Jump to content

Response to an Irresponsible Attack


Recommended Posts

Response to an Irresponsible Attack


On Monday, May 21, the New York Times published an anti-vegan opinion piece (e.g. "Children fed only plants will not get the precious things they need to live and grow.") Below are three letters to the editor submitted by Vegan Outreach staff (there is a 150 word limit); you can also read the actual letters the Times published on-line. Vegan.com also ran a podcast on May 21 devoted to the issue.




Nina Planck ("Death by Veganism," May 21, 2007) basically accuses me of child abuse for having eaten a well-planned, informed vegan diet during pregnancy and breast feeding, and for raising my daughter on an equally well-planned and informed vegan diet. In seventh grade, though, my daughter has an IQ over 140 (higher than mine or my husband's), gets straight-As in the gifted program, and runs a 6:32 mile. The death of Crown Shakur, while tragic, implicates the parents -- clearly woefully ignorant of nutrition -- and not the vegan diet per se.


-Anne Green, Ph.D.



Nina Planck’s piece is a classic case of ignorant dietary extremism getting "debunked" by ignorant dietary extremism. Prosecutor Chuck Boring said that it was not because the child was fed a vegan diet but rather that "The child died because he was not fed. Period."


According to the American Dietetic Association, "Well-planned vegan and other types of vegetarian diets are appropriate for all stages of the life cycle, including during pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence." (J Am Diet Assoc. 2003 Jun;103(6):748-65.) I have met dozens, if not hundreds, of healthy children who have been raised as vegans from birth.


As with any diet, parents must make sure their children are getting all necessary nutrients. VeganHealth.org contains helpful information and links for anyone considering a vegan pregnancy or raising their children as vegans. It also has a page showing numerous thriving children who were raised from birth as vegans.


-Jack Norris, Registered Dietitian, Editor




I was shocked to see the irresponsible -- and easily refuted -- attack on all vegan parents. Ms. Planck may want to rationalize her own personal failure to maintain a compassionate vegan diet, but according to the American Dietetic Association and Dietitians of Canada: "Well-planned vegan and other types of vegetarian diets are appropriate for all stages of the life cycle, including during pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence."


One child’s death condemns only the parents, not a diet. Many thousands of children thrive on a vegan diet (e.g., veganhealth.org/articles/realveganchildren), while avoiding the epidemic of obesity and diseases facing most children in the U.S.


All parents owe their children the best. Feeding kids the flesh of other animals -- although familiar and easy -- is not the best we can do. Raising kids on a well-planned diet based on awareness and compassion is a much better choice.


-Matt Ball

Executive Director, Vegan Outreach

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Healthy vegan kids? Really?


Thanks for sharing this Robert!


Your the wrong person to be talking as you have raised 3 children that are missing every nutrient known to man

Link to comment
Share on other sites

After googeling I found a thread at mothering.com:


It really shows the confusion that people deal with.

You got all kinds in this thread, vegans, near-vegans, "I used to be a vegan but almost died" weston price people, and a few confused in between. One went out to say that she believed retinol (preformed vitamin A, not present in a vegan diet) was more important than excersize for health since this was the conclusion weston price drew 60 years ago. It also shows some of the hostile reaction one gets (that many of us can refer to) when only eating plants.

It's somewhat a sad thread to read but still good as it shows alot of the problems that people deal with and where and how they get their information.


This Weston Price dude seems to be an American thing? Where did he come from, never heard of him until like a year ago.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...