French Vegan Couple Face Trial After Death of Baby Fed Only on Breast Milk
A strict vegan couple is on trial in France after their 11-month-old daughter died from illness caused by vitamin deficiency. Sergine and Joel Le Moaligou stand charged with “neglect or food deprivation” and could face a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison if they are convicted.
According to the Guardian, the couple phoned an ambulance to come to their home in the village of Saint- Maulvis, 90 miles (145 km) north of Paris, in March 2008 when their baby daughter Louise grew dangerously lethargic. Little Louise was dead by the time the paramedics arrived; they alerted police after noticing how pale and thin she was. An autopsy showed that she weighed only 12.5 lbs. (5.7 kg.); she ought to have been around 18 lbs. (8 kg.). The baby was also suffering from serious vitamin deficiencies that left her open to infection. The cause of death was listed as pneumonia-related illness.
The Le Moaligous, who fed Louise exclusively on Sergine’s breast milk, became vegan after watching a disturbing documentary on slaughterhouses. The parents were also highly distrustful of traditional Western medicine and believed in treating illnesses with natural yet often ineffectual remedies such as cabbage poultices, mustard and camphor. They washed little Louise in earth and clay instead of giving her baths, too.
“The couple did not follow the doctor’s advice to take the baby to hospital when they went for her nine-month checkup and found she was suffering from bronchitis and was losing weight,” Stephane Daquo, the mother’s lawyer, said. Patrick Quenel, the father’s lawyer, said the parents were “completely aware of the mistakes they made.”
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