"Death by Veganism" NYT opinion piece - Page 3 - Mothering Forums
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#61 of 275 Old 05-23-2007, 05:16 PM
 
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A vegan diet is as inappropriate for a 2 year old as it is for a 3 week old.
I disagree. Many 2 year old bodies are perfectly capable of thriving on a vegan diet. A newborn is a completely different story. In the absense of breastmilk, then YEAH, you need to FF. I don't think ANY of the vegans here are debating that particular fact. Everything that vgnmama2keller said referenced a child's diet after weaning off the breast.
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#62 of 275 Old 05-23-2007, 05:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by athansor View Post
I think that the thing that makes these discussions so difficult is that many veg*ns follow the lifestyle for moral/ethical reasons first, and health reasons second.
ITA, this is the general problem with these discussions.

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#63 of 275 Old 05-23-2007, 05:19 PM
 
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I disagree. Many 2 year old bodies are perfectly capable of thriving on a vegan diet. A newborn is a completely different story. In the absense of breastmilk, then YEAH, you need to FF. I don't think ANY of the vegans here are debating that particular fact. Everything that vgnmama2keller said referenced a child's diet after weaning off the breast.
EXACTLY.

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#64 of 275 Old 05-23-2007, 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by gentlemango View Post
Those studies aren't distinguishing between vegan and vegetarian.
Also, every health study I've ever read comparing veg*n to omni does not distinguish between junk food omnis (or financially poor omni populations, in some cases) who eat mostly refined carbs and factory farmed animal foods and consciencious omnis who still include lots of whole plant foods and whose animal products come from pasture-based/free-range practices. Factory farmed meat and dairy are not the same thing as naturally-raised, quality animal foods any more than Wonder bread is the same thing as organic, wholegrain, sprouted wheat bread.

Interesting how almost every thread with "vegan" or "vegetarian" in the title turns to this eternal debate, and usually gets nasty. Food is as emotional as religion to most people, it seems.

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#65 of 275 Old 05-23-2007, 05:22 PM
 
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I really don't think a vegan diet is appropriate for young children. Certainly it is better for a 2 year old than a 3 week old, tho. Because the 2 year old will, you know... live.

But really. Where is the protein? Soy? Yikes. Beans? They don't contain enough protein to meet a human's protein requirements IMO. Nuts... okay, they help. But I don't think it's enough.

I get the ethical issue. But honestly I don't think we are intended to be vegan.
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#66 of 275 Old 05-23-2007, 05:24 PM
 
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A vegan diet is as inappropriate for a 2 year old as it is for a 3 week old.
You're opinion sure. but here are some other's. The American Dietetic Association (ADA) and Dietitians of Canada position paper on vegetarian diets officially recognizes that well-planned vegan diets are appropriate for infancy and childhood.[1] The American Academy of Pediatrics concurs.[2,3]

Pediatric Nutrition Handbook. American Academy Of Pediatrics. http://www.aap.org/bst/showdetl.cfm?...=760&CatID=132 Accessed May 19, 2005.

Mangels AR, Messina V. Considerations in planning vegan diets: infants. J Am Diet Assoc. 2001;101:670–677. doi: 10.1016/S0002-8223(01)00169-9. [PubMed]

Anon. Position of the American Dietetic Association and Dietitians of Canada: Vegetarian diets. Journal of the American Dietetic Association. 2003;103:748–765. [PubMed]
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#67 of 275 Old 05-23-2007, 05:37 PM
 
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I really don't think a vegan diet is appropriate for young children. Certainly it is better for a 2 year old than a 3 week old, tho. Because the 2 year old will, you know... live.

But really. Where is the protein? Soy? Yikes. Beans? They don't contain enough protein to meet a human's protein requirements IMO. Nuts... okay, they help. But I don't think it's enough.

I get the ethical issue. But honestly I don't think we are intended to be vegan.
Quite honestly, I don't think human beings as a worldwide group are intended to eat any particular narrowly defined diet. We all need certain nutrients to survive, and some of us can absorb things better than others, some of us have allergies... I just think there are many paths to good health and that what works for one person might not work for another.

I don't really think the vegan diet (in my case) is ideal, but my son doesn't seem to be having a problem with it. In fact, he seems a lot healthier than most of his omni friends, and not just the ones that are fast food omni.

