Claim: A vegan family had a baby that suffered from malnutrition once


The claim is intended to sow the seeds of doubt by claiming that some vegan families had a child that died of malnutrition, and therefore veganism is dangerous or somehow at least unhealthy.

Problems With This Argument

1. "Man bites dog"

Uncommon events are given massive press coverage, particularly when they speak to narratives we construct in our heads, to generate clicks. In the realm of 1300 children died of neglect each year - this is even before Covid. How many of these stories are reported that are not trying to push some specific narrative?

2. Most of these stories have nothing to do with veganism

  • Here's a story about a family that had a child who also had a congenital heart condition that was left untreated. So the parents have multiple forms of neglect, but veganism is, of course, the specific one that's blamed in the headline.
  • Here's another story about some people that fed their child a "raw-food plant-based" diet and the child died after they ignored multiple warning signs over an extended period. Just like if you just fed your infant blended lettuce, yes, that's technically also "a vegan diet". The word "Vegan" is, of course, in the headline. This isn't a well-planned vegan diet.
  • Here's another story from parents that had a child that died (in part) from dehydration after the parents saw a homeopathic doctor who helped them conclude that their child also needed to be gluten-free, then they fed the child no food, and he died - underweight, with an empty stomach. What word makes the headline? "Vegan".

The point is that those diets were as "vegan" as they were, say, "gluten-free" or "alfalfa free". Is your survival now contingent on eating alfalfa at every meal because a child on an alfalfa-free diet died of neglect?

This is just journalistic malfeasance. The list goes on and on for half-baked reporters searching desperately for justification for their own carnism, or trying to somehow cash in on some sort of anti-vegan sentiment. But this doesn't discredit veganism, any more than "A vegan drummer once couldn't keep tempo, therefore veganism interferes with your sense of time. Is it today right now? You won't know if you're vegan. Better go eat some McDonalds."

3. Carnism causes worldwide child malnutrition

If you're so worried about starving children, consider that your choice to eat animal products is a leading cause of child death by malnutrition worldwide. People with money and control in these countries export grain fed to livestock to satisfy the Western demand. So your choice to "save the children" by concern-trolling vegan diets is actually counterproductive.

4. What's stopping you from going vegan?

If you're reading this, you're not an infant. Therefore, you don't need to worry about the implications of veganism for infants if you aren't one, so this argument can't be used to justify eating steak or whatever. You can't possibly use that as a justification for killing animals for your own entertainment.

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