Over the past few years I have gone mostly vegan. I feel better for it.. My goal was not weight loss, but just overall health.. and ethics. I had an issue being a regular vendor of products that only provided torture and maimed creatures.  While I can’t say I’ve been 100% veg, I have been 100% without red meat and milk. Chicken? Fish? …It has been included. But also included was a surge in vegetables and fruit, nuts and legumes. Instead of being ingredient, I consider myself a one ingredient dieter–trying to make my own food and where I can’t buying whole foods that have the most minimal ingredients possible.

….but I have also become addicted to watching vegans on You Tube! Not always for information, but so often enjoyment.   It is a fascinated thing, to see how this vegan community on social media truly despises each other, fights.. reports on each other for eating Raman Noodles. It is just a bizarre thing, actually.

There are some altruistic vegans who prefer plant based lives because of morality.. others claim personal health. They all quote Dr. Eccylstyn and his non-oil and absolutely no fat argument–even though the good Doctor himself has a son who has a fire fighting diet that advocates health fats like avocados .. It is all just so confusing.

Adding to the confusion: There was a tragic story of late that has received a ton of attention among the vegan community on YouTube.. The death of Baby Lucas.

The Belgium court reads the decision

Dateline Belgium. Identified as Peter S Sandrina V, the parents, who owned a health food store, were given a six-month suspended jail term after being found guilty of the death of their son, Lucas. At the time of his death, Lucas, dehydrated and malnourished, weighed just under 10 pounds. The parents said they set his diet because Lucas was lactose—and gluten—intolerant, but prosecutors were skeptical. “The parents determined their own diagnosis that their child was gluten intolerant and had a lactose allergy,” lawyers said.

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There are a few noteworthy pieces of information before we get to the ‘food fight’ over this tragic death.

First, there is no mention in any reputable articles — like the real news sources and not clickbait social media sites–that say the parents were vegans. Yes they owned a health store. But we have all seen health store owner sand employees that often don’t seem to live he message they sell. 

Also it appears that doctors gave these parents multiple warnings of danger and yet they continued their quinoa milk regiment anyway. The poor child died at an early age because of the malnourishment–something developed countries usually don’t have a major issue with.

And now the arguments.

The vegan world latched on to some really clickbaity-fake headlines, including things like “VEGAN PARENTS GO TO JAIL” and “PARENTS JAILED FOR FEEDING THEIR CHILD A VEGAN DIET.”   You know the drill…anything for attention. Not unlike my ‘utter’ heart for this post. 

But it is also mostly not true. And even if it is true, we don’t know it from the BBC article and other sites from Belgium that actually can be translated into the language of your speaking choice. Nothing reputable states they were vegan parents. 

I have watched multiple sources espouse their thoughts on this awful death. People such as ‘That Vegan Couple,’ who argued that it is unfair to convict these parents for veganism when you don’t convict parents for feeding their children cancer-causing began and omnivorous diets.

But that is not what happened. What happened was the parents opted out of vitamin fortified formula–yes cow’s milk–and opted in to a really bad decision. And even when presented evidence that their child’s organs were half the normal size and he wasn’t growing, continued with it. No, they probably did not want their child to die, but it was the tragic result of their decision.

There is something else noteworthy here.. Vegans have latched on to this story, mostly because of the incorrect headlines that suggest veganism is what got the parents jailed. But that goes against some logic. Does cows’ milk benefit people? Maybe not after a certain age.. but if you can’t breast feed, cow’s milk-based foritified formula is the only other option that has all the essential nutrients. Even if you breast feed, there is still a chance you would have to supplement a child’s diet with B12 and D vitamins, not to mention iron..

The CDC reommends whole foods, fruits, vegetables. But they also recommend lean meats and poultry, and eggs. And here’s a news flash: If Americans followed the CDC recomendations the nation would be a lot thinner and healthier than it is!

A vegan lifestyle, when done properly, is great! A omnivourous diet, with proper intake of nutrients and whole plant food,canals be great.. a person who eats olive oil may actually end up being as healthy as one who does not.. Someone who eats lean meat along with vegetables may end up being as healthy as someone who only eats raw.

That is why vegans so often fail in an argument. Yes. They are healthy. Yes, heart disease is low in the vegan community. But also remember the unfairness of the numbers! The vegan community only amounts to a but more than 1% of the population anway.

There is a equally decent chance that someone who follows the CDC recommendations will be fine, have lower levels of heart disease and cancer,and live a long healthy life with a steak or chicken breast now and then as well.

This is the kind of abuse that could cause people to rethink their diets. And it’s what vegans should argue instead of health

I think the successful angle for vegans to win arguments will always be the ethics, the morality, and the treatment. Health is one aspect. But if vegans played more to the ‘raw emotions’–pun intended–of people with stories and visual evidence of what animals go through before their slaughter, more people will be convinced. That style of argument was one of the major reason I stopped eating dairy, including butter. And after all, when you reach a certain age, dairy stops being essential.

But for baby Lucas, nutrients were essential. It was not a vegan diet that harmed him. It was parents who ignored warnings about danger.

And it is a mistake for vegans to use this article to boost their argument.Their argument, if nothing else, is actually harmed by focusing on these types of stories.

Image of protesters at an anti-dairy event

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