Vegans kill baby?


Weird story. Parents feed their new born vegan foods, child dies of starvation, parents get mandatory life sentence.

I have a lot of strange feelings on this one.

  1. Do the parents really deserve a life sentence? Can it be classified as murder, honestly? It seems like serious stupidity and neglect, but isn’t that what manslaughter or negligent homicide statutes are on the books for?

  2. How does something like this happen?

I mean, you have to assume the parents had doctors of some sort. Nowhere in all those doctor’s appointments did it ever come up that the parents were underfeeding the child? I’ve never heard much about feeding an infant on a strictly vegan diet, is it really feasible? If it wasn’t, I’d think a doctor would have told them so, and if it was, I’d think he’d have given them specific nutritional advice.

Would vegans oppose to feeding their child breast milk? That’s guaranteed (more or less) to be good for the baby since that’s what they ate for all of human history up until very recently. Surely they don’t oppose to feeding their child animal milk when the animal it comes from is the mother??

I don’t know much about vegan diets for an infant, but it does say right on every carton of soy milk I’ve ever bought “Not to be used as an infant formula”.

A life sentance sounds high - yes, they were obviously negligent, but what is the “normal” punishment for this type of thing?

There’s just not enough to that article, is there? I just don’t get it - they couldn’t tell the baby was losing weight, and lethargic until “minutes” before it died?

I’m also surprised the baby died on a diet of soymilk and apple juice. Not thriving, I can see, but death by starvation? I don’t know about that one - most babies lose about 10% of their birthweight in the first two weeks as the mom’s breastmilk adjusts. That’s why they’re “designed” to be little chubbers at birth - it’s a built it cushion against starvation.

Soy milk and apple juice both contain calories, so I don’t understand the starvation part. Failure to thrive, malnutrition, etc. I could maybe buy, but six weeks of lousy nutrition with adequate calories shouldn’t cause death in an otherwise healthy newborn. It seems there must be something else to the story.

And I’ve never heard a vegan against breastmilk. If anything, they tend to overlap heavily with the attachment parenting/breastfeed until toddlerhood segments of society. Moral vegans are generally against “slave” animals, not their own bodies. I wonder if they were not only vegan, but some more radical type of fruitarian or something - I can only guess they internalized the “animal fats = bad” message a little too seriously or something.

Of course it’s also possible that if she was on a *sucky *vegan diet (not all vegan diets are bad, but some are), mom could have been unhealthy enough to have milk production issues. Maybe she didn’t have any milk, and they are against the Baby Formula Politico-Industrial Complex or something.

Lots of guesses in this post, thanks to a pretty terrible bit of reporting.

Negligent homicide seems a more fitting charge. But then, I think vegans are raving nutters to begin with, so “not guilty by reason of insanity” would have seemed to be the proper plea in this case.

I’m not sure if this could be considered murder, but I too wonder how on earth this could have happened. The baby weighed 3 and a half pounds when it died!!! My 5-week-old baby weighs probably around 8 pounds, and I can’t IMAGINE what he would look like if he lost nearly half his weight. I find it really difficult to believe that they didn’t know there was something wrong (the article says they didn’t know the baby was in danger until right before its death). It’s not like these people were teenagers.

I am also interested in knowing why the child wasn’t breastfed…wouldn’t that solve the vegan issue, at least at the beginning?

The weirdest thing about this to me is that most vegans that I have known do a lot of research regarding the vegan lifestyle…if for no other reason than to understand what is OK for them to eat, and what not (you can’t always tell what foods have animal products in them). You would think at SOME point, they would have learned about how to feed children a vegan diet, and to understand that it’s not appropriate for newborns.

You are right…I was just thinking this, too. I wonder if the baby was born early, and that contributed. The article said they had him at home, but doesn’t say if he was at term or not.

This Atlanta newspaper article has some more information on the case (have to go through a quick registration to view it, unfortunately.)

It looks like the parents never in fact took the baby to a doctor, because they felt hospitals were filled with germs, the baby was born in a bathtub.

The defense lawyer claims the organic apple juice they fed the baby acted as a diuretic which was what was causing the problems. That could definitely be the case. If you feed a baby enough of anything, they shouldn’t die of starvation, they may be malnourished which can cause a host of other problems, but the baby weighed 3.5 lbs. and doctors said they could count his bones through his skin at death. A baby doesn’t get that way overnight, you’d have to notice something was wrong.

