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BACK to the case against veganism - 2


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Older children damaged by veganism:


French vegan couple's baby died of vitamin deficiency after being fed solely on breast milk

the mother - Sergine Le Moaligou A vegan couple who solely fed mother’s milk to their baby daughter before she died because of vitamin deficiency
faced life prison sentences in 2011.
Sergine and Joel Le Moaligou appeared before a judge and jury in Amiens, northern France, charged with neglect of Louise, their 11-month-old child.
Both are militant vegans whose diet forbids them eating any animal products whatsoever, and they only use alternative medicine.
They took up the lifestyle after watching a TV programme about cows being slaughtered, with Mr Le Moaligou setting up a biological food business which recently went bankrupt.

Mrs Le Moaligou, who is now 40, called an ambulance in March 2008 after her daughter started sweating profusely and crying, and appeared to have no energy. By the time the emergency services arrived at the family home in Saint Maulvis, a village in the Somme region north of Paris, Louise was dead.
She only weighed 5.7 kilos (12.5 pounds), compared to an average eight kilos for children of the same age.
Ambulance staff pointed out that the baby was thin and pale, before Mrs Le Moaligou admitted that she had solely been feeding her on her own breast milk. ‘The couple did not follow doctor’s advice to take their baby to hospital when she was suffering from bronchitis and was losing weight when they went for the nine-month check-up.
‘They preferred applying clay or cabbage poultices whose recipes they found in their books. These are people who read the wrong things at the wrong time’ - Defence lawyer Stephane Daquo
An autopsy then revealed that Louise had been suffering from a deficiency of vitamin A and B12 – both of which are essential to healthy growth in a child. Such deficiencies also increase a child’s sensitivity to infection.
Prosecutor Anne-Laure Sandretto told the court: ‘If the mother was not consuming enough vitamin B12, then the child would not be either.’

Stephane Daquo, for the couple, said they were originally inspired to become vegans after being upset by a TV programme about cows being killed in abattoirs. He said they also have a 13-year-old daughter who has never suffered any serious health problems. - They were also opposed to traditional medicines, and used alternative therapies instead. - Mr Daquo said: ‘The couple did not follow doctor’s advice to take their baby to hospital when she was suffering from bronchitis and was losing weight when they went for the nine-month check-up.
The child died in the couple's home near the town of Amiens, France.
Mr Le Moaligou’s lawyer, Patrick Quenel, said the couple remained committed vegans and were ‘wholly aware of the mistake they made’, but pleaded not guilty. The Le Moaligous were formally charged with ‘neglect and food deprivation followed by death’ which carries a maximum sentence of 30 years.
The Le Moaligou case is believed to be the first time that a couple have faced a prison sentence for a crime directly linked to a vegan lifestyle.

The parents were convicted to 5 years in jail:


Baby death parents spared jail
Friday, 14 September, 2001
The parents of a nine-month-old girl who died after being fed a fruit-based diet have been spared a jail sentence.
Areni Manuelyan died of a chest infection, brought on by malnutrition in July 2000 weighing just eleven and a half pounds, six pounds less than she should have. At her post mortem she was found to be markedly thin, dehydrated and to have severe pneumonia - all of which could be linked to malnutrition. At their trial, her parents, Garabet and Hazmik Manuelyan, both 45, pleaded guilty to child cruelty.
That would normally have resulted in a prison sentence. But at the Old Bailey on Friday, Judge David Paget said what had happened to the family was punishment enough.

Loving but misguided
The Armenian couple, from Staines, Surrey, described as "loving but misguided" in court, were placed under a community rehabilitation order for three years. Mrs Manuelyan still sleeps on the blanket that last held Areni.
She was described by Linda Strudwick who was defending her as "a mother who cared passionately for her children. Perhaps she cared too much."
The couple's two other children have been taken into care.
Judge Paget said: "This is a wholly exceptional and tragic case.
"You have been punished and will continue to be punished by the consequences of your actions."

The couple were vegans, but in 1996 switched to a fruitarian diet consisting of raw vegetables, fruit and nuts.
After Areni's birth on 8 September 1999, the family saw a paediatrician who said the baby was not developing properly, and that her mother's breastmilk was nutritionally deficient. Other doctors and social workers warned against the diet.
But the court was told the couple had shown a "stubborn refusal", and would not follow the advice.
Later, the family went to live on a vegetarian commune in Spain, where they believed Areni's Vitamin D deficiency would be cured by sunlight. The couple believed all Areni needed was "sunshine and fruit".
They returned to the UK in July 2000 when Areni became seriously ill. A doctor who the couple went to see, who specialised in oxygen therapy, told Areni's parents she needed to be taken to hospital immediately. But Mr Manuelyan, a bus driver, was said to be worried about the chemicals his daughter may be treated with, and the couple ignored the advice.
On July 5, 2000, an ambulance was called to the family home because Areni had stopped breathing. She was taken to hospital and later certified dead. A nutritionist said even if she had been taken to hospital the day before her death, she could have survived.

