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Vegan Controversy in Italy

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There has been so much talk in the news about a possible new law pushed by Elvira Savino, from the conservative Forza Italy Party, to jail parents -up to 4 years- should they impose vegan diet on their kids.

In the last few months in Italy, a couple of parents have lost custody of their kids because of their vegan diet supposedly caused malnutrition in their babies. Particularity, in July of 2016, a 14-month old baby boy was taken to an emergency by his grandparents, who noticed severe weight and growth issues. The baby also suffered from a heart condition which has most likely contributed to his growth delay.

Ms. Elvira Savino is using these cases to show how veganism causes malnutrition in kids, particularly with anemia, zinc and B12 deficiencies, and the list goes on.

Meanwhile, down in Turin, the new mayor Chiara Appendino has promised to make vegetarian and vegan diet her priority for the city.

In November 2015, an article published by OECD.org about health in Italy, stated:

“Rates of overweight and obesity in children are among the highest worldwide. Heavy episodic consumption of alcohol is on the increase, and tobacco consumption is high, in young people. All of these will likely lead to greater demand for healthcare in the future.”

Statistically, most kids are doing perfectly fine on a vegan diet. Most milks, pastas, breads nowadays are fortified with vitamins and minerals.

Instead of banning veganism and forcing parents to feed meat to their kid, why not educate them on how they should feed their children properly and have them monitored by Physicians? After all, all meat eating parents do get their children checked by physicians too. Why not encourage parents to give supplements to their kids rather than forcing them to cook meat?

Also, what happens when a child of meat eating parents, as I was too, at the age of 7 decides that s/he hates milk, eggs, meat and all products that come from an animal? Do they have to be forced to eat meat? Would that not cause eating disorders later on?

What happens to all the parents who feed their kids so much junk that their kids end up having Juvenile diabetes or becoming obese? Do they face jail time?

One may start pondering what is the real agenda of Ms. Savino and why is so passionate about passing a law to jail vegan parents instead of dealing health crisis of over weight kids in her country?

We may even wonder who may be backing her on such harsh law After all, meat and cheese are very popular in Italy!

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