Vegan Parents Get Life Sentence for Baby's Death
When we heard that a Georgia couple were sentenced to prison yesterday for the death-by-vegan-diet of their infant son, we got a little bit pissed off: "DAMN VEGANS and their DAMN DIETARY RESTRICTIONS! Now they're killing babies, what's next?? Muzzling tigers so they can't hunt their prey? De-fanging sharks so they can't devour fish? Ruining Christmas???"
Then we calmed down a bit and took a closer look at the story: the baby's death was due more to the fact that his parents were under-feeding him in general, not necessarily because of their personal dietary beliefs. Vegans don't believe in consuming animal products of any kind (no cheese, no milk, no eggs; yes, we know, it would be hard for us to continue living too), a definition which apparently includes breast milk in this case. Lamont Thomas and Jade Sanders had been feeding their baby only soy milk and apple juice, and seemed oblivous to the fact that their son weighed only 3.5 pounds. That's not being a Stupid Vegan, that's just plain STUPID.
Even if you choose not to go the breast-milk route (even though there have been countless studies that have proven that good ol' titty juice helps all kids to grow up smarter, healthier, and appreciative of the wonderfulness of boobies), how hard is it to blend up some tofu and beans and make them into protein-rich baby food? Seitan already TASTES like baby food, for god's sake. Add some banana to the mix and it's like a fitness shake for infants! The Vegetarian Resource Group offers additional nutritional tips and recipes for pregnant and nursing vegans.
The CDC has stated, however, that vegan mothers could be putting their babies at risk for neurological impairment. The ADA, however, maintains that a well-balanced vegan/vegetarian diet is totally fine for pregant and nursing mothers, as well as for growing kids, although B-12 and iron supplements are highly recommended.
But this still leaves questions in our mind, not only about breast milk (we're dying to know what it tastes like!), but about veganism in general. Los Angeles is teeming with veg-heads, so maybe some of you can enlighten us.
And while you're at it, can somebody explain the placenta-eating thing, too? Is is somehow related to eating duck fetuses? Because that is also confusing.
Does the committed vegan really believe that drinking breast milk is wrong? It is technically an animal by-product. So is it not vegan? Is it cannibalism? And what does this mean about other bodily fluids - is semen vegan? If a vegan gives a blowjob in the woods...nevermind.
One of the catchphrases that our vegan and vegetarian friends always live by is "If it has a face, hesitate!" meaning, don't eat things with faces. But what about mollusks? Oysters don't have faces, they're just little chunks of muscle encased in a shell that sit around all day and filter sea water. Are we really going to categorize them as sentient beings that deserve to NOT be eaten because of some half-cocked idea we might have that they might somehow realize that what they're feeling is pain? We say: NO! We hate to get all Princess Bride on your asses, but Life is Pain, and anybody who says anything different is selling something.
Don't get us started on lobsters. Did you know that lobster is more closely related to the cockroach than it is to the fish? Seriously. David Foster Wallace can consider the lobster all he wants, but it won't change the fact that they're BUGS, people. DELICIOUS, DELICIOUS BUGS OF THE SEA that should be honored and respected and coated liberally with butter.
Now, I know, I know, many vegans do respect bugs, and will even carry ants out of their homes into the garden instead of stomping on them. At the same time, though, some of these hard-core vegan friends of mine choose to eat candy that is loaded with high fructose corn syrup made from corn that comes from industrial farms, the very same farms that feed those poor, abused feedlot cattle and pigs. Sure, that candy doesn't contain any animal by-products, but it's being made by the same agro-industrial complex that is responsible for all that cruelty-full beef and pork.
All we're saying is that whether it be animal, vegetable, mineral, or somewhere in between, we would ALL do well to think a little bit harder about what we're eating, where it came from, and whether or not we're getting all the nutrition we need.
We still think dead baby jokes are funny, but negligence, ignorance, and sad-ass excuses for child abuse are not.
Photo via AP.