Nutritionists say a fruitarian, or fruit-only diet, is completely ill-advised for such a small child. They add that even adults need to be careful not to stick to a fruit-only diet for too long.
Catherine Collins, a spokeswoman for the British Dietetic Association, (BDA) said some fruitarians did eat raw vegetables or pulses. But she said: "The main problem for a nine-month old child is that they need a very high calorie to weight intake."
Without that, she said babies of that age - and younger - would not have the fuel they need for muscle growth, organ growth and brain development. They would miss out on proteins, iron, calcium, essential fatty acids and raw fibre, which will all affect their development.
BDF paediatric dietician Nicole Dos Santos said babies would also need the fat and nutrients they would receive from breast or bottle milk, and it was important babies received one or the other. She said a fruit-only diet was unsuitable for a child. "This is not a diet a child should be put on."


Couple found guilty of the manslaughter of their baby son jailed for five years each

Manslaughter trial of vegan parents
Tue, 4th June 2002
The manslaughter trial of Deborah and Roby Jan Moorhead continues. - The Dargaville couple have denied causing the death of their six-month-old child Caleb by failing to provide the necessaries of life.
In an interview with a detective, Jan Moorhead said he never knew his son was going to die until his final breath of life, because of his faith in the herbal remedies which he was treating him with.

Moorheads get five years
Thu, 13th June 2002
The Northland couple found guilty of the manslaughter of their baby son have been jailed for five years each (by a High Court jury in Auckland, New Zealand)
Deborah and Jan Moorhead were convicted of causing the death of eight-month-old Caleb by failing to provide the necessaries of life.

Better info wanted for vegans
There are calls for better nutritional information for vegans, in the wake of the Moorhead manslaughter trial.
Jan and Deborah Moorhead have started five-year prison sentences for the manslaughter of their infant son.

Six-month-old Caleb Moorhead died from a vitamin B12 deficiency, caused by his mother's strict vegan diet which was free of meat, dairy products and fish.
He was being breastfed.
His parents refused to seek medical help for the problem.
Vegan Society Coordinator Sandra Murray says veganism is growing and people need to know the facts. She would like to see a pamphlet produced about veganism, particularly aimed at pregnant women and mothers.


6 week old Atlanta baby dies of starvation in 2004 - the parents convicted of murder

The New York Times
Nina Planck
May 21, 2007

WHEN Crown Shakur died of starvation, he was 6 weeks old and weighed 3.5 pounds. His vegan parents, who fed him mainly soy milk and apple juice, were convicted in Atlanta recently of murder, involuntary manslaughter and cruelty.
This particular calamity — at least the third such conviction of vegan parents in four years — may be largely due to ignorance. But it should prompt frank discussion about nutrition.
I was once a vegan. But well before I became pregnant, I concluded that a vegan pregnancy was irresponsible. You cannot create and nourish a robust baby merely on foods from plants.
Indigenous cuisines offer clues about what humans, naturally omnivorous, need to survive, reproduce and grow: traditional vegetarian diets, as in India, invariably include dairy and eggs for complete protein, essential fats and vitamins. There are no vegan societies for a simple reason: a vegan diet is not adequate in the long run.

Protein deficiency is one danger of a vegan diet for babies. Nutritionists used to speak of proteins as "first class" (from meat, fish, eggs and milk) and "second class" (from plants), but today this is considered denigrating to vegetarians.
The fact remains, though, that humans prefer animal proteins and fats to cereals and tubers, because they contain all the essential amino acids needed for life in the right ratio. This is not true of plant proteins, which are inferior in quantity and quality — even soy.
A vegan diet may lack vitamin B12, found only in animal foods; usable vitamins A and D, found in meat, fish, eggs and butter; and necessary minerals like calcium and zinc.
When babies are deprived of all these nutrients, they will suffer from retarded growth, rickets and nerve damage.
Responsible vegan parents know that breast milk is ideal. It contains many necessary components, including cholesterol (which babies use to make nerve cells) and countless immune and growth factors. When breastfeeding isn't possible, soy milk and fruit juice, even in seemingly sufficient quantities, are not safe substitutes for a quality infant formula.

