French Vegan Parents Charged With Death of Their Malnourished 11-Month Baby

A vegan couple in France has been charged with criminal neglect after the death of their 11-month-old daughter. Sergine and Joel Le Moaligou were charged after their daughter died from vitamin deficiency due to the fact that they only fed her mother’s milk. In a prior column, I wrote about the disparate treatment given parents who kill their children for religious reasons as opposed to non-religious neglect.

The parents are strict vegans that reject even eggs and cow’s milk. They only allowed her the breast milk of Sergine Moaligou, 37.

When emergency crews responded to their calls, the baby was already dead in their home in a small village called Saint-Maulvis. She weighed just 12.5 pounds. She was found to have a vitamin A and B12 deficiency.

The weight should have been a warning for the parents. However, it would be interesting in the criminal trial to hear from experts on non-vegan families. My understanding is that many babies receive mainly breast milk for the first six months or longer. This appears to be a problem with the lack of those vitamins in the mother’s milk. That makes for a challenging case.

The parents are charged with “neglect or food deprivation followed by death” and face up to 30 years in prison if convicted.

Source: Daily Mirror

32 thoughts on “French Vegan Parents Charged With Death of Their Malnourished 11-Month Baby”

  1. This proves that the vegan diet kills humans. Be a good omnivore and kill plants and animals, not humans.

  2. RE: Buddha Is Laughing, April 1, 2011 at 7:36 pm

    April 1 is April First, and irony may be ironic, and tragedy may be tragic, and there are no April Fools.

    And, of course, it was my fault; everything is my fault; and, because it was my fault, I have never blamed myself.

    If a person is faulty by nature, how can being faulty by nature be a person’s fault?

    And it is still April First. Parody day?

    And the legal fiction of a reasonable person has totally different, and I do mean totally different, circumstances than any living person can ever actually have?

    Or, am I mistaken, again? As always?

    Naughty Brian? Shame, shame; shame on Brian?

    Am I still learning, or am I active learning?

    Tomorrow will be another day.

  3. Brian,

    From what you’ve said previously, your son and daughter-in-law died in a car accident. Just because you may have understood a risk associated with their trip and feel like you failed to communicate it said risk does not and would not make you guilty of murder. It was some kind of component failure in bad weather, no? They were adults. They assumed the risk of an accident every time they drove. It was not your fault and based upon what you’ve previously said, it wasn’t their fault either beyond assuming the risk of getting behind the wheel. Just bad luck. You shouldn’t blame yourself even if you didn’t convey your concerns clearly. The choice to go on the trip was theirs, not yours. Unfortunately, not all choices end well. You have not been guilty of murder because you didn’t cause their deaths.

    That is not the case in the instance of this child. The child had no choice and at that age was totally dependent upon the parents for care and feeding. Their neglect in the face of an obvious problem – markedly underweight for her age – is likely the proximate cause of the child’s death (and don’t go apeshit, I know you hate that concept, but that’s the legal terminology). That is what the court is going to examine and decide. They were entrusted as parents to look after the baby’s best interests because the baby lacked the capacity to make decisions and look after her own interests.

    It’s a totally, and I do mean totally, different circumstance than yours.

    And I’m sorry for the loss of your son and daughter-in-law, but seriously, on the facts I know that you’ve previously related, it was not your fault.

    Quit blaming yourself.

  4. Tony Sidaway 1, March 31, 2011 at 10:46 am

    The problem here isn’t breastfeeding but the health of the mother and the incompetence of the parenting.


    Given uncommon circumstances which a given set of parents, for whatever reason, were unable to recognize accurately prior to some bad event, methinks that all parents may, by happenstance, sometimes be incompetent.

    While I cannot tell about anyone else, it was my communication incompetence as a parent which directly led to my wife’s and my son’s and daughter-in-law’s deaths.

    Why? I recognized a danger and was unable to communicate my concern effectively, and, less than three days later, my inability to communicate competently resulted in their deaths.

