The trial of Swedish parents accused of nearly starving their two-year-old daughter to death because of their vegan diet began this week with the two being charged with serious bodily harm.
The trial is set to last for around four days in Gothenburg. The toddler’s father is also facing separate charges related to drugs which he admitted to police during his initial interrogation but denied the drugs were for his own personal use, Swedish broadcaster SVT reports.
The incident that led to the couple’s prosecution and trial occurred in February when they took their two-year-old daughter to Queen Silvia’s children’s hospital in Gothenburg and doctors found the child malnourished to the point of near death due to the couple’s insistence on a vegan diet for her.
During police questioning, a doctor who tended to the child described being shocked at the condition of the little girl saying, “you just do not see malnourished children in Sweden today.”
Sexual Harassment and Veganism Become Latest ‘Trends’ in Swedish Children’s Books https://t.co/IhBsAgz93i
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Ximena Bene, the prosecutor in the case, put the responsibility for the young girl’s condition on the dietary choice of the parents saying, “The parent couple is negligent when they give their child a one-sided diet, in connection with withholding the child from social institutions that are to check how the child is feeling.”
Police also said that the couple did not register the child with the tax authority and had no fixed address, saying the couple lived a nomadic lifestyle. Both parents have denied responsibility for the state of the child’s health claiming previously that the girl suffered from an autoimmune disease, a diagnosis not shared by the doctors at the hospital.
In 2014, a University of Graz study revealed that vegans, in general, suffered far more health problems than those eating a more balanced diet saying people who forgo eating meat were “less healthy (in terms of cancer, allergies, and mental health disorders), have a lower quality of life, and also require more medical treatment.”