I never really understood why people get so worked up over the protein issue. It is SO EASY to get, and there are so many other issues that I could understand people being concerned about...
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#68 of 275 Old 05-23-2007, 05:38 PM
 
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You're opinion sure. but here are some other's. The American Dietetic Association (ADA) and Dietitians of Canada position paper on vegetarian diets officially recognizes that well-planned vegan diets are appropriate for infancy and childhood.
The APA sees no problem with formula and the ADA is still recommending the standard American diet complete with refined grains and refined vegetable oil.

My entire point is that children are supposed to be getting breastmilk, which is an animal product, for WAY longer than our society permits. I think that the problems that many vegan children show is related to this. And the fact that so many of our children's health problems have cleared up with the addition of small amounts of animal products in their diets seems to support that theory.

I am not responsible for your children's health. I have no personal stake in changing your mind. I say these things and open myself up to your flames because it happened to me, and I hope that other vegan parents will take a hard look at the research and consider including some animal nutrition in their young children's diets. Make it pumped breastmilk, by all means! I may just do that myself next time.
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#69 of 275 Old 05-23-2007, 05:39 PM
 
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I do not think protein is *so easy* to get. Vegans I know eat FAR too many carbs/grains, and too little protein. IMO.
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#70 of 275 Old 05-23-2007, 05:50 PM
 
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I do not think protein is *so easy* to get. Vegans I know eat FAR too many carbs/grains, and too little protein. IMO.
I'm not totally disagreeing with you on this one. Most of the vegans I have known (and I have known many) also eat far too few fresh veggies. You are entitled to your opinion, but in my experience, it takes very little effort to get enough protein... even as a strict vegan. All that stuff that was printed ages ago (I forget the title of the book, but I'll post it when I remember) about how vegetarians have to painstakingly combine foods at every meal to get complete proteins turned out to be unnecessary (and in the same book, a few editions later, they mention this revelation) as long as your diet is sufficiently varied. I mean, no you wont get enough if you only eat spagetti and tomato sauce over and over again.

Comparitively, at least in my experience, some other nutrients were much more difficult to get adequate amounts of.

This is all just my experience from my 9+ years as a vegan. And I do realize you're talking about your opinion.
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#71 of 275 Old 05-23-2007, 05:55 PM
 
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Yeah, I'm talking about my own opinion. I'm a recovering vegetarian - I eat diary and eggs, and am attempting to re-intro meat after 15 years as a veggie.

I think vegetarianism is possibly the worst thing I've ever done for my health. Of course, I was a junk food veggie, and moving to whole foods has made a world of difference for me.

But I really don't get how one would get enough protein without animal products, even if they were super careful. I'm not speaking of food combining, I know that theory has been overturned. But with the controversy re: soy, especially processed soy, I just don't think beans and nuts alone are enough. Far from it.
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#72 of 275 Old 05-23-2007, 06:03 PM
 
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It doesn't really do your side of the argument justice when you get defensive and make your point by being rude to everyone that sees things differently. Most people are more likely to change their minds when you bring respect to the table along with your ideas.
As a lurker on this thread, I've got to say this statement is really true. That exchange kind of turned me off to learning more.
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#73 of 275 Old 05-23-2007, 06:15 PM
 
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The APA sees no problem with formula and the ADA is still recommending the standard American diet complete with refined grains and refined vegetable oil.

My entire point is that children are supposed to be getting breastmilk, which is an animal product, for WAY longer than our society permits. I think that the problems that many vegan children show is related to this. And the fact that so many of our children's health problems have cleared up with the addition of small amounts of animal products in their diets seems to support that theory.

I am not responsible for your children's health. I have no personal stake in changing your mind. I say these things and open myself up to your flames because it happened to me, and I hope that other vegan parents will take a hard look at the research and consider including some animal nutrition in their young children's diets. Make it pumped breastmilk, by all means! I may just do that myself next time.
Are you assuming that vegans do not breast feed or talking specifically about the family that starved the baby? 'Cause I am pretty sure that many veg*ns here are extended nursers...
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#74 of 275 Old 05-23-2007, 06:25 PM
 
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Here's a great link on protein sources from vegan foods:
http://www.vrg.org/nutrition/protein.htm

I actually do find it pretty easy to get enough protein in my diet.

