"If we are trying to get kids to eat healthier, then we need to
engage them in a discussion about what goes on in meat and dairy,
and why fruits and vegetables are healthier for us," said Ruby
Roth, writer and illustrator of "Vegan is Love: Having Heart and
Ross feeds her seven-year-old step-daughter a strict vegan diet in
"If we were true carnivores, we wouldn't shy away from blood and
gore," she said.
But some nutrition experts are warning parents about pushing vegan
diets on their kids and say books on the topic should be
"They are very dangerous. They create the impression that a child
can be healthy on a vegan diet, but we absolutely need the
nutrients we get from animal foods," said Sally Fallon Morell,
president of the Weston A. Price Foundation, a nutrition advocating
She says animal products contain a many vital nutrients found only
in meat, eggs and dairy.
"Growing children cannot make all of the cholesterol they need for
the formation of their brain, and you can find cholesterol only in
animal products," said Fallon Morell, adding that many vegan
children also suffer from severe tooth decay.
"The child will not develop to its optimal potential. It's
extremely dangerous and unfair to do this to a child."
She said meat-free diets can cause deficiencies in many vitamins
such as A, B12, D, zinc, and iron.
Vegan diets have come under fire recently after a French couple
were charged following the death of their young daughter.
French couple Sergine and Joel Le Moaligou were sentenced to five
years in jail last year after they were found guilty of neglect or
The mother followed a vegan diet and breastfed her 11-month-old
daughter, Louise, before she died of a pneumonia-related
Doctors say she was underweight and suffering from severe vitamin
A and B12 deficiency.