Vegans who try to force their dietary restrictions onto other people are not well-liked. While a bit of education about a lifestyle can be appreciated, no one wants to feel like they’re being judged or forced to eat a certain way just because. But when these two vegans pushed their rigid diet of raw vegetables onto their children, they “starved their eighteen-month-old son to death” and are now facing criminal charges for their alternative lifestyle.
Because the child was killed as a result of his vegan diet, parents Sheila O’Leary, 35, and Ryan O’Leary, 30, have been arrested on charges of manslaughter and child neglect. The parents were allegedly forcing their children to eat only raw vegetables and fruit and did not provide enough nutrition to their growing toddler who died when he was only eighteen-months of age.
The married couple was arrested last week after their youngest child died from his strict vegan diet. Despite being a year and a half old, the child weighed as much as the average seven-month-old infant, which indicates he was not getting enough food to grow normally.
The couple was arrested by the Cape Coral Police Department back on September 27, 2019. Officers had received a distressing call about a child who had stopped breathing. The boy was reported to be only eighteen-months-old and was at home at the time he became unresponsive. When paramedics arrived at the scene, they pronounced the baby dead. The child had no hope of being revived following the months of mistreatment he’d endured at the hands of his vegan parents who forced their strict diet onto the child.
When the child died, he weighed just seventeen pounds. An autopsy found that the boy died as a result of symptoms related to starvation. He was also severely dehydrated. Because of the neglect he’d endured at the hands of his parents, he suffered a liver disorder and had swelling on his hands and feet. His parents should have realized just how bad off their child had been instead of trying to force the baby to eat a vegan diet that was not suiting his growing body.
While at the scene of the boy’s death, detectives also noticed that the other children were extremely malnourished. The other children were ages three and five. They were also very small for their age since they were not eating hearty diets given the strict nature of what their parents forced onto them.
A third child was at the scene. This little one was aged eleven and in much better physical condition than the other three. The eleven-year-old is the daughter of Sheila O’Leary from a previous relationship. She visits her biological father every two months, which some belief explains why she is better fed than her siblings.
Sheila also admitted that the child that died was delivered in the home and never saw a doctor. The children in the family ate almost exclusively mangoes, avocados, bananas, and rambutans. The mother homeschooled the children so they wouldn’t have to interact with the outside world.
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