Letter to the Editor Re: Death by Veganism
By Amy Joy Lanou, Ph.D.
This letter was published in The New York Times on May 23, 2007
To the Editor:
Re “Death by Veganism,” by Nina Planck (Op-Ed, May 21):
I am a nutritionist who testified as an expert witness for the prosecution in the criminal trial of the parents of Crown Shakur. As the lead prosecutor in this case told the jury, this poor infant was not killed by a vegan diet. He was starved to death by parents who did not give him breast milk, soy-based infant formula or enough food of any kind.
Well-planned vegan diets are healthful for pregnant mothers and their infants, as well as for older children, according to a large body of scientific research. Contrary to Ms. Planck’s assertions, there are healthy plant-based sources of docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA; calcium can be absorbed about as readily from soy milk as from cow’s milk; and soy does not inhibit growth.
Studies have found that vegan children are within the normal ranges for weight and height, and I personally know vegan mothers and vegan children who are healthier than many of their omnivorous peers.
Amy Joy Lanou, Ph.D.
Amy Joy Lanou, Ph.D., is a senior nutrition scientist with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and the author of Healthy Eating for Life for Children.