Vegans can be ignorant too
We've all heard the tragic case of the vegan parents imprisoned in Atlanta USA for killing their baby through cruel ignorance of basic baby nutrition.
This baby didn't die because of eating only plant based foods, it died because it was given insufficient and inappropriate plant based foods. Meat eating families also kill their babies through ignorance and neglect though it may be less likely to get the attention of the press. Two weeks' earlier, a couple from Phoenix were arrested for killing their baby through negligent starvation, but they are not vegan and the story didn't get far in the UK. Fortunately most parents aren't as careless as these two couples.
Having a vegan family has been very rewarding for me. I would never be this knowledgeable about nutrition had I not opened my eyes to it through going veggie. Without veganism, I may not even have been so determined to get through the first days of breast feeding to discover how reassuring, convenient, reliable and bonding it is. Parenting certainly accentuated my understanding of the overpowering bond between mother and child that we share with all mammals.
Our two kids are healthier and have a more varied diet than their non-vegan friends, are admired by all adults who meet them, stun their teachers with their depth of nutritional knowledge and are deeply proud of their vegan identity and compassion-based lifestyle. They're only just 7 and 4 years old, so watch this space. One of their best friends is a glowing life-long vegan who's health visitor said she'd grow up stupid without eating a bit of fish. She's now a medical student, with two equally talented and well-balanced siblings. Their parents are great role models for us, just tucked quietly away in the real world and getting on with life.
By Sophie Fenwick-Paul, as published in the Vegan magazine Summer 2007. You can subscribe to this excellent magazine through the Vegan Society, and by becoming a member (you don't need to be vegan) you support their great positive veganising work too.
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Story posted by on 2007-06-14 14:57:20.
Story last updated by on 2007-06-14 14:58:05.
Veganism is often heralded as a very healthy way to eat. It certainly can be, and has more chance of being so than standard western eating habits. It avoids many of the dangers of omnivorous diets, as well as containing much better quantities of most essential nutrients. However, there are still some key nutrients we need to search out and help other vegans be aware of, to keep us in tip top condition and avoid risks. Then it can be a healthy diet for life for us all.
That's why we developed this key vegan nutrition page for everyone.
Most medicines are tested on animals and many contain animal ingredients. We vegans and vegetarians all have to make our own minds up about the medicines we use, by being well informed and listening to all views.
Widely varying opinions exist on the pros and cons of different medications, particularly vaccinations. These lead to different conclusions from different people, with strong views even amongst professionals on each side, even before you get to the animal welfare issues. We will not pretend to know the efficacy and potential side-effects of drugs here.
Being vegan or vegetarian does not mean you automatically doubt the value of any vaccination and western medicine per se, any more than it means you will believe in every alternative that comes along. This is a separate consideration.
We have a growing set of articles on common vegan issues for parents. Do contact us if you have anything to add to the articles we already have or any feedback - we'd love to hear from you!
There are some enterprising vegans out there wanting to make and sell lovely products. ActiVeg claims no great knowledge about setting up businesses, so always get professional advice and talk to others who have done similar. However, here are a few ideas to consider to get you going. Feel free to add your experiences and comments below.
This document highlights the changes made to LVW when it matured into ActiVeg Network
There are many animal products in food production and cooking used for their particular structural or chemical characteristics, which often have good animal-free alternatives.
This article will help manufacturers consider alternatives to animal products so as to increase their market share, by improving food choice for religious and food intollerance groups, without exiting the food's main market, as well as raising awareness of both the animal-based products and equivalents from plants, minerals and synthetic compounds.
What works for me to solve every day maladies, or at least lighten them. Check with a doctor and all that jazz.