Feeding your kid a vegan or vegetarian diet may be against the law in Italy, as a law maker proposes that vegan diets are somehow harmful to children. Now don’t get me wrong, there have been instances where negligent parents feed their kid a diet lacking in nutrients and as a result the child can develop severe deficiencies, such as in this case of a child being fed nothing but almond milk and as a result developing scurvy.
But in every case where a child on a vegan diet is made sick, it has nothing to do with the fact that the diet is vegan, and more to do with the fact that the diet is inadequate. As I have mentioned in the case of the child fed only one brand of almond milk for like, 11 months.
Now in Italy, 10% are Obese while at least 40% are overweight, as of statistics in 2014. The rate of consumption of animal products is on the rise alongside the rise in obesity. The reason the rates are not higher is due to Italy having more of a cultural emphasis on walking and bike riding, as well as traditional Italian cuisine of foods with less meat in them and more dairy, as opposed to the United States. Even then, the rates of Childhood Overweightness and Obesity is higher in Italy than in the US. That said, Italy is still feeling the growing effects of a wide nutritional deficiency.
Aside from high rates of being overweight, which can increase your rate of all cause mortality significantly, a study on the dietary pattern in central Italy in 2008 showed that the Standard Italian Diet is deficient in Calcium, Vitamin B1, Vitamin D, Folate, Fiber, and Vitamin E.
If Italy is going to make it illegal for a parent to “force” their vegan diet on children, even a perfectly healthy vegan diet, on the assumption that vegan diets are “inadequate,” than the same law should put in prison every parent with an overweight or nutritionally deficient child, otherwise known as at least half of the Italian population.
It is also now known that red meat is a carcinogen, eggs are unhealthy in large intervals, egg yolks are unhealthy altogether, dairy increases the risk for ovarian and prostate cancer, fish has Mercury, and even chicken cooked at high temperatures contain a carcinogen. All of the most rigorous of scientific research has proved this to be true. But even if it was not, there is no reason to make feeding your child a vegan diet illegal. This just preys on the fear that makes allowing children to play outside unsupervised illegal, it’s dumb.
Veganism isn’t even a radical option. Back in the day where supplements were rare and veganism was only possible by eating nothing but beans, I’d understand the fear more. But today there are highly vitamin fortified vegan meat and dairy replacements, ranging from black bean burgers to Seitan. Vegans are fine. It takes very little to no effort to be a vegan, even on a low budget.
This legislation seems only to focus on vegans, and not any other practitioner of any other diet forced on children, including forcing children to eat all the food on their plates, which is known to make children have a higher future risk of eating disorders. Other diets forced on children are Gluten Free diets, juice cleanses, Paleo, etc. Here is a cookbook that was pulled after health professionals expressed fear over the fact that some practitioners are Paleo are forcing their babies to consume formula mixed with raw chicken liver and bone broth.
But stuff like this is ignored, only the malnourished vegan diet, that is not based on guidelines and is not healthy, are the ones that are mentioned. But healthy vegan kids are having their parents locked up regardless, because of a few bad parents who are ignorant about how nutrition works.
Banning vegan children diets is authoritarian, and only harms the people who are not harming anyone by letting their kids eat vegan. If we are going to do anything, arrest ONLY vegans who’s diet leads to the harm of their children.