Veganism is not for babies
By Jessica Berget, Opinions Editor
There is a disturbing trend of people forcing veganism on others. Dogs, cats, and now even babies are being thrust into this diet.
While it may be for a good cause, or their hearts are in the right place, it’s difficult to properly nourish a child with such a restrictive diet and has the potential to lead to health problems if done incorrectly. Without proper nourishment, children can develop neurological problems and growth problems, as well as suffer from inadequate energy intake. If you ask me, it’s just not worth the risk.
Veganism should be a choice, not something forced onto others—especially those who cannot decide for themselves. People can choose for themselves if they wish to be vegan, but they shouldn’t be allowed to decide this for other living things, especially young children. Furthermore, I don’t think it’s right to impose your views or preferences onto children who don’t know any better, regardless of whether or not it’s beneficial to the planet. What if the child grows up and decides they want to eat meat, but faces medical issues because their body isn’t used to it? This restrictive diet can lead to serious health and digestive problems in the future. It might be good for the planet, but it’s not good for your baby.
While it is possible to raise a baby vegan, there are serious consequences for parents who don’t adequately nourish their children. Babies need the nutrients and vitamins that they get from meat and dairy products. Iron, zinc, calcium, Vitamin D, and Vitamin B-12 are essential for a child’s development. Vitamin B-12 is especially vital because a lack of it can result in neurological issues. Sure, you can get these vitamins and supplements from other foods, but it’s a complicated and risky, especially for a young child. A poorly-managed vegan diet with children can lead to malnourishment, health problems, or even death.
Some parents who have decided to raise their children vegan have found out the hard way that there is more to it than feeding your child berries and vegetables. Many cases of child endangerment and neglect have arisen with parents who raise their kids vegan but do not adequately feed them. In fact, this was such a problem in Italy they proposed the “Savino law,” which makes it illegal for parents to force the diet onto kids.
Of course, this doesn’t speak to all vegan parents. There are some who do take special precaution to nourish their children with the essential vitamins and supplements. Vegan diets are possible for young kids, so long as you take extra care and get your child all the supplements they need to grow up healthy. However, I think it’s too great of a risk of long-term health and neurological issues to justify this practice or to make it commonplace.
Before forcing your lifestyle choices on a child, please be aware of the risks of making them grow up vegan, and make sure your children are getting the necessary supplements that they need to grow into healthy, happy people. Or, on the other hand, let them eat meat or dairy products once in a while. It’s good for them.