    Because I recognized (in retrospect, rather accurately) the danger well before they died and failed to prevent their deaths, I sometimes wonder how long it will take before I am charged with their murders.

    Those parents of the dead baby in France apparently did not understand the risk, and they are being charged with criminal neglect?

    I did understand the risk and two people died, not one. Surely I am vastly more culpable than those French parents are?

    The last thing I said to my daughter-in-law, less than three days before she died, was, “You are confusing wants with needs, and, sometimes, when people do that, bad things happen.”

    Why have I not been found guilty of murder?


    This article opens up issues. The parents refused to hospitalize the infant for bronchitis which was recommended by the doctor. I think at this point intentional malnutrition is over reaching as to the cause. Most of the “normal” population is suboptimal for B12. Demonizing the parents for being “different” does sell newspapers though. Notice there are no doctors commenting? Just lay people playing one in the media.

  6. According to the report these parents had been advised to take this seriously underweight, seriously ill child to hospital. Instead they tried some daft old folk medicine.

    If this story wasn’t France…I’d offer that they didn’t have health insurance. Here in the US we can look forward to lots of these stories….

  7. Both of my kids were weaned by their mother well after 12 months of breastfeeding, although I think they’d each tried the odd bit of baby food before they got the final heave-ho. They grew well, and we weren’t eating much meat at the time although we had lots of dairy.

    I don’t get this idea of rejecting medicine. Where does it come from? According to the report these parents had been advised to take this seriously underweight, seriously ill child to hospital. Instead they tried some daft old folk medicine.

    A modern French hospital is easily capable of managing and curing the disease and the underlying condition. These people knew that when they left school. How in the meantime did they get the crackpot notion into their heads that it was otherwise?

  8. There had to have been an underlying problem. My first thought is some sort of absorption problem on the part of either the mother or the baby or both. Maybe celiac? A friend of mine had similar issues with her son, although at a younger age.

    The traditional medical community was of little help to my friend, where they simply said that the baby needed formula and that was that. Formula might have worked had the little boy been able to keep it down. My friend got some donated breastmilk with which to supplement, and as she was going down that path she also discovered her gluten intolerance, which the baby obviously shared (as allergens from mom pass into breastmilk; usually a good thing to help combat allergies). Once she changed her diet, the milk flowed freely and the baby thrived.

    Possibly a similar mistrust of the medical community was at work with this family in France, but unfortunately, they didn’t figure out their child’s problem and may have thought that any medical advice they did receive would be something attacking their vegan lifestyle.

    Plenty of children subsist on mother’s milk alone, even in the “first world”, for over a year. For a vegan family it’s probably not a bad idea to breastfeed exclusively for longer, as babies need more fat in their diets when they are little, for brain development, and start to need less and less as they get older. The vegan diet is often lower in fat, so a child in a vegan family should definitely breastfeed full-term (at least 6 months exclusively, and then as a complement to food up to 2 years or longer)

    My second son was 12.5 pounds at 5 or 6 weeks old, by the way. On only breastmilk.

  9. “Vegans over time lose essential minerals and vitamins and must take care to replenish them from dietary supplements. Even if these parents had weaned their child there is no suggestion that they would have known how to feed her healthily.”

    This is a common misconception. While it is possible to occur, it is far from the norm. Vegans are in no greater danger of this occurring than the general public and by some sources less likely to occur as they tend to avoid processed foods. There is not a single mineral that is more bio available in animal products.

    Now with that said, I knew a nurse that was Vegan that ate almost nothing but candy. Technically a vegan but very unhealthy.

    Another ex”Vegan” wrote a book about how bad it was for her. She is a bit dingy because she did not think the public would understand that eating nothing but soy and water was not a proper vegan diet and label her a wacko. (she developed a neurological condition)

    So there are wackos on each extreme as also demonstrated by the Supersize me movie.

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