Yet even a breast-fed baby is at risk. Studies show that vegan breast milk lacks enough docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA, the omega-3 fat found in fatty fish. It is difficult to overstate the importance of DHA, vital as it is for eye and brain development.

A vegan diet is equally dangerous for weaned babies and toddlers, who need plenty of protein and calcium. Too often, vegans turn to soy, which actually inhibits growth and reduces absorption of protein and minerals. That's why health officials in Britain, Canada and other countries express caution about soy for babies. (Not here, though - perhaps because our farm policy is so soy-friendly.)

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.
Nina Planck is the author of Real Food: What to Eat and Why.

Death By Veganism

Vegan Couple Gets Life in Prison After Baby Dies of Starvation
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
ATLANTA - A vegan couple were sentenced Wednesday to life in prison for the death of their malnourished 6-week-old baby boy, who was fed a diet largely consisting of soy milk and apple juice.
Superior Court Judge L.A. McConnell imposed the mandatory sentences on Jade Sanders, 27, and Lamont Thomas, 31. Their son, Crown Shakur, weighed just 3 1/2 pounds when he died of starvation on April 25, 2004.
The couple were found guilty May 2 of malice murder, felony murder, involuntary manslaughter and cruelty to children. A jury deliberated about seven hours before returning the guilty verdicts.
Defense lawyers said the first-time parents did the best they could while adhering to the lifestyle of vegans, who typically use no animal products. They said Sanders and Thomas did not realize the baby, who was born at home, was in danger until minutes before he died.
But prosecutors said the couple intentionally neglected their child and refused to take him to the doctor even as the baby's body wasted away. ...

Vegan Couple Gets Life in Prison After Baby Dies of Starvation

Last week, Lamont Thomas, 31 and Jade Sanders, 27, were found guilty of malice murder, child cruelty and other charges that related to the death of their son, Crown Shakur.
A jury deliberated for seven hours before bringing back the verdict.
Under a Georgia State Law that requires life in prison for anyone convicted of malice murder, Superior Court Judge L.A. McConnell sentenced the couple to just that today.

Vegan Parents Get Life in Prison for Death of Son
Vegan couple will serve life sentences for starving baby to death, court rules 9-2011


Baby Woyah Was 6 Months Old and Less Than 7 Pounds When She Died in 2003

Oct. 18, 2005
ABC News

A Florida couple accused of starving their baby to death are scheduled to face two of their surviving children in court today.

Joseph Andressohn, 36, and Lamoy Andressohn, 30, are charged with aggravated manslaughter and neglect in the death of their daughter, Woyah, who was 6 months old when she died in May 2003. The Andressohns also face four counts of child neglect stemming from the care of their four surviving children who are living with a relative under state supervision. The Andressohns say Woyah died from a genetic disorder that caused her malnutrition.
Two of the Andressohns surviving children, ages 6 and 8, are scheduled to testify for the prosecution today. The Andressohns had another child after Woyah's death, a girl named Joya, who is now 6 months old and is being cared for by a guardian.

Paramedics found Woyah's lifeless body on the floor of her parents' living room in May 2003 after her parents placed a frantic 911 call. The little girl's body was described as "emaciated" in a medical report, with ribs clearly visible through her stretched skin. An autopsy showed Woyah never learned to sit, stand or lift her head on her own. In the weeks before her death, she had trouble keeping her eyes open, and they would spontaneously roll back into her head.

She weighed less than 7 pounds when she died, just a few ounces more than when she was born and less than half of an average 6-month-old.

Prosecutors say the Andressohns starved Woyah to death by restricting her to a raw food diet, also known as a vegan diet or a "living foods lifestyle," feeding her only wheat grass, coconut water and milk made from almonds.
"Those parents caused their child Woyah to suffer malnutrition so severe that it turned that child into a bag of skin and bones," said assistant Florida state attorney Herbert Walker in court. "Baby Woyah's body was eating itself because it wasn't getting enough nutrients."
The defense will argue the Andressohns had no reason to believe Woyah was developing abnormally since her parents and grandparents are "small" and their first four children were also small until they reached the age of 1.

The Diet

The two main principals of the raw food diet is
  • that humans aren't meant to eat animal products such as meat or dairy, and
  • that cooking diminishes the nutritional value of food. Followers of the diet believe heating food above 118 degrees will kill the enzymes in it, diminishing its nutritional value.

