Two vegan parents are on trial after allegedly starving their two-year-old daughter with an “incomplete vegan diet.”
The couple’s charge of causing serious bodily harm stems from mid-February when they brought their toddler to Queen Silvia’s Children’s Hospital in Gothenburg, and medical professionals determined the child was severely malnourished and hanging on for life, Swedish broadcaster SVT reported.
Police were called to the intensive care unit after doctors found the child was suffering from a severe vitamin deficiency with life-threatening blood values.
They believe the toddler was on the verge of death and was brought in just in time to save her.
“You do not see malnourished children in Sweden today,” said a doctor to authorities during investigations.
According to Prosecutor Ximena Bene, the child’s diet consisted of breast milk, brown rice and fruit and vegetables, which was called an “incomplete vegan diet.”
“The parents are negligent when they give their child a one-sided diet, in connection with withholding the child from social institutions that are to check how the child is feeling,” said Bene.
Authorities believe that the girl, who is not registered in Sweden, was born in a home birth.
There is no record of the mother ever going in for a checkup during pregnancy or the parents taking the child in to be seen by a doctor.
Bene said that the fact that they were feeding their child a “one-sided” diet makes regular checkups especially imperative.
The young girl, born in September 2017, was not registered with any government institutions and the parents, who live a nomadic lifestyle, had no address.
The parents have denied responsibility for the child’s condition, claiming it could have been caused by a stomach condition or autoimmune disease, both of which doctors have refuted.
According to Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, America’s largest organization of nutrition professionals, well-planned vegan diets are suitable for all stages of life, including pregnancy, infancy and childhood.
However, the diet must, in fact, be “well-planned.”
While a plant-based diet has been shown to lower the risk of many of our top chronic diseases, regular medical checkups are essential for pregnant women, as well as young children.
Parents who do this are raising healthy, vegan children, and just recently it was even reported that Meghan Markle is planning to raise the royal baby vegan.
In February, a vegan couple in the US was charged with child neglect after refusing the nutritional advice given by doctors and instead feeding their infant a diet of only potato-based mash, which led to malnutrition.
The trial for the Swedish vegan parents is expected to last four days.