The Gothenburg district court found both of the vegan parents guilty of gross negligence for bodily harm and handed them down a three months conditional sentence along with a fine of 60,000 Swedish krona in May, but an appeal in the High Court on Friday reduced the fine to 50,000 krona, Swedish broadcaster SVT reports.
The case dates back to February of 2019 when the parents rushed their then 17-month-old daughter to the emergency room of a hospital in Gothenburg, claiming that the child had become ill.
When the child was examined by doctors, however, it was revealed that she had been severely malnourished and according to prosecutors was fed only breast milk, brown rice and fruits and vegetables.
Prosecutor Ximena Bene requested that the parents receive two to three years in prison, claiming the punishment was appropriate given the fact the child had nearly died as a result of the limited diet that was given to her.
Linn Augustson, the lawyer for the father in the case, said that neither of the parents acted out of any malicious intent, a point the High Court agreed with as part of its judgement.
“The High Court has concluded that the parents have acted negligently, but that they have no evil intentions, and then, of course, they should not be sentenced to any prison sentence,” Augustson said.
While veganism is not practised by the majority of people in the western world, studies have claimed that the diet is not as healthy as a traditional diet that includes meat products, despite claims by vegans themselves.
A 2014 Austrian study from the University of Graz claimed that those who refused to eat meat were “less healthy (in terms of cancer, allergies, and mental health disorders), have a lower quality of life, and also require more medical treatment.”