A couple from Sydney, Australia, is facing up to five years in prison after feeding their child a vegan diet so deficient that she lost teeth from malnourishment.
The unnamed father, 34, and mother, 32, were first brought into court last May after the 20-month-old girl suffered a seizure and was taken into foster care.
A baby girl fed a vegan diet by her parents was so malnourished by the time she was 19 months old she didn't have any teeth and looked like she was just three months old, a Sydney court has heard https://t.co/OuVdsEmzN0— Max Walden (@maxwalden_) May 9, 2019
In addition to negligence in the home, the child had no birth certificate, no vaccinations, and no follow-up appointments with doctors.
They hadn’t vaccinated their baby daughter either. Hippie dippie health fads can be dangerous!— Max Walden (@maxwalden_) May 9, 2019
The new contrarian parenting style is so dangerous. A willful rejection of expert advice leaves people making parenting decisions based on crazies on social media. There is a cohort of anxious but arrogant people who need to do it differently, their children are at risk.— Lisa Hayes (@LisaHay92756018) May 10, 2019
How come not even breastfeeding is given?— Imelda A. Sanjaya (@Imelda_ASanjaya) May 11, 2019
extremist vegan parents 😫😫😭😭— Erwin Renaldi (@erwin_renaldi) May 11, 2019
😱😱😱— мяѕ. (@oktarinamunaf) May 10, 2019
😭😭😭😭— Hasina ꦭꦫꦱꦠꦶ (@firdalarasati) May 10, 2019
The foster mom who took over for caring for the girl said that the girl’s condition was “terrifying” when she was brought in:
“She couldn’t sit up… she couldn’t say any words… she couldn’t hold her bottle.”
OMG is this is awful 😱— AKD 🍃 (@anindadewayanti) May 9, 2019
19 months......and no-one noticed?— 💧Denize evett (@evett_denize) May 10, 2019
I'm a vegan and this is shocking. No excuse for it.— La La (@qwertyLGBT) May 10, 2019
Max 5 yrs sentence for each parent? Can I throw them to hungry lions, too, for this kind of neglect that will leave imprints forever on the child? 5 yrs minus good behavior is prolly, what, 3 yrs? The child has at least 50 more yrs to go. Jaysus 😣— Lynda Ibrahim (@lyndaibrahim) May 9, 2019
The Vegan parents of the malnourished baby must have been doing something very wrong because I know Vegan parents and their children are healthy.— thoughtofagirl (@ThoughtOfaGirl) May 11, 2019
The child, at 20 months, weighed roughly only double of her birth weight and wears clothing fit for 12-month-olds.
“People are shocked at how small she is,” the foster mother said.
The father of a baby girl left desperately sick and undeveloped by the extreme vegan diet she was forced to endure, has revealed he now eats the meat and dairy his daughter was barred from touching. @danielsutton10https://t.co/HUCGq0osAZ— 10 News First Sydney (@10NewsFirstSyd) May 9, 2019
The foster mum of a baby girl left severely malnourished after being fed a vegan-only diet by her biological parents has told a sentencing hearing of the developmental problems the child has suffered. The couple could face 5 years prison. https://t.co/aGQFgByJh6 #TheLatest #7NEWS pic.twitter.com/rq6od3Zn7b— 7NEWS Melbourne (@7NewsMelbourne) May 9, 2019
I notice more babies being fed a vegan diet are dying of malnutrition and parents being charged.— Wildmantraining.com (@Johnnygrube) May 11, 2019
Toddlers are growing with no teeth.
BUT, as pathetic as it is kids being fed a junk food diet like fast food don't seem to be dying from malnutrition or losing their teeth.
This has nothing to do with being #vegan and everything to do with bad parents. Cutting out meat is a healthy choice. This baby is abused and it isn't because of being vegan.— -Cheekyozieclique- (@Cheekyoziechick) May 11, 2019
#Vegan parents face jail over malnourished baby: Father is victim of a "vegan and anti-vax witch hunt," lawyer says. The foster mother who took over the girl's care: "She couldn't sit up, she couldn't say any words, she couldn't hold her bottle”! https://t.co/SzAVMjFoHa— Andrea Bertaglio (@AndreaBertaglio) May 10, 2019
The father’s lawyer has come to his client’s defense by saying that the Queensland man has been the subject of a “vegan and anti-vax witch hunt.”
I sincerely hope these parents never have another child. Any idiot that thinks a vegan diet is okay for a baby needs help. Eat whatever cardboard you want but don't force it on your kids. https://t.co/Io8YBjAj1w— 🏴StrathclydeMark🏴 (@StrathclydeMark) May 9, 2019
This just highlights why vegans is a cult!— One Week at a Time (@The_FishmanAU) May 11, 2019
You can’t feed a baby with a vegan diet. The baby needs mothers milk or either animals milk.— Leila Rob (@Le_Robins) May 10, 2019
Some vegans don’t believe in breastfeeding, breastmilk being an animal product 😫— Jackie Woods (@jackiewoods) May 9, 2019
The baby is undergoing monthly and bimonthly tests, which the foster mother says have “traumatised” her.
“She begins to scream and cry if she goes into a medical room and the door is closed,” she said.
In addition to the malnourishment, the girl was found to be suffering from rickets, a bone disease caused by lack of Vitamin D. Doctors fear that this could impact her health for the rest of her life.
The girl’s father claimed he was not vegan, nor was he anti-vax. He said the mother dictated their household, and he was primary caretaker, doing all the driving, cooking, and cleaning.
However, the judge presiding over their case, Sarah Huggett refused to believe the father was “powerless” to do something and should’ve “known something was wrong” because his daughter wasn’t walking, talking, or developing normally.
The girl’s elder brothers, who are aged four and six years old, have also been removed and placed into government care.
The parents pled guilty to failing to provide for her and for “causing danger of serious injury.”
Each parent will reportedly face up to five years in jail.