Parents risk jail for raising children as vegans

Belgian doctors said giving children a vegan diet is "unethical" and criminal. Vegans do not eat animal products, including eggs and dairy. Belgium's medical association said veganism was "unsuitable for unborn children, children, teenagers, and pregnant…women". It said vegan parenting does not help "a person in danger". This is a criminal offence with a possible two-year prison sentence. It said children needed protein from meat.

An animal rights group called the ruling "ignorant codswallop". It said: "A meat- and dairy-based diet is what strikes people down in adulthood, as it can lead to hardened arteries that cause stroke…and heart attacks." A spokeswoman said: "A well-planned vegan diet is perfect for babies and children." Her children "thrived" on a vegan diet. She added: "It's the parents' responsibility to ensure their child is getting all the necessary nutrients."