Another child dies at the hands of her parents.  Or in this case at her mothers breast.  I don’t know if it was sheer stupidity or utter indifference, but the result was the same.  11-month-old Louise Le Moaligou was starved to death by her parents.  But it wasn’t lack of food that killed her.  It was lack of nourishment.  And a fervent belief in a life-style that overshadowed the ultimate responsibility that they had for the life of their young daughter.

You see, little Louise’s parents were strict vegans.  One report labeled them “militant,” although that description can sometimes be used to inflame passions against a belief or position which may not quite fit within the “mainstream.”  Except in this instance, Sergine and Joel Le Moaligou also shunned traditional medicines, used alternative therapies instead and refused to follow their doctor’s advice to take the baby to the hospital when he noted her weight loss at her 9-month check up, opting instead to apply poultices made of clay or cabbage to treat her bronchitis.  When they finally called the ambulance, Louise was pale and had already passed from a pneumonia related illness. She weighed just 12.5 pounds when she died. Militant might not be the optimal word here.  If you can watch your child suffer for two months and refuse to follow the recommendations of your pediatrician, you’re way beyond militant and there’s more going on here than veganism.

Sergine was breastfeeding Louise and one questions her motivations for doing so.  I don’t know if she breastfed her 13-year-old daughter who is by all accounts healthy.  But one would have to imagine that she was using breastfeeding as another way to make some type of statement, whatever the hell that might have been.  It certainly wasn’t because she was concerned for the health of her child.

Against your beliefs?

I only make this observation because I find it incredulous that a vegan would not be aware of the risks of vitamin deficiency.  I haven’t found one vegan website that didn’t recommend Vitamin B12 and Vitamin A supplements or fortified foods for nursing vegans.  Most of the vegans I know (who are not in your face about the bacon on your BLT when you’re having lunch with them) are very well aware of the vitamins and nutrients they are taking in (or not), to the point where they sound like chemists at mealtime.  Apparently not so with the family Le Moaligou, devout vegans that they are.  And I find it equally disturbing that she would have no idea of the effects it might have on her nursing child.  Of course, one would have to assume she was concerned about the health of her nursing baby for her to investigate.

Sergine and Joel Le Moaligou have pleaded “not guilty” and remain committed vegans and, we’re told that they are “wholly aware of the mistake they made.”  Ahh, the clarity of hindsight.  And what mistake are they owning up to? The cult-like devotion to their lifestyle that encouraged them to dismiss their doctor’s warnings or their apathy toward their 11-month-old daughter who withered away slowly, painfully, right before their very eyes.