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February 20, 2005

Children 'harmed' by vegan diets

Topics: Health Issues

A US scientist is saying that putting children on strict vegan diets is "unethical" and could harm their development. Lindsay Allen, of the US Agricultural Research Service, attacked parents who insisted their children lived by the maxim "meat is murder."

She contends that animal source foods have some nutrients not found anywhere else and says that "There have been sufficient studies clearly showing that when women avoid all animal foods, their babies are born small, they grow very slowly and they are developmentally retarded, possibly permanently."

Posted by Hyscience at February 20, 2005 11:49 PM

RE: Children 'harmed' by vegan diets [February 20, 2005]

The recently published study from Professor Lindsay Allen, University of
California, created quite a stir in our house. Allen says meat, milk and
cheese make a healthy kid. She calls me "unethical" for raising my son

Memo to Allen: Please contact my gynecologist and son's pediatrician. They
are in Saint Louis, Missouri--not Kenya, the developing nation where you
conducted research among undernourished children. My OB-GYN still brags
about my healthy vegan pregnancy. My son's doctor comments on his boundless
stamina. Most people think Elijah is older than four. He's tall for his age.

We don't buy groceries in Kenya. We shop at the local supermarket, where
every meat, dairy or egg product has a vitamin/mineral-enriched vegan
substitute. Fortified soymilk replaces cow's milk. Veggie burgers supplant
beef patties. Seitan and soy-based imitators--from ham, bacon and turkey to
chicken, roast beef and tuna--fill our fridge. Like most vegans, we're a far
cry from the African villages where Allen's subjects subsisted on corns and
beans. Heck, Elijah doesn't even like corn.

Elijah, being four, would prefer a diet of straight candy. Still, he
understands why we don't "eat animals." He knows there is nothing to gain
(except fat and cholesterol) from consuming remnants of terror, pain,
excrement, hair, dirt, hormones and antibiotics heaped inside every
factory-farmed animal. He realizes cows, pigs and chickens want to live just
as much as his beloved dogs and cats.

Allen's data, and the headlines it generated, seem without merit. For
starters, it was funded by the GL-CRSP through the Office of Agriculture of
the U.S. Agency for International Development under Grant No.
PCE-G-00-98-00036-00 to the GL-CRSP. Allen herself directs a research center
under the USDA's Agricultural Research Service. Her research was partially
supported by the National Cattleman's Beef Association. Well duh, of course
these people have a problem with vegans!

I could quote numerous impartial studies about the benefits of a
vegetarian/vegan lifestyle. But Elijah is proof beyond paper. People have
stopped us on the street to compliment his flowing blonde hair and
captivating smile. He is a vibrant little boy who knows compassion for those
less fortunate than himself. I'd say that makes me one of the most ethical
parents around.

Brenda Shoss
7380 Kingsbury Blvd.
Saint Louis, MO 63130

Posted by: Brenda Shoss at March 2, 2005 7:26 PM

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