Vegan parents sentenced over child's death

18th November 2004, Comments 0 comments

18 November 2004 , PADERBORN - A vegan mother and father whose 15-month-old son starved to death because they disapproved of dairy products, eggs and other animal foods were given a suspended jail sentence of 15 months each by a German court. The unemployed nurse, 36, and her husband, a cabinetmaker, 44, supported an extreme form of vegetarianism that considers all forms of animal fat unsuitable in the human diet. The woman gave birth to a fourth child several weeks ago. The court in the northern city of P

18 November 2004

PADERBORN - A vegan mother and father whose 15-month-old son starved to death because they disapproved of dairy products, eggs and other animal foods were given a suspended jail sentence of 15 months each by a German court.

The unemployed nurse, 36, and her husband, a cabinetmaker, 44, supported an extreme form of vegetarianism that considers all forms of animal fat unsuitable in the human diet. The woman gave birth to a fourth child several weeks ago.

The court in the northern city of Paderborn said that by failing to go to a doctor when the breast-fed child became sick, they had committed assault leading to death. The little boy, Leon, began refusing food and died of pneumonia and malnutrition in March.

The mother said she noticed Leon was ill two weeks before he died and tried to treat him with rubs of natural oils. She said she had spoon-fed him a "milk substitute" made from almonds and coconuts.

Officials in Bad Driburg, the small town where the couple live, said the family had given an undertaking to child-protection officers to feed the three surviving children eggs, fish and dairy products in future and to visit a doctor for check-ups.

DPA

Subject: German news

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