    "For a child that is 6 months old, they don't have any intestinal ability yet to digest raw foods," said Heidi Skolnick, a nutritionist and contributing editor for Men's Health magazine. "Most babies, you don't even introduce solids for four or six months."
    The entire Andressohn family adhered to the diet, although Joseph Andressohn has been known to smoke and eat meat.
    The Andressohns say they were trying to keep their children from becoming "obese." Joseph Andressohn had struggled with a weight problem, and at one time reached 250 pounds. Friends say he was determined to save his children from repeating his mistakes. The Andressohns say they attended conferences, watched educational parenting shows and read books before deciding to put their children on the diet. It has also been reported the family's diet may have been connected to their religion, known as "Hebrew Israelite" which promotes raw food and natural eating.

    The Florida Supreme Court has ruled parents have the right to raise their children according to their spiritual beliefs, but have held that religion may not be used as a defense in cases of abuse and neglect of medical treatment for a child.
    Woyah had no medical records and the couple told police they did not believe in traditional medical care. They said they avoided doctors except in extreme circumstances, administering wheatgrass enemas to cure their children's sickness.
    None of the Andressohn children received immunizations, none has ever been to a doctor and all were born at home.
    The defense insists Woyah did not die from starvation, but of a genetic disorder that caused her malnutrition.
    "It didn't make a difference what the diet was for the child was who died because she was doomed because of these congenital defects," said the Andressohn's attorney, Rubin Ellis.

    The prosecution will present its case today, and two of the Andressohn children are expected to testify on a closed circuit TV because prosecutors say they are too afraid and traumatized to be in the same room with their parents.
    At the time of Woyah's death, all of her siblings were found to be below average height and weight for their age and at least one showed signs of rickets, a bone deficiency caused by a lack of vitamin D. The children told court psychologists they were given forced enemas and beaten with a belt for violating the diet.
    The defense says the children have been "brainwashed." "When she was first interviewed 28 months ago, there were no such allegations," Ellis said of one of the children. "Gradually they changed their testimony. Little children can be brainwashed, of course.
    "The child died because of a congenital defect which, when the child swallowed, the fluid came back up the esophagus," Ellis said. "This child inhaled some of that … some of the food particles went into the lungs and caused pneumonia and the child died."

    The trial is expected to wrap up within the next two weeks. If convicted on all charges, the Andressohns could face more than 17 years each in prison.

    Aggravated Manslaughter
    MIAMI - A vegan couple who kept their five children on a strict raw-foods diet was cleared of aggravated manslaughter Monday for the death of their 6-month-old baby, but convicted of four counts of child neglect.
    A Miami jury rendered their verdict after less than 90 minutes of deliberation in the trial of Joseph and Lamoy Andressohn, who were accused of feeding their children an inadequate diet of raw fruits and vegetables in spite of signs that they appeared malnourished and underweight.
    The four counts of neglect relate to the Andressohns' oldest surviving children, ages 4 to 9, who on average weighed less than 97 percent of other children their ages, according to prosecution testimony, when 6-month-old baby Woyah died on May 15, 2003. The infant weighed less than 7 pounds and was 22 inches long when she died, less than half the average for children her age, according to prosecution medical experts.
    The pair still face up to 20 years in prison on the four counts of child neglect when they are sentenced Dec. 15, but could receive as little as probation.

    Parents Accused of Starving Infant to Death
    Miami Verdict


    15 month old baby almost dies of starvation - couple sentenced to prison

    Couple Guilty Of Assault In Vegan Case
    April 5, 2003

    A Queens NY couple who fed their baby daughter a strict vegetarian diet, including homemade infant formula, were convicted yesterday of nearly starving her to death.

    A jury in State Supreme Court found the couple, Joseph and Silva Swinton, guilty of first-degree assault and two lesser charges.
    They were immediately taken into custody. Each faces 5 to 25 years in prison.

    The case, described in some headlines as the Vegan Baby Trial, attracted widespread attention beyond the couple's Queens Village neighborhood. Prosecutors said that as exotic and sensational as it sometimes seemed, the facts were plain enough: a diet with no dairy products or infant formula is not adequate for a newborn child, and the parents should have known better.

    ''This community spoke through the jury and indicated that the weakest will be protected,'' said Eric Rosenbaum, the prosecutor. ''The law protects children.''
    The results of the Swintons' care, prosecutors and medical experts said, were disastrous. By the time the authorities intervened when the child was 15 months old, she was toothless, had rickets, broken bones and internal injuries. She was severely malnourished and weighed 10 pounds -- less than half the normal weight for a young toddler.

    The girl, IIce (pronounced ICE), will be 3 in July and has been living in foster care since the authorities took her from her parents in November 2001. Prosecutors said yesterday that IIce was ''now on the growth scale,'' and was physically progressing, but doctors suspect that she has neurological damage.

