Thought you'd be interested in seeing some of the letters to NY Times that got published in response to the piece by Nina Planck "Death by Veganism":http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/23/opinion/l23vegan.html?pagewanted=print
Below are three letters that Vegan Outreach staff submitted (but apparently did not get published):
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 [at right, receiving her award for a 4.0], and runs a 6:32 mile [below, leading the pack at a track meet]. 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.
Executive Director, Vegan Outreach