Parents say abuse cases give vegans a bad rap

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — There’s a right way and a wrong way to raise a baby on vegan food. Those who get it wrong, parents say, give the responsible ones a bad name.

A Pennsylvania mother claiming to be vegan was charged this month with child endangerment for feeding her baby nothing but small amounts of nuts and berries. In Italy, after a number of vegan babies required hospitalization for malnourishment, a lawmaker this summer proposed a bill that would make it a crime to feed children under 16 a vegan diet.

Pinning bad parenting on vegan diets, some say, unfairly stigmatizes those who have done their homework and are safely raising their babies without feeding them animal products like meat and dairy.

“They stress the elements of veganism in these stories, but it’s not that these people aren’t giving their children the right kind of food, it’s that they aren’t feeding them,” said Fulvia Serra, of Fort Collins, Colorado. The native of southern Italy is raising her 1-year-old son vegan.