You don't have to be a vegan-basher to applaud Nina Planck's clear-eyed, sobering piece about the explicit, deadly dangers of feeding an infant a vegan diet. Planck notes that three times in recent years (most recently in Atlanta) vegan parents have been convicted of murder, involuntary manslaughter, and cruelty charges. These parents misguidedly fed their infants a vegan diet with tragic results.
I have been on panels with Nina Planck and found her to be forceful, compelling figure whose views can often be polarizing. But on this particular issue there can be no doubt about the legitimacy and truthfulness of her point of view.
The last two paragraphs of the piece tell the whole story:
Historically, diet honored tradition: we ate the foods that our mothers, and their mothers, ate. Now, your neighbor or sibling may be a meat-eater or vegetarian, may ferment his foods or eat them raw. This fragmentation of the American menu reflects admirable diversity and tolerance, but food is more important than fashion. Though it's not politically correct to say so, all diets are not created equal.
An adult who was well-nourished in utero and in infancy may choose to get by on a vegan diet, but babies are built from protein, calcium, cholesterol and fish oil. Children fed only plants will not get the precious things they need to live and grow.
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