August 14, 2016 — Italian lawmaker Elvira Savino is proposing a law to criminalize feeding children a vegan diet, ignoring the fact that it is the most healthy way for humans, especially children, to eat. Savino aims to end vegan diets as she sees it as “reckless and dangerous behavior imposed by their parents, or whoever exercises the functions, to the detriment of minors.” Savino also has said that she has nothing against adults eating a vegan or vegetarian diet; however, it should be a crime to do the same to one’s child. This comes on the heels after a child on a vegan diet was sent to the hospital in Italy for malnutrition.
Italy has one of the lowest malnutrition rates in the world (23,000) and nearly all of them do not receive enough nutrition on a meat eating diet, so it is hard to understand Savino’s rationale to isolate eating vegan. One can only assume Savino has either been misinformed or is ignorant of the facts. A child or an adult can become malnourished on either a vegan or a meat eating diet.
Four children in the last 18 months have been reported as being malnourished due to a vegan diet; however, many more meat eating children were reported as being malnourished over the same period. Savino is ignoring the fact a child is more likely to not receive enough development nutrition through a meat eating diet over a vegan diet. She would rather put a parent in a cage for at least a year, keeping that parent away from the child, than let that child eat vegan. Perhaps Savino should focus on children growing up in poverty rather than try to grab world headlines on an uninformed witch hunt. Italy has one of the highest child poverty rates in the Europe.