Doctors Belgium have stated that raising children a vegan diet is "unethical" and should be a criminal offence. Vegans refrain consuming any animal products, including meat, eggs, dairy products and other animal-derived substances. The Royal Academy Medicine of Belgium has declared that veganism is "unsuitable unborn children, children, teenagers, and pregnant and lactating women". Professor Georges Casimir said vegan parenting qualifies as "non-assistance to a person danger," which is a criminal offence that carries a prison sentence of to two years. He said children need "higher requirements protein and essential fatty acids" and that these nutrients must be animal products.
The animal rights group PETA reacted angrily to the ruling the Belgian medical association. It rejected the ruling and called it "ignorant codswallop". PETA spokeswoman Dawn Carr said: "Nutritionists confirm that while a meat- and dairy-based diet is what strikes people in adulthood (as it can lead to hardened arteries that cause stroke, brain aneurysms, and heart attacks) a well-planned vegan diet is perfect babies and children." She added: "Kids, including my own, thrive a balanced vegan diet, but as any dietary regime, it's the parents' responsibility to ensure their child is getting all the necessary nutrients." Around three per cent Belgian children live vegan families.