The vegan diet is hailed as one of the healthiest, the actor Jared Leto seems to be the poster boy for a vegan lifestyle.
So it is a shock that over in Italy an MP wants to make children who are exposed to a vegan diet victims of a crime.
Elvira Savino, a Centre-right MP, is lobbying for a law which would protect any children from diets that may not contain enough vitamins and iron.
This could mean that parents who want their children to live a vegan lifestyle may be taken to court for “reckless and dangerous eating behavior” on their offspring.
Savino from the Forza Italia party wants any children under 16 who the state deemed as having a poor diet to be sent to prison for up to six years.
So families who give their children loads of junk food would go to prison, but so would parents who fee their children fresh fruit and vegetables.
The law has be dubbed the “Savino Law” and it covers diets that do not have eggs, meat, animal products and dairy. Elvria thinks without these food groups in the child’s diet then they will not be able to absorb enough vitamin B12, iron, Zinc and other vitamins that help with growth and development.
Savino, wrote in the introduction to the law that the belief that “a vegetarian diet, even in the rigid form of a vegan diet, results in significant health benefits” was becoming more widespread in Italy.
“There is no objection if the person making this choice is an informed adult. A problem arises when children are involved.”
To scare off any vegan parents who intend to pursue this lifestyle, she wants a one-year sentence for the offence and if the child is three or under then the jail term would be extended even further.
Many people would think that jailing parents for giving them fresh produce, which can also be more environmentally stable than eating meat and diary products, is a backwards move. However, this is a serious attempt to criminalise vegan families.