I remember when my wife and I started dating we had a vegetarian diet that included chicken but no red meat or pork. Both of us tested anemic following that diet so we had to balance our diet with iron containing foods and no, spinach did not help!
    Last edited by bigsnake49; 19-05-19 at 04:44.

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Made me remember of an article I read time ago:
    https://www.nature.com/news/2005/050...s050221-5.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by Regio X View Post
    Made me remember of an article I read time ago:
    https://www.nature.com/news/2005/050...s050221-5.html
    It does make a lot of sense to me that large ruminant meat would induce growth in children. Those robust Paleolithic humans were eating lots of meat too, weren't they?

    Up to 80% greater upper body muscle mass is crazy.

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by markod View Post
    It does make a lot of sense to me that large ruminant meat would induce growth in children. Those robust Paleolithic humans were eating lots of meat too, weren't they?
    Up to 80% greater upper body muscle mass is crazy.
    According to it, 80% "increase" in upper-arm, not upper body, in comparison to the increase observed in "vegetarians". Sample of more than 500 kids... And probably a non vitiated one, I presume, since they did it in Kenya; i.e., I guess their diet was not related to their parents' diet/choice necessarily, which could imply some sort of genetic/environmental correlation?
    Hope they at least bothered trying to mimic an average vegetarian diet. We know that vegetarian parents are generally concerned with alternative sources of certain nutrients. Still...

    Not sure Paleolithic people had plenty food available, to eat as they wish, so without any sort of scarcity. Anyway, the references must be themselves, not modern people, and not any people. Pity we don't have anymore their children for researching. je je je Well, in fact, no need of Paleos. There are still hunter-gatherers around, and short ones, as eskimos. Then let's take off the meat of their children and feed them with an average vegetarian diet, to see how they grow up. According to the research in question, they would become basically pygmies. Lol

    Kiddings apart, I'm sure there must be vegetarian parents, more knowledgeble ones, who can feed their children properly with varied vegetables (and likely supplements). I have a veg friend very serious in this regard. She opted to give them eggs (don't know how often) and - indirectly - milk, though; so she doesn't automatically discard a product just because it may contain (derivatives of) milk. Even so, she has to select well what she gives them additionally. You know, a whole egg has not even the half of protein that an average toddler needs "daily", afaik. And a simple portion of rice, bean, oat etc. may not compensate, especially if the little one eats relatively few food, or don't appreciate some alternative sources of protein. Funnily, just a spoon of meat, daily, would be necessary. Bioavailable, it would also include all amount and types of amino a. they need in a whole day, plus important vitamins (like B12), minerals, and even some saturated fat, cholesterol etc., also important at a certain degree.
    Anyway, it seems the children of this friend are growing relatively well just with eggs, especially the older one, pretty smart and active. So she managed to conciliate her "beliefs"(?) with a good diet/nutrition, certainly above average, even if we include here standard/normal diets (with meats). This is just an exemplum in contrarium I found. I wish all vegetarians were like her. :)

    Cheers

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    0 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Well, your friend seems to be a vegetarian, not a Vegan, which is different.

    There are a lot of cultures where not that much meat is eaten, down even into the present time. However, they eat fish, lots of cheese if not milk itself, and often eggs as well as occasional types of meat.

    It's all very well to take some ideological stance that we shouldn't eat animals, or their products, but the fact remains that we evolved as meat or protein eaters; it was a factor in creating our larger brains. Our very intestinal tracts are adapted to deconstruct it.

    As an adult, full grown, one can afford to indulge all of this, but a Vegan diet for fetuses and babies is completely out of order imo.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    Well, your friend seems to be a vegetarian, not a Vegan, which is different.
    There are a lot of cultures where not that much meat is eaten, down even into the present time. However, they eat fish, lots of cheese if not milk itself, and often eggs as well as occasional types of meat.
    It's all very well to take some ideological stance that we shouldn't eat animals, or their products, but the fact remains that we evolved as meat or protein eaters; it was a factor in creating our larger brains. Our very intestinal tracts are adapted to deconstruct it.
    As an adult, full grown, one can afford to indulge all of this, but a Vegan diet for fetuses and babies is completely out of order imo.
    Strict vegetarians don't eat even eggs nor dairy, while vegans, besides, don't use even leather, products that have been tested in animals, and on and on. Afaik she's indeed scrict vegetarian. Given her convictions, I think it's somewhat "commendable" what she's doing, however, I really don't know if she herself ate eggs etc. when she was pregnant (we are not "close" friends). Hope so. There are some nutrients more difficult to get without products of animal origin, beyond vit. B12, DHA (ALA doesn't seem a good substitute) etc. Anyway, that's the message. She at least gives her children some nice alternatives, and imo it would be good if vegetarians in general do the same, already assuming many of them simply don't manage to compensate the lack of products of animal origin through vegetables only (even if in theory it's possible). I'm affraid we couldn't expect it from vegans in general. They tend to be much more "radical" about it, apparently.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Regio X View Post
    According to it, 80% "increase" in upper-arm, not upper body, in comparison to the increase observed in "vegetarians". Sample of more than 500 kids... And probably a non vitiated one, I presume, since they did it in Kenya; i.e., I guess their diet was not related to their parents' diet/choice necessarily, which could imply some sort of genetic/environmental correlation?
    Hope they at least bothered trying to mimic an average vegetarian diet. We know that vegetarian parents are generally concerned with alternative sources of certain nutrients. Still...

    Not sure Paleolithic people had plenty food available, to eat as they wish, so without any sort of scarcity. Anyway, the references must be themselves, not modern people, and not any people. Pity we don't have anymore their children for researching. je je je Well, in fact, no need of Paleos. There are still hunter-gatherers around, and short ones, as eskimos. Then let's take off the meat of their children and feed them with an average vegetarian diet, to see how they grow up. According to the research in question, they would become basically pygmies. Lol

    Kiddings apart, I'm sure there must be vegetarian parents, more knowledgeble ones, who can feed their children properly with varied vegetables (and likely supplements). I have a veg friend very serious in this regard. She opted to give them eggs (don't know how often) and - indirectly - milk, though; so she doesn't automatically discard a product just because it may contain (derivatives of) milk. Even so, she has to select well what she gives them additionally. You know, a whole egg has not even the half of protein that an average toddler needs "daily", afaik. And a simple portion of rice, bean, oat etc. may not compensate, especially if the little one eats relatively few food, or don't appreciate some alternative sources of protein. Funnily, just a spoon of meat, daily, would be necessary. Bioavailable, it would also include all amount and types of amino a. they need in a whole day, plus important vitamins (like B12), minerals, and even some saturated fat, cholesterol etc., also important at a certain degree.
    Anyway, it seems the children of this friend are growing relatively well just with eggs, especially the older one, pretty smart and active. So she managed to conciliate her "beliefs"(?) with a good diet/nutrition, certainly above average, even if we include here standard/normal diets (with meats). This is just an exemplum in contrarium I found. I wish all vegetarians were like her. :)

    Cheers
    I mean they probably did eat much more meat than almost any modern population unless they lived the tropics. Eurasian forests don't have enough fruit to sustain anyone.

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