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Couple Denied Adoption Rights for Being Vegetarian

Couple Denied Adoption Rights for Being Vegetarian

A couple on the Greek island of Crete have been denied the right to adopt a child because of their vegetarian diet.

The couple is appealing the decision in court, and one can only hope that the judiciary will show common sense where the local welfare officials have not.

Spyros Epitropakis, head of the city’s welfare services, says the application was denied based on information received from the University of Crete Medical School which told Epitropakis that the child’s diet “must include meat and fish.”

It’s almost unbelievable that in this day and age anyone could think that a child is simply incapable of surviving without meat.

Usually this kind of silly, inexplicable panic is reserved for cases involving children of vegan parents ever since the story of the Atlanta couple whose baby died after being fed nothing but soymilk and apple juice. The prosecutor in that case said definitively: “The vegan diet is fine. These parents lied about what they fed him. He just was not fed enough.”

There’s a special brand of fear-mongering that comes into play when discussing veganism and children, and members of the media are ruthless when trying to frighten vegetarians and vegans away from raising their children accordingly.

For example, the Guardian ran a piece a year ago titled “Is Veganism Safe for Kids?” that starts with a story about a child who was taken away from his parents who refused to give him cow’s milk. The title and opening paragraph are designed to scare parents away from raising their kids vegan. Only at the end of the anecdote does the author tell us that the parents in question weren’t even vegan.

Amanda Baker of the Vegan Society says that vegans are more likely to cook at home and are likely to be very knowledgeable about nutrition because their diet requires more circumspection about ingredients. She attributes the paranoia to a lack of information in the hands of everyone from doctors to social workers and other parents.

Of course a vegan diet can be done wrong, just like any other diet can be done wrong, but numerous studies show that there are numerous health benefits for children raised on vegetarian or vegan diets.

The more mainstream that veganism becomes, the more informed the populace is going to be but there will always be ignorant people that make life difficult for the rest of us. The unnamed Greek couple were trying to provide a loving home for a child in need but were turned away because their diet was unconventional.

Their case goes to court on March 16th.

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296 comments

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8:24PM PDT on Apr 21, 2011

wow. just wow

12:58PM PDT on Apr 12, 2011

So it's legal to give kids FAST FOOD but not give them a healthy vegetarian diet? What the ****. I really hope this family gets the kid, they are doing nothing wrong. I know people who have been vegetarian their whole lives and are healthier than ever! Meat is not a necessary to survive now days, and is a much healthier diet than most eating habits people have. I can't get over it, their denied for being vegetarian, but people are allowed to feed their kids McDonalds! C'mon! That makes no sense.

12:34AM PDT on Mar 30, 2011

IGNORANCE OF THOSE WHO DENIED IT, EVERYONE SHOULD SUPPORT THIS COUPLE! OF COURSE HUMAN ARE LIKE ROBOTS WHEN THEY ACT IN A ROUTINE AND BLIND WAY, WITHOUT QUESTIONING THE POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF THEIR STYLE OF LIFE: VEGAN IS THE BEST OPTION FOR HEALTH AND PLANET, FOR THE FUTURE OF NEXT GENERATIONS
THE FIRST THING TO DO IS CLAIMING THAT THIS IS A DISCRIMINATION, AN IGNORANT POSITION OF SOMEONE WHO SHOULD BE FAR AWAY TO TAKE SUCH AN IMPORTANT ISSUE

5:11AM PDT on Mar 26, 2011

so sad

5:11AM PDT on Mar 26, 2011

so sad

1:36AM PDT on Mar 22, 2011

(cont)........The article stated that the decision was based on information received from the Crete School of Medicine advising that the child's diet must "INCLUDE" meat and fish, and then the author went on to state his own opinion..........."
It's almost unbelievable that in this day and age anyone could think that a child is simply incapable of surviving without meat.".......Now, the author is biased, as usual, and includes references to other cases that are irrelevant to this one to support his opinion on what a child needs or doesn't. Since when is MacDaniel even knowledgeable about children, since he doesn't have any, or what they need nutritionally, to develop? He's not a pediatrician, first of all! Secondly, the recommendation said that the diet must "include", and didn't mandate any specific amount of "meat and fish". What IF the prospective parents said they would refuse to provide any meat or fish, period? MacDaniel's statement that children CAN survive without is not the point. Of course they can SURVIVE, but at what possible cost? What IF they are developmentally stunted by a lack of SPECIFIC nutrition that is needed during that time?

Once again, a discussion based on biased opinions and unknown facts. It's unfair to speculate the reasons for the court's decision based on only what the author choses to tell us.

1:25AM PDT on Mar 22, 2011

Samantha, I tend to agree with you about parents can be good parents regardless, or bad ones because of the issues you mentioned, but it's sometimes prudent to prevent issues from happening beforehand IF they can be. Nobody knows all the facts regarding this particular situation, so like I said much earlier in the discussion, it's foolish to speculate. I'm not vegetarian, but if I was, you bet I'd probably be annoyed if I was told I couldn't adopt a child simply because of what I chose to eat (or not), PROVIDING that my own choices wouldn't affect that child. It's proven fact that developing bodies, especially the brain, requires different nutrients than those who have reached maturity. I've read of numerous accounts of teenagers who were brought up on a vegan diet and developed serious conditions which sometimes, weren't reversible, yet adults did just fine on the same diet. Now, if the prospective adoptive parents told the agencies involved that they would refuse to allow the child to eat what it needed for development, then maybe the decision was justified. If they said that they would feed the baby as it needed to be fed and that at a time later on, they'd allow the child to choose for her/himself what they wanted, then the decision wasn't right. (to be cont).

9:06AM PDT on Mar 21, 2011

unbelievable. People who starve their children and feed them improper food have issues that are unrelated to their own diet. Vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike can be bad parents. They can also be good ones. To think that people would be discriminated against because of a vegetarian diet nowadays is very surprising.

8:27AM PDT on Mar 21, 2011

INORITES!

7:53AM PDT on Mar 21, 2011

The government now even wants to order us what to eat - is that because they know how bad the meat we eat is for us and if we choose not to eat it we won't get sick and die as soon as they need us to? Something to ponder isn't it?

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