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#75 of 275 Old 05-23-2007, 06:27 PM
 
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Yeah, I'm talking about my own opinion. I'm a recovering vegetarian - I eat diary and eggs, and am attempting to re-intro meat after 15 years as a veggie.

I think vegetarianism is possibly the worst thing I've ever done for my health. Of course, I was a junk food veggie, and moving to whole foods has made a world of difference for me.

But I really don't get how one would get enough protein without animal products, even if they were super careful. I'm not speaking of food combining, I know that theory has been overturned. But with the controversy re: soy, especially processed soy, I just don't think beans and nuts alone are enough. Far from it.
There are computer programs that let you run numbers on the nutritional info for a diet. Even on days I eat vegan, my fat/protein/carb ratio is 15/15/70, which is well within recommended norms. And I eat very little soy.

I will say that it is very difficult to get enough calories (and thus, enough protein) in a vegan diet into a kid with a nut allergy, especially if you avoid soy, adults with lots of allergies, too. If you're allergic to wheat, gluten, soy, nuts... you run out of stuff to eat. But I know people who are allergic to poultry, pork, fish, milk and eggs too.
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#76 of 275 Old 05-23-2007, 06:41 PM
 
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Yeah, I'm talking about my own opinion. I'm a recovering vegetarian - I eat diary and eggs, and am attempting to re-intro meat after 15 years as a veggie.

I think vegetarianism is possibly the worst thing I've ever done for my health. Of course, I was a junk food veggie, and moving to whole foods has made a world of difference for me.

But I really don't get how one would get enough protein without animal products, even if they were super careful. I'm not speaking of food combining, I know that theory has been overturned. But with the controversy re: soy, especially processed soy, I just don't think beans and nuts alone are enough. Far from it.
I never did the junk food vegan thing, but probably because my mom was always pretty picky about what she fed my sister and I. She had her own organic garden, my dad hunted, we never ate anything with aritficial color/flavors/preservatives. Highly processed food just doesn't taste like food to me and it never has.

But yeah, reintroducing animal foods is WEIRD. I was a HUGE meat eater before going vegan, and by the time I ate some fish almost 10 years later, it just felt alien to my teeth. After I reintroduced dairy, I couldn't drink chocolate Silk anymore... it just didn't taste good to me anymore, whereas before I would chug it straight out of the fridge when no one was looking.

ETA... btw, I DO credit extended breastfeeding for much of their good health. They each nursed until they were at least 2 years old.
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#77 of 275 Old 05-23-2007, 06:42 PM
 
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Personally I think that vgnmama2keller has inadvertently proven the point that many of us are trying to discuss. Being vegan for so long and being very active within that community I have met a great variety of people who follow that diet for a ton of different reasons. In general they have been a well read, well researched bunch. Most could tell you what nutrients were needed and which foods contained those things. Just like the VERY long posts that were impossible to read.

Those sources are missing the point. Just like how many supposedly reputable sources will claim that breastfed babies will need an iron supplement after around 6 months because breastmilk has less iron when really the iron in bm is so bioavailable that less is required (whereas most of the iron in formula and baby cereals cannot be properly absorbed so more is necessary).

The numbers look nice on paper, but in reality it is lacking the important basic understanding of how our bodies actually utilizes the foods we eat. Beans have lots of proteins, that is great. But we can't actually USE all the proteins in those beans unless the fiber is broken down so we can absorb it. Fats are vitally important to how our bodies function (good quality healthy fats). Many vitamins and minerals are in fact in many different plants, but we are unable to break them down and absorb them in that form. One kind of vitamin A isn't directly translatable to another. THAT is the difference, and that is what I never found in any vegan nutritional guide.

I am sure the parents of vegan babies who used these homemade formulas really loved their children, and really thought they were doing what was in the best interest of their children. I know I believed that when I was raising my own children without animal products (though I practice extended breastfeeding). The thing is that no one is telling these parents some vitally important information about what our bodies ACTUALLY need and why. It is more about how our bodies breakdown and absorb foods, and about how bioavailable each nutrient is in each of those foods. Without actually understanding those key facts you cannot possibly understand what problems are inherent with a vegan diet for a young child.


