Adventists In The News: Veganism and Criminal Neglect, Bags of Love, and Boarding Academy Fire

(system) #1

In this week's roundup of Adventists in the news headlines, veganism and criminal neglect, "Bags of Love" and a boarding academy fire.

Vegan Mom Regains Custody of "Malnourished" Child. Sarah Markham, a 24-year-old Seventh-day Adventist mother Florida has regained custody of her infant son Caleb. A physician had judged the child to be malnourished, leading to the baby's being placed in protective custody. Markham, who is a vegan, maintains that her child is healthy. From Tech Times, "Vegan Seventh Day Adventist Mom Regains Custody of Infant Son Following Arrest for Criminal Neglect."

Minnesota Adventists Make Hundreds of Packages for Foster Children. Since 2007, members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church of Andover, Minnesota, have been sewing and stuffing fabric bags, donating these "Bags of Love" to the Anoka County Child Protection Agency for children about to be placed in foster care. The 898 bags the group has made to date include stuffed animals, books, school supplies, bottles of shampoo, tubes of toothpaste, and blankets. Deb Jordan helped to form a Bags of Love chapter at the church. From ABC Newspapers, "Homestead quilters help to fill bags with love."

Fire Breaks out in Pine Forge Academy Dorm. Sixty-nine students at Pine Forge Academy in Eastern Pennsylvania were displaced by a two-alarm fire in the Kimbrough Hall dormitory. Students were not in the dorm when the fire started, and the staff member in the dorm exited unharmed. The Allegheny East Conference of Seventh-day Adventists will help to provide housing until the dorm reopens. From WFMZ News in Allentown, "Fire displaces students from Pine Forge Academy dormitory in Douglass."

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

(Steve Mga) #2

For some reason, when she had difficulty nursing she did not supplement very well with a soy based infant formula to maintain the infants nutritional state.
I wonder why the article did not state what she was using to replace breast milk?
If the child was dehydrated was she not watching fluid intake?
I wonder WHY they singled her out as a Seventh day Adventist? I know quite a few Vegans who are NOT SDAs. Did she make being a SDA an Issue?

(le vieux) #3

Big Brother knows what is best for our children. Mothers can’t be trusted.

Although she might have made some mistakes, I can sympathize with this woman. Doctors can be very arrogant. When our kids were little we had to stop taking them to the regular doctor and go to an SDA doctor at a private health clinic. They were harassing us because our son was smaller than their infallible charts said he should be. They wanted us to give him growth hormone (never mind that he was obviously healthy and vigorous), which we refused to do, of course. I never knew that being smaller than average was a medical abnormality that required treatment. Well, he’s in his 20’s now, of normal height, and still quite healthy, in spite of the fact he’s never eaten meat, and we quit using cow’s milk when he was fairly young.

(Elaine Nelson) #5

Humans, like most animal species nurse their young, It is not vegan but from animals sources. We should hope that the infant thrives, but few non-medical parents are able to make best choices for such decisions. There have been too many stories of parents whose children died because they had weird food choices.

(jeremy) #6

veganism is great when it’s done intelligently…i wonder if this mom has taken any nutritional training from a certified vegan nutritionist…

(Thomas J Zwemer) #7

even those who know better frequently jump to false conclusions. 1. A under nourished infant, 2. A mother on a fad diet, 3. A member of a cultist group. Bingo Neglect!!! I know of an M.D. And wife who were guests a a first class restaurant, they ask if each item on the menu had any pepper as seasoning, the waiter could not vouch for any thing but the ice cream. so they both ordered a double scoop of ice cream. how is that foe health reform? Tom Z

(Elaine Nelson) #8

Pediatric nutrition is very different from adult nutritional needs; even adolescents need a different nutritional balance than adults. It is certain that from the report the mother has no inkling of the dietary needs of an infant; even breast milk changes almost weekly in tune with the infants growth. It is a very specialized diet and she is negligent and the fear should be that the baby could later turn up at a hospital very ill from malnutrition. This happens quite often and sometimes ends in death or the child is taken from the home.

