10 votes

Vegan mom gets life in prison for starvation death of son

16 comments

  1. [5]
    aphoenix
    Link
    A lot of people and media outlets are focusing on the "vegan" part, but it's the "starvation" part that is the actual problem. From another article: source source My family is not vegan, but we...
    • Exemplary

    A lot of people and media outlets are focusing on the "vegan" part, but it's the "starvation" part that is the actual problem. From another article:

    The 18-month-old boy weighed 17 pounds (8 kilograms) and was the size of a 7-month-old baby when he died in September 2019, a police report said.

    The couple also told detectives Ezra hadn't eaten for a week and that he was having trouble sleeping the night prior to his death.

    My family is not vegan, but we fed our kids almost entirely on vegetables and milk until around 18 months; we probably introduced chicken before 18 months, but that's about all the meat / animal products until beef at around that age. It's completely feasible to be vegetarian and have vegetarian children and not starve them.

    This is another example of how the media sells outrage, but they sell outrage at things that aren't outrageous. The media wants you to be mad about veganism, probably because red meat and grillin' is The American Way. If you're not outraged that "vegan mom abuses kid with veganism", we'll be outraged that the media is seemingly equating veganism with torture. Either way, clicks and discussion go up, and the media makes money. Instead, we should be outraged about infanticide because that's actually outrageous, but society is so fucked up that simple infanticide isn't actually newsworthy enough - there needs to be manufactured conflict to bake into it.

    The root of the issue is that there has to be a profit even on the death of a child, and it won't get reported on unless it generates revenue, and I'm not really sure what any single person can do about stopping that.

    33 votes
    1. cfabbro
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Agreed. My nephew just turned 8 and he still refuses to eat almost all animal products other than milk and eggs. This isn't something taught to him by his parents though, since they have been...

      Agreed. My nephew just turned 8 and he still refuses to eat almost all animal products other than milk and eggs. This isn't something taught to him by his parents though, since they have been desperately trying for years to get him to eat meat, and all his friends and their families eat meat too. But even as a baby he simply refused to eat any of the meat based baby foods, eating only the pureed fruit and veg based ones instead. This clearly hasn't been detrimental to his health or development though, since he is doing excellent in school, and is a pretty incredible athlete who plays in the Rep Hockey and Lacrosse leagues one level above the standard for his age group.

      So yeah, IMO vegetarianism and even veganism isn't necessarily an issue for children, so long as it's handled responsibly, and their parents make sure they still get enough protein, calcium, B12, and other nutrients not as readily available in plants as they are in animal products. And in the case of my nephew I think PediaSure was the major contributor to that. He loves drinking his daily "pink milk" even now. ;)

      9 votes
    2. [3]
      vord
      Link Parent
      You are 100% correct, however I will say that I've witnessed firsthand vegans doing cruel things like not feeding cats and dogs meat for ideological reasons. I've also seen a fair overlap between...

      You are 100% correct, however I will say that I've witnessed firsthand vegans doing cruel things like not feeding cats and dogs meat for ideological reasons. I've also seen a fair overlap between vegans and anorexics, and pushing that on children can really stunt growth. This is all 100% anecdotal, but as they say, plural of anecdote is data, so I wonder how prevalent that is beyond my own sphere.

      Cats especially are carnivores. Feed them meat, it's inhumane not to.

      4 votes
      1. [2]
        aphoenix
        Link Parent
        The issue with anecdotes, is that we end up forming this idea about what all vegans do based on only the memorable (terrible) vegans you have known. You probably know lots of people who are vegan...

        The issue with anecdotes, is that we end up forming this idea about what all vegans do based on only the memorable (terrible) vegans you have known. You probably know lots of people who are vegan or vegetarian and you don't even know about their dietary choices, because it just isn't something that comes up, but you remember the person who tried to veganize their cat.

        In no uncertain terms, the person who tried to give their pet a vegan diet is stupid or cruel, and they're not stupid or cruel because they're vegan, they're stupid or cruel because they're stupid or cruel and they just happen to be expressing that in a way that is making you think "vegan doing bad thing". You should be thinking "stupid or cruel person doing bad thing".

        The vast majority of people who are vegan or vegetarian don't do things like this, and stories like this are doing what they can to make you think "vegans do bad things" - to the point that now you have attributed bad actions from people you know to veganism, instead of to the person doing the bad thing. That's the outrage that is being sold, and you have bought it, and that's why articles like this make me so angry.

        13 votes
        1. vord
          Link Parent
          That's a great further expansion of what you were saying. Sadly what your describing is as old as print...and personal bias is personal and never gonna be to escape that...human brains love shortcuts.

          That's a great further expansion of what you were saying.

          Sadly what your describing is as old as print...and personal bias is personal and never gonna be to escape that...human brains love shortcuts.

          1 vote
  2. [7]
    lou
    Link
    There is not a lot of information in this article. In what way does being a vegan relate to child abuse? Would it be at all possible for an 18-year-old to be healthy with a vegan diet?

    There is not a lot of information in this article. In what way does being a vegan relate to child abuse? Would it be at all possible for an 18-year-old to be healthy with a vegan diet?

