Let Them Eat Prosciutto (and Pepperoni and Salame and Soppressata and Capicola)

A lawmaker in Italy is pressing for legislation that will make feeding your child a strictly vegan diet punishable.
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Photo by: Yulia_Davidovich ©Yulia_Davidovich

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Should parents who raise their children on a vegan diet go to prison: si o no?

A lawmaker in Italy is pressing for legislation that will make feeding your child a strictly vegan diet, which precludes the consumption of animals and animal products, including eggs and dairy, punishable by one year in prison. The law proposes steeper sentences for cases where veganism has been deemed to have led to a serious health issue (up to four years) or death (up to seven years).

“I have nothing against vegans or veganism as long as it is a free choice by adults,” Elvira Savino, the parliamentarian from Italy’s conservative Forza Italia party who has proposed the law, told Reuters. “I just find it absurd that some parents are allowed to impose their will on children in an almost fanatical, religious way, often without proper scientific knowledge or medical consultation.”

The law would apply to parents with children under 16, with more severe penalties increasing if the children are under 3. It was inspired, Reuters reported, by several high-profile cases: one in which a 1-year-old boy in Milan who was fed a vegan diet was found by doctors to weigh the equivalent of a 3-month-old and another in which a man accused his ex-wife in court of stunting their 12-year-old son’s growth by raising him vegan.

The law Savino has proposed, and which parliament is expected to vote on this year, would require pediatricians to report to authorities the parents of children being raised vegan — just as they would do in cases of physical abuse.

Photo courtesy of iStock

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