    Lawyers for the Swintons said they would appeal the verdict, noting that the first-degree assault charge included a finding that an offender had depraved intentions. Part of the Swintons' defense had been that they were not knowledgeable enough about child nutrition and did not realize that they were endangering their child until hospital workers told them that IIce was sick.
    ''I don't see justice here,'' said Christopher Shella, a lawyer for Mrs. Swinton. ''That they made the wrong choice doesn't make it depraved, given how much they cared about their child.''

    Mrs. Swinton, who is 32, gave birth to IIce at her home three months prematurely. They never received prenatal or postnatal care. In an interview yesterday as she waited for the verdict, Mrs. Swinton said she had been a wayward, 300-pound young adult when she decided to adopt the vegan diet. She and her husband of seven years, who is also 32, have been on it for several years.

    Mrs. Swinton said she chose not to breast-feed IIce. After trying to feed her different kinds of commercial baby formula for several months, the couple decided to put her on a natural foods diet. Examining the label on commercial baby formula cans, Mrs. Swinton said she tried to replicate the chemical composition with natural ingredients, including ground nuts and puréed fruits and vegetables.

    ''We were brand-new parents trying to do everything we could for her,'' Mrs. Swinton said yesterday. She was rueful, noting that she had ''never even got a speeding ticket'' and now faced prison.

    Amy Lanou, the nutrition director for the Washington-based Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, testified during the three-week trial that both vegan and vegetarian diets would allow breast milk, and barring that, soy-based baby formula. Mr. Rosenbaum, the prosecutor, said the care given to IIce was akin to what a child might offer to a ''pet gerbil.'' He said that no matter what the parents' intentions, their failure to seek any type of medical care as IIce's condition worsened merited the criminal charges. In addition to assault, the parents were convicted of first-degree reckless endangerment and endangering the welfare of a child. They will be sentenced on May 16.

    Members of several black advocacy groups attended most of the trial and after the verdict, some said that from the start, the mostly white jury was against the Swintons, who are black. The jurors, who deliberated for two days, had been sequestered since Wednesday morning, prompting Judge Richard L. Buchter to remind them as they were dismissed that ''there's a war going on, and it's people like you serving in this system that is what America is all about.''

    The verdict shocked the Swintons' relatives and friends, many of whom sat through day after day of often highly complex medical testimony regarding the ability of the human body to process certain chemicals. Some relatives, though, had testified for the prosecution, confirming that the Swintons were IIce's sole caregivers and had complete responsibility for her feedings.
    Mr. Swinton's lawyer, Ronna Gordon-Galchus, said she believed that the nine women and three men on the jury were emotionally swayed by the disturbing testimony of the child's medical condition and that the Swintons' intentions should have played a larger role in the verdict.

    ''Everything they did for their child, they believed was in her best interest,'' Ms. Gordon-Galchus said.
    The parents were arrested six months after the baby was removed from their home. Mrs. Swinton was able to post bail, but Mr. Swinton has been in Rikers Island since his arrest. She gave birth to a second child, a boy, named InI (pronounced I-en-I), last July. She said she hid him from the authorities for 15 days and was now limited to regular visits with him. He is also in foster care.
    As she was led from the courtroom after being taken into custody, Mrs. Swinton called out to her mother, ''Tell IIce and InI that I love them.''

    Couple Guilty Of Assault In Vegan Case
    Reduced Sentence 11-06


    From Vegan-style Creationism Woo Kills Baby
    "Unfortunately there are vegans who subscribe to what is really a form of creationism, a fictional evolutionary narrative in which humans are a peaceful herbivorous species. Proponents of this often cite "evidence" that is very poor and completely irrelevant, such as our lack of fangs (plenty of herbivores have fangs and many omnivores do not). ...
    A few other woo victims (strict vegetarianism =vegan):

  • A Syndrome of Methylmalonic Aciduria, Homocystinuria, Megaloblastic Anemia and Neurologic Abnormalities in a Vitamin B12-Deficient Breast-Fed Infant of a Strict Vegetarian
  • Severe Vitamin B12 Deficiency in an Infant Associated With a Maternal Deficiency and a Strict Vegetarian Diet
  • Nutritional Vitamin B12 Deficiency in a Breast-fed Infant of a Vegan-diet Mother
  • Vitamin B12 deficiency in a breast fed infant.
  • Brain damage in infancy and dietary vitamin B12 deficiency.
  • Severe nutritional vitamin deficiency in a breast-fed infant of a vegan mother"

    Also see:

    Older children damaged by veganism:

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