Apparently this isn’t the first time this kind of thing has happened, the article further alludes to a New York case in which a vegan couple was convicted of doing the same thing, and one in Florida where they were convicted of negligent homicide.

While I think the parents were stupid, criminally stupid and negligent, I don’t think they actually wanted to kill the baby. But at the same time they definitely should have known something was wrong when it started losing weight.

Nope, it’s murder. It can be classified as murder, and certainly NOT negligent homicide. I’ve bolded the section of the statute under which they were most likely charged.

It doesn’t matter whether they wanted to kill the baby- that’s not what makes them murderers under the law. A clause like that is not unique to Georgia, either. MA has a similar one, and it’s one of the more liberal states in the Union.

Life imprisonment? Oh, yes.

She could have perished by dehydration. That was the official cause of death for my older sister. Diarrhea*.

*Not vegans. Dehydrated from different causation.

Not knowing the law in Georgia, I guess I was thinking more of what I would consider this to be from a moral/ethical standpoint, not a legal one. I assume that if they were convicted as murderers, then that is what is appropriate under the Georgia legal code. Whether or not I, personally, would consider them murderers is a different thing. I certainly think that a stiff punishment is in order, but not necessarily life imprisionment.

It wasn’t just what they gave the baby but how little they gave him. From another story:

It’s negligent homicide at the least and I think a life sentence is warranted.

This is the 2nd case I can remember of vegans trying to feed a baby their fucking rabbit food and killing it. Let me check…yeah, here’s the other one. These two geniuses tried to feed the kid raw vegetables.

I don’t think Georgia prisons offer a vegan option, either, so the parents are really fucked now.

Holy cow! They sound like absolute fruit-loopers. I don’t think being vegan had anything to do with it, at all - I’m glad the article didn’t classify it that way, a “vegan death”.

Maybe that’s the downside of NOT having PPD. When they handed my babies over to ME, I just about collapsed under the weight of their need and my fear. I was absolutely terrified - but how much worse to be indifferent.

Oh my god, Diogenes, I want to cry…that picture of the baby looks so much like my little boy. That poor, poor baby. I am coming around to a charge of murder, because of what you quoted about them not feeding him enough. But it doesn’t say why they didn’t feed him more…I wish they would have explained that. How stupid can these people be…my kid CRIES when he’s hungry, you know? And then I feed him, and he stops! I would imagine that a baby being fed soy milk, and not enough of that, would be fussing & crying all the time.

My parents were convinced that you had to feed the kid at given intervals. I’d cry for one whole hour before Mom finally fed me. When she mentioned it to the doctor, the doctor, after heartily cursing everybody who’d fed them that idea, told Mom to “feed the kid when she’s hungry, damnit!”

Those people evidently had very misguided ideas about what constitutes proper nutrition. And WhyNot et al (just naming you because you brought it up first, eh): not enough essential nutrients does kill you. That poor baby wasn’t getting the right proteins, the right vitamins, the right minerals… the right anything!

Well, I didn’t have PPD, but I relate to the feelings of being weighed down by the responsibility. My first baby didn’t gain weight fast…she was always in the 5th percentile for weight. I remember keeping a notebook listing when she nursed, and for how long, and when she had dirty diapers to be sure she was having enough of them. I recently ran accross it, and there were pages and pages of notes. I was SO scared that she was going to be malnourished. The funny thing about it is that I’m not usually your very organized, scheduled type of person, but I became militant with that kid…I figured it was my maternal instinct kicking in. Where was this mother’s maternal instinct? And how could NEITHER of them have realized that something was wrong?

Maybe this is a bad topic for me to be thinking about right now! I’m not usually super emotional, but I feel like I’m going to burst into tears.

Well, it is true that people used to have very different ideas about how to feed infants, and feeding them on a schedule used to be considered proper. These days, of course, they advise what your doctor said…feed on demand. Seems more intuitive to me, because I have found that it’s VERY difficult to hear a baby cry without trying to get it to stop, and if it’s hungry, feeding it is the only way to get it to stop!

Knowing more details about the case, I’m definitely thinking that life inprisonment is sounding more & more fair.

It’s always bizarre to me when people hole onto delusional ideas about what’s “best” or “right,” and hang on to those ideas in the face of overwhelming evidence that it’s clearly not the right thing.

These people’s obsession with the moral rightness of their diet blinded them to clear signs that it actually was killing their child.

What happenned to breastfeeding?

Funny. My mom was told to feed us on a schedule and decided on her own to feed us when we wanted it. I think we all ended up happier.