    8 votes
    1. AugustusFerdinand
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      There is a link in the article that goes into the background of the case and has further links from there. Short version is "strict vegan" couple that only ate raw fruits and vegetables had, at...

      There is a link in the article that goes into the background of the case and has further links from there.

      Short version is "strict vegan" couple that only ate raw fruits and vegetables had, at some point, four grossly neglected and malnourished children in their custody. One was returned to its father, one died.

      8 votes
    2. [5]
      Bearskin
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      The child was 18 months old, and I'm with you on the lack of information here. If the parents were devastated by the outcome of a nutritional mistake--a life sentence seems harsh. Was it a matter...

      The child was 18 months old, and I'm with you on the lack of information here. If the parents were devastated by the outcome of a nutritional mistake--a life sentence seems harsh. Was it a matter of following dodgy information found online? Were they intentionally malicious in starving the children? I don't know how to feel about this, but it will no doubt fuel the "vegans are bad" narrative conservatives have embraced.

      Edit: Sympathies are out the window upon further examination.

      3 votes
      1. [4]
        TheRtRevKaiser
        Link Parent
        They already had one step-child returned to their father via court order due to malnutrition. I don't think it would be easy to claim that they weren't aware of a problem after that point. You're...

        They already had one step-child returned to their father via court order due to malnutrition. I don't think it would be easy to claim that they weren't aware of a problem after that point. You're right that the article is a bit bare on details though.

        Also, only raw vegetables and fruit sounds stricter than a standard vegan diet to me.

        9 votes
        1. [3]
          cfabbro
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          Yeah, I suspect this has less to do with their veganism and simple ignorance of childhood nutrition, and far more to do with their proclivity for extreme child neglect and child abuse. And the...

          Yeah, I suspect this has less to do with their veganism and simple ignorance of childhood nutrition, and far more to do with their proclivity for extreme child neglect and child abuse. And the fact that her husband, Ryan O'Leary, was "additionally charged with sexual assault of a victim under the age of 12, as well as lewd and lascivious behavior/molestation of a victim younger than 12", speaks to this. These people are totally sick in the head, and just so happened to also be raw food vegans.

          10 votes
          1. [2]
            Bearskin
            Link Parent
            This link that @AugustusFerdinand pointed out seems to point to intentional starvation, and like you said had little or nothing to do with veganism. The AP article had me thinking they just needed...

            This link that @AugustusFerdinand pointed out seems to point to intentional starvation, and like you said had little or nothing to do with veganism. The AP article had me thinking they just needed to add some beans and legumes into the dinner rotation.

            6 votes
            1. AugustusFerdinand
              Link Parent
              Yeap. Veganism isn't the issue here, but I try not to change article titles unless it's truly necessary. AP tends to be much better than pretty much every other news outlet.

              The AP article had me thinking they just needed to add some beans and legumes into the dinner rotation.

              Yeap. Veganism isn't the issue here, but I try not to change article titles unless it's truly necessary. AP tends to be much better than pretty much every other news outlet.

              3 votes
  3. [4]
    EgoEimi
    Link
    The way I see it: different diets lead to different possibilities for nutritional abuse. A victim of omnivore mis-nutrition that comes to mind is Honey Boo Boo, whose family encouraged horrendous...

    The way I see it: different diets lead to different possibilities for nutritional abuse.

    A victim of omnivore mis-nutrition that comes to mind is Honey Boo Boo, whose family encouraged horrendous eating habits and gluttony and then paraded her around on a reality TV show.

    It's a lot harder to get enough calories as a vegan. Plant-based foods just have lower calorie density than animal products. One of my vegan friends—also an avid cyclist and climber—struggles to fuel up without being filling up on and being dragged down by dietary fiber.

    It seems that these parents followed a particularly strict sub-diet of veganism called fruitarianism — which has the above nutritional problem in spades. Raw vegetables and fruits have very low calorie density. It'd be much more difficult to have a Honey Boo Boo abuse situation with a vegan diet.

    4 votes
    1. [3]
      vord
      Link Parent
      Which is in part why they're so much healthier than juices and smoothies made from the same. Also why we now suffer the 'eyes are bigger than our stomaches' problem.

      Raw vegetables and fruits have very low calorie density.

      Which is in part why they're so much healthier than juices and smoothies made from the same. Also why we now suffer the 'eyes are bigger than our stomaches' problem.

      2 votes
      1. [2]
        vektor
        Link Parent
        Only if you have a calory surplus, right? I mean, vegans have a harder time to get all their calories,as discussed, so it seems to me blending it up is a good way to make sure you can eat enough...

        Which is in part why they're so much healthier than juices and smoothies made from the same.

        Only if you have a calory surplus, right? I mean, vegans have a harder time to get all their calories,as discussed, so it seems to me blending it up is a good way to make sure you can eat enough of it in a reasonable fashion, right?

        2 votes
        1. vord
          Link Parent
          Yes, but I was speaking on the aggregate, not the specific. Remember Oreos are vegan.

          Yes, but I was speaking on the aggregate, not the specific.

          Remember Oreos are vegan.

          3 votes