Thursday, March 31, 2011

Baby breastfed by vegan mother dies

I posted this rather quick, off-the-cuff response to this blog post:

"Wow. "abstinence from all animal foods is a danger to one’s health and most particularly, your baby!" Uhm, Sarah, not true. A vegan diet can be very healthy but like with every diet, people can get it wrong. The reason we need to get B12 from supplements is simply because our veggies are washed - cyanocobalamin is naturally found in soil and fermented things. The only animal foods with significant levels of B12 are calf's liver and sardines, which not everyone eats. And vitamin A is abundant in red and yellow fruit and vegetables. All the vegans I know are quite knowledgeable on nutrition and would never dream of feeding a child just breastmilk esp when not taking supplements.

I think very few people actually know anything about nutrition other than what they learned at school and home, which often is very limited and outdated. I didn't know that B12 was so crucial until a few years ago, and I don't know many people who have a clue that you need, say, vit D to help calcium bind to your bones, or vit C in order for your body to use iron.

This is a tragic case of parents not being particularly clued up and doctors not doing more when they did have concerns. At any rate punishing parents for being ignorant and suspicious of Western medicine smacks very much of Big Brother, and putting the blame on a vegan diet smacks of bias."