(jeremy) #9

but it seems a new mother should make it her business to know all these things…i get the feeling that sarah means well, but isn’t really up on what her baby needs…and where’s the father in all of this…

(Mercy triumphs over judgment. James 2:13) #10

[quote="niteguy2, post:2, topic:]I wonder WHY they singled her out as a Seventh day Adventist? I know quite a few Vegans who are NOT SDAs. Did she make being a SDA an Issue?

Good question. How would they even know, unless perhaps she did?

For many Adventist vegans, diet is regarded as a religious obligation which may make them less open to health advice, ironic as that is. I’ve heard veganism presented as such in Adventist settings, without any accompanying info on meeting nutritional needs.

This mother didn’t follow medical advice:
“The arrest on Markham happened back in June 24, after Markham was prompted to directly go to a hospital upon examination of the infant.”

Agatha Thrash, at least in the past, publicly encouraged that even children shouldn’t be fed more than twice a day, per EGW’s direction which was probably for adults. It’s not possible for children to meet their needed intake from two meals. There was a tragic case some years ago of an Adventist couple in the U.S. who fed their infant exclusively on puréed peaches & peppermint tea. When the child cried, obviously from hunger, they eliminated the peaches due to their application of EGW’s counsel to deny appetite. The infant died from malnutrition, of course.

This aspect of religious obligation is a serious concern for how we teach our health principles in ways that do not result in wholesale rejection of mainline medical knowledge.

(le vieux) #11

With all due respect for you as a mother I say Baloney! Women have been having babies and feeding the for thousands of years. Most of them don’t need doctors to tell them how, even when there are anomalies.

(Elaine Nelson) #12

But since the beginning of time mothers nursed their babies or had a wet nurse. They may not have had medical advice, but common sense, which may have been in short supply for this mother.

Are you seriously suggesting that infants should be raised vegan from their birth? Have you successfully done that?

(Steve Mga) #13

I’ve posted this information before some time back on another site, but is applicable here.
Studies have been done in Africa regarding Infant and Children Chronic Malnutrition.
It is known that Chronic Malnutrition in Infants and Children make permanent changes in the
small instestinal track. Villi, little “finger” protrutions that the food passes over disappear. This
leaves the small intestine “smooth”. And, make it impossible for all the nutrition in the food to
be absorbed into the blood stream.
Once these Villi have disappeared, even with later Good Nutrition, the Villi do not grow back.
And the Child still dies from Malnutrition even though resumed on a Good Nutritional Diet.

(Elaine Nelson) #14

Thanks, Steve. Malnutrition also affects the growing brain and if malnutrition continues their mental development will forever be limited and the critical period of need can never be remedied.

(Interested Friend) #15

You have a point, Birder. I have known of a situation where the overweening authorities were taking a family in tow because the kids were small!! All they had to do was to look at both parents and realized both were small persons.

I don’t recall what they had to do to get the authorities off their backs but eventually it was realized the kids were “genetically modified” by their parents. They were not vegans.
In The Grip of Truth

(Tom Loop) #16

Say Tom, in this vein I found out a good way to get the minimum daily requirement of fiber. It seems there are 3 grams of fiber in each Hershey dark chocolate candy bar. So I suppose if one eats 10 Hershery bars with dark chocolate per day, you will get the needed daily amount of fiber! It’s a no brainer. BTW the price of gas is now below $3.00 a gallon.
So after one has filled the tank, might as well fill the trunk too for added savings.

(Tom Loop) #17

Goes to show you that big brother government nannyism is alive and well. I’m glad my 3 kids of son 6’6’’, daughter 6’3",
daughter 6’, are all grown up. I never put one drop of miracle grow in their formula. Honest.

(le vieux) #18

Yeah, I wish I could have gotten my mother into that clinic. She’s not even 5’ tall. My son surpassed that milestone long ago.

(Elaine Nelson) #19

Previous generations not only had shorter lifespans but were actually smaller because of poor nutrition. If one reads of daily lives of the common person at the turn of the 20th century and well into mid century their diets were far from healthful. This is demonstrated during WWII in Europe when food shortages were everywhere. The babies were smaller and infant mortality was higher, and growing children were physically shorter and sicklier. Now in the U.S. and many countries obesity is the major problem with all the health problems accompanying that diagnosis.

(Mercy triumphs over judgment. James 2:13) #20

We have current evidence of the difference early nutrition makes in the height differences between North & South Koreans.