 

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#78 of 275 Old 05-23-2007, 06:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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[B]If you cannot give breastmilk for the evolutionarily correct span of time children were designed for, you must give a substitute source of those nutrients. Cow's milk is not perfect, eggs are not perfect, fish is not perfect, only breastmilk is perfect. But they will meet the child's needs in a way that plants cannot. A vegan diet is as inappropriate for a 2 year old as it is for a 3 week old.
:

I find it a curious that some vegan arguments compare humans to herbivores and say that if cows can survive on grass, then we can survive on nothing but plant matter (because we're so much like cows?) while other vegan arguments emphasize how different humans are from cows so we couldn't possibly thrive on their milk. Which is it?

FWIW, I was raised 95% vegan with macrobiotic leanings and fed only whole, homemade, homegrown foods, nothing processed, never sugar or white flour, lots of whole grains, raw nuts, beans, lots of kale and other greens and veggies, lots of tofu, no other processed soy besides the occasional soy milk, and even with the occasional high quality animal products in my childhood diet, I have suffered many health problems because of my near-vegan upbringing. One of my areas of worst health is my teeth. My whole childhood I just constantly developed cavities, and now my teeth have degenerated into periodontal disease, and I absolutely see a connection between my nutrient-deficient childhood diet, and my teeth problems. I wish my mother had fed me more high quality animal foods so that I could enjoy better health. I know that the foods I was raised on look good on the nutrition charts in terms of nutrient content, but what the human body is able to assimilate from these foods is a whole different matter.
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#79 of 275 Old 05-23-2007, 06:59 PM
 
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I find it a curious that some vegan arguments compare humans to herbivores and say that if cows can survive on grass, then we can survive on nothing but plant matter (because we're so much like cows?) while other vegan arguments emphasize how different humans are from cows so we couldn't possibly thrive on their milk. Which is it?
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#80 of 275 Old 05-23-2007, 06:59 PM
 
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I am sure the parents of vegan babies who used these homemade formulas really loved their children, and really thought they were doing what was in the best interest of their children.

What "homemade formulas" are you referring to? The article was about parents that fed their newborn baby only soy milk and juice... they could have fed the baby cows milk and juice with the same result.

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#81 of 275 Old 05-23-2007, 07:03 PM
 
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Typical vegan children get a heck of a lot more nutrients than you seem to
I wanted to comment on this. My children will eat almost all of the foods on this list. They eat a varied diet with no complaint. In fact, I only know of one or two other families with children who will eat as many different foods as my children.

We were veg. (not vegan, but very close) for a long time, probably 8 or 9 years. My children are all healthy, have all breastfed for at least 2 years. Still, I notice some things in my third child that I am sure are diet related. My second child didn't take off growth-wise until we began eating meat again.

We weren't "perfect" vegetarians, but we ate very well. I made sure that we ate a wide variety of foods every week, limited junk food, had a whole-foods based diet, not a processed, boxed foods diet. Still, I noticed things that resolved quickly after adding meat to my diet. I saw my children grow several inches and fill out (more than just normal growth). Our hair, teeth, and skin have improved.

Is it just a theory? Of course. Could it be coincidence? Absolutely. But I am not willing to risk that just for the sake of saying that we are veg. again. It was hard to begin to eat meat again. The health of my children made it worth it, and I will not look back. I fully believe that children are meant to have animal products in their intense growing years. I think that pregnant and breastfeeding women need them, too, as consecutive pregnancies and breastfeeding babies drain the body's resources faster than a plant-based diet can rebuild them.
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#82 of 275 Old 05-23-2007, 07:04 PM
 
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yes it could and yes it has already been made. there are many healthy and thriving vegans out there that don't consume soy. .
Yes, I'm aware of this. I was referring to the specific material you posted.

It's definitely true that protein isn't really a concern with a well planned vegan diet. There may be other concerns, it really does depend on the individual diet.

I'm really non-militant on this. I'm obnoxiously omnivorous. I've eaten a deep fried Twinkie. (It was worryingly tasty, and I'm trying not to think about the cellular damage caused by whatever's released when the contents of a Twinkie are exposed to boiling oil.) I'm prepared to believe that not everyone thrives on identical diets and that there is no single ideal. I also thnk that talking about what we were "intended" to eat is pretty futile--if the variation in human diet has shown us anything it's that humans are capable of adaptation to a wide range of food sources. I don't think you can argue that veganism is the most natural diet, since true, sustained veganism (rather than situational veganism caused by lack of available animal foods) seems to be very rare other than amongst those who have chosen it for moral reasons.

