Monday, May 21, 2007

The Smoking Gun


WHEN Crown Shakur died of starvation, he was 6 weeks old and weighed 3.5 pounds. His vegan parents, who fed him mainly soy milk and apple juice, were convicted in Atlanta recently of murder, involuntary manslaughter and cruelty.
Indigenous cuisines offer clues about what humans, naturally omnivorous, need to survive, reproduce and grow: traditional vegetarian diets, as in India, invariably include dairy and eggs for complete protein, essential fats and vitamins. There are no vegan societies for a simple reason: a vegan diet is not adequate in the long run.
Pretty Lady is, shamefully, glad to find that the New York Times has now published an op-ed (opinion? She thinks not. The information has the unmistakable ring of fact) which justifies her gut-level loathing of vegans. She has long intuited that vegans are sadomasochists at heart. She invariably comes away from their dinner parties with a gaseous, knawing sensation in her belly, and the irresistable urge to stop at the nearest diner for a hamburger.

In her experience, vegans are six times more likely than the average human to spew insincere, disengaged platitudes during times of strife and exigency; they are four times more likely to commit acts of emotional and social blackmail. And now, it seems, they starve their babies to death, too.

Pretty Lady is not at all surprised.

UPDATE: After doing some wider research on the baby-starving case, Pretty Lady is rather taken aback at the universality and intransigence of the vitriol that it has aroused in the hearts of the populace. From what she can glean of the facts, it seems to her that these people are definitely, extraordinarily, criminally stupid. It does not, however, necessarily follow that they acted with Wilful Malice, as claimed by the prosecution, and the consensus of the commentariat.

Or does it? Is there in your minds, dear friends (if Pretty Lady still HAS any friends...) a causal link between Base Stupidity and Intentional Malice? How so, and why so?


Anonymous said...

You have plenty of friends PL, no worry there.

There is a definate link between this type conduct and intentional malice. These "vegans" killers were--without doubt--intelligent enough to know and understand the requirements of good nutrition.

By depriving their baby of the proper nutrition to survive, they were making a concious statement about their lifestyles, using the baby's diet as an exclamation point, and hoping beyond reason(the Base Stupidity part) that the baby would survive.

First degree murder... plain and simple.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, the anon was me.

Pretty Lady said...

I'm not sure they were intelligent enough to understand good nutrition--Pretty Lady has known people with advanced degrees who were under the impression that fudge and boiled turnips were sufficient nutrition, not just for survival, but for extreme longevity (ahem!). Something about the fast-food culture, plus the breakdown of the family (and thus family meal traditions), plus the publication of various irresponsible diet-and-longevity cookbooks, has undermined our national commonsense instincts regarding food.

However, it takes a really criminally stupid person to care for a baby which is losing weight daily and not be concerned. I wonder if perhaps these people were on heroin or something?

Anonymous said...

I don't think this calls for government intervention. The people are stupid in the extreme. However, they made the decision based on love not malice. It does no good to involve them in any legal action other than making those who think everything is their business feel like they're saving the world... at tremendous taxpayer cost and at the expense of prosecuting someone who needs it much worse then this couple.

After all, they lost the most precious gift one can know. I think it highly unlikely they will do this again. If they do then yes, it's murder and that's that.

Pretty Lady said...

EN! Who would have thought that we would have similar thoughts on this issue? The outbreak of universal vitriol toward this couple put me strongly in mind of scapegoating; people wished to demonize these idiots because they do not wish to confront a potential lack of nurturance in themselves.

Anonymous said...

These poor people! It sounds like they were on Planet Neptune.

It *is* possible to be a healthy vegan, debates about manners aside, now that we have B12 supplements available. *No* responsible vegan would feed an infant on soymilk and apple juice. Vegans feed babies breast milk; or if that is not an option, formula. I guess that strictly speaking, breast milk is not vegan. :-) But one can assume that the donation of the milk is fully consentual, so morally, I have to think that most vegans would approve. :-)

I read about this story a bit more, and this particular couple appeared to be deluded or deranged in some way.

They had their baby at home - okay, fine, a number of my non-delusional friends have had their babies at home. But it did not sound like this couple had a midwife present, or any prenatal care. Then, the baby had never seen a doctor. Apparently the parents were afraid that he would be exposed to "germs" in a doctor's office.

The whole situation sounds like parents who lacked critical reasoning skills and were getting a bunch of half-baked ideas from somewhere.

It bothers me that the press seems to have seized on this as a "vegan" issue. The parents were feeding their baby something other than breast milk or formula. The baby was losing weight, and they did not take him to a doctor. That is neglect, not veganism. Period.

It's tempting to pile onto the weirdos who make an Issue of their food - yeah, they're irritating. But they are not responsible for this tragedy. There was more going on here than dietary weirdness.

By the way, there were 4 vegetarians on the jury that convicted the parents.


Pretty Lady said...

Yes, Beck, did you notice how difficult it was to get more than the bare facts of the case from the legions of press reports? There was obviously some key information missing. It was clear, however, that they were convicted of neglect, not veganism, as you say. What surprised me was the declaration of malice by the prosecution, which did not seem to be supported by either the facts nor the words of the couple themselves.

Anonymous said...

I believe the reason for the declaration of malice is caused by the idea of "willful ignorance". The prosecution is saying that it took an act of will, of consciously denying the obvious, to ignore what was happening with their baby. Evidently the baby's condition would have had to deny reality and the obvious evidence to believe that it was all right.

If so, this achieved the necessary level to call their willful ignorance and denial an act of "depraved indifference", which is legally the same as actual malice (take this with a grain of salt, as I am not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV).


Anonymous said...

Let me try that sentence again. "Evidently the baby's condition was so bad that the parents would have had to deny reality and the obvious evidence to believe that it was all right."

My apologies.


Anonymous said...

Too much forgiveness here.

Those parents killed the one human being on this earth that depended wholly on them for it's very existance.

EN says: "they made the decision based on love not malice".

I do not agree with that. They made the decision based on personel preference,--on their own wants and needs, on their own attitudes--and their baby died because of that.

PL, you say" What surprised me was the declaration of malice by the prosecution, which did not seem to be supported by either the facts nor the words of the couple themselves.

Good grief PL, people will say just about anything to keep from being convicted of murder. They will play stupid, or retarted, misinformed or naive, whatever its takes to smooze the jury.

I'll step out on a limb here, but I'll bet at least one of them had a college degree, or had attended college for some period of time--and by today's standards--that makes them "intelligent", or at the very least smart enough to know better.

Nancy said...

The two of them were so self centered that they never even NOTICED the baby was starving to death?

That implies stupidity of a monumental level...which does not preclude a college degree, btw. I've known several idiots with college degrees.

Many of them are administrators in public schools--but that is another (tho oddly, closely related), topic.

The parents were guilty of willful negligence. They didn't take care of the baby, they took care of their own egos.

Kesha Bruce said...

Wait. But I can still hate vegans right?