If parliamentarian Elvira Savino has her way, Italian parents who insist on a vegan diet for their children will risk up to four years in jail. In her shockingly tyrannical over-reach, the center-right party member seeks to "stigmatize the reckless and dangerous eating behavior imposed by parents” who make children go vegan.
"I have nothing against vegans or veganism as long as it is a free choice by adults," she told Reuters in a telephone interview on Wednesday, days after she presented the proposed law in the lower house Chamber of Deputies.
"I just find it absurd that some parents are allowed to impose their will on children in an almost fanatical, religious way, often without proper scientific knowledge or medical consultation," she said.
"Do-it-yourself on these matters terrorizes me."
Savino says the belief that vegans are healthier “has been spreading in Italy” recently, a development she views with some alarm.
“There is no objection if the person making this choice is an informed adult,” she concedes, but a problem “arises” when the diet is forced on children: The bill claims that depriving minors of animal products can cause neurological disorders and anemia by leaving them iron-, zinc-, and vitamin-B12-deficient.
Savino’s solution is imprisoning these “radicalized” parents for one year — a sentence that can climb to four years if a kid actually gets sick, and six if he or she dies.
Savino, 39, who has a seven-year-old son and who eats meat "but not too much", said she proposed the law after being shocked by several recent incidents in Italy. As Fox notes,
Last month in the northern city of Milan, doctors determined that a one-year-old boy who was taken to a hospital had the weight of a three-month-old because of a vegan diet.
In 2015, an Italian court ordered a divorced mother to stop raising her 12-year-old son on a vegan diet after the boy's father filed a complaint that it was stunting his growth.
Savino has resorted to the lowest-common-denominator defense for her reasoning why the government must intervene in the private choices of their citizenry...
"If even only one child ends up in a hospital because of this behavior, I feel we have to protect them all," said Savino, noting that she believes pediatricians should be obliged to report vegan parents to authorities just as they would if they noticed signs of physical abuse on a child.
The draft will be discussed by parliamentary committees before it goes to the floor for debate, but food-science experts have already responded with the suggestion that maybe lawmakers should tackle the nation’s childhood-obesity epidemic before trying to lock up the tiny sliver of Italians supposedly forcing kids to eat too many vegetables.
* * *
It's for the children!! .. and your own good... One quick question - is Soylent Green vegan?