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#83 of 275 Old 05-23-2007, 07:05 PM
 
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What "homemade formulas" are you referring to? The article was about parents that fed their newborn baby only soy milk and juice... they could have fed the baby cows milk and juice with the same result.

http://www.mothering.com/discussions...6&postcount=26
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#84 of 275 Old 05-23-2007, 07:06 PM
 
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Oh I didn't know you were referring to the advice we all agreed was crazy and dangerous.

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#85 of 275 Old 05-23-2007, 07:25 PM
 
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An argument could also be made against the quantity of soya one would be eating if those recommendations were followed...
I am helping my 13 yr old with his desire to go back to vegetarianism. We went together to the market today. I hadn't bought tofu pups in several years. My recollection was that they were organic and without GMOs, so when he put them in the cart, I wasn't concerned. (I'd be concerned with a steady diet of them, but as it's grilling season, I didn't mind). As we were waiting in the check out line, I picked it up to check it out, and I saw that, in fact, tofu pups are not organic. The number one ingredient is soy. Not organic soy, just godawful GMO soy. When I told him, and since he's studied all this he said, 'I won't eat those. GMOs are playing with fire". So we gave them back to the cashier.

He and talked about what it takes to get tofu pups to us, what it costs in terms of water and fossil fuel useage (in terms of shipping and packaging etc), poor and abused crop soil, and who -knows -what pollinating out there in the heartland, Vs what he had for breakfast this morning, which was a 5 minute old egg from one of our pastured hens.

I mean, do the math on that.

A lot of us who care bunches just can't see the point of highly processed GMO soy foods, or even organic soy foods-- they are still highly processed --taking the place of natural, whole, and non- processed veggie foods.
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#86 of 275 Old 05-23-2007, 08:19 PM
 
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What "homemade formulas" are you referring to? The article was about parents that fed their newborn baby only soy milk and juice... they could have fed the baby cows milk and juice with the same result.
I specifically had this story in mind, though I have heard of many recipes for vegan baby formulas over the years. I hadn't heard of the link the other poster mentioned though I can see why everyone agreed it was crazy and dangerous.


Quote:
Examining the label on commercial baby formula cans, Mrs. Swinton said she tried to replicate the chemical composition with natural ingredients, including ground nuts and puréed fruits and vegetables.
http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpag...57C0A9659C8B63


Though the parents in this one switched to homemade formula at 3 months as well

Quote:
Defense attorney Ellis Rubin pointed out that the other four children were raised on the same diet, and that Lamoy Andressohn stopped breast-feeding Woyah's 18-month-old sister, Rayah, at three months, just as she had Woyah, replacing the milk with a formula of wheat grass, almond and coconut juice.
http://www.courttv.com/trials/andres...10705_ctv.html


 

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#87 of 275 Old 05-23-2007, 08:33 PM
 
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I specifically had this story in mind, though I have heard of many recipes for vegan baby formulas over the years. I hadn't heard of the link the other poster mentioned though I can see why everyone agreed it was crazy and dangerous.




http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpag...57C0A9659C8B63
I knew them. They came into the restaurant when I worked there, with the baby in a bucket seat. I remember that child. That was a really sad thing.
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#88 of 275 Old 05-23-2007, 08:56 PM
 
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I simply don't see how depriving IIce of her parents is right. I think they were ill-informed. Why, I am not sure. It's a rare vegan parent who would think not breastfeeding makes sense. And most vegans who can't, or don't want to bf (as was the case for IIce's mother), do choose to feed their infants well.

It's really important for all of our society (talking US society here) to understand that there is simply no way of feeding babies that is healthy outside of breastfeeding. Even a 'good' formula is not the same. But we here know that if bfing doesn't happen, we need the expertise (as much as we hate to admit it) of a tried & true synthetic breat milk subsitute.
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#89 of 275 Old 05-23-2007, 10:22 PM
 
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Originally Posted by FreeRangeMama View Post
I specifically had this story in mind, though I have heard of many recipes for vegan baby formulas over the years.
It is scary, I have heard of many scary omni homemade recipes for baby formulas as well.

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#90 of 275 Old 05-23-2007, 10:24 PM
 
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I simply don't see how depriving IIce of her parents is right.
You would if you had met them, or seen her.
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