A mother who ‘wanted to live on water and sunlight’  is accused of starving her infant son by only feeding him berries and nuts.

Elizabeth Hawk, 33, from Pennsylvania, has been charged with endangering the welfare of a child for allegedly denying her 11-month-old son enough food.

Police and relatives say Ms Hawk had extreme views on nutrition and only fed the boy berries and nuts, KDKA reported.

Her estranged husband notified authorities that their 11-month-old son had a severe rash from head to toe, which he attributed to the baby’s diet, according to the court records, reports PEOPLE.

On Aug. 16, the baby’s father, Jerry Hawk, 44, brought the child to the Fayette County Children and Youth Services, saying that his wife had “become obsessed” with a vegan diet and would not allow the child to eat anything other than small amounts of fruits and nuts, according to court records.

The rash, which “became so bad that the child was scratching [his] skin off in places,” had become worse in part because the child was malnourished, Jerry alleged to child welfare officials.

Jerry also told child welfare officials that Elizabeth had been given a topical cream to treat the rash, “but refuses to use it,” according to the court records.

A West Virginia hospital paediatrician who examined the child on Aug. 16 said the mother’s alleged neglect of the rash was “inhumane” because of the level of discomfort it was causing, the court records state.

The paediatrician said that the rash put the child at risk for septic shock.

The baby “cannot crawl as a result of the malnourishment,” which also left him developmentally delayed, according to the court records.

Elizabeth was charged with endangering the welfare of the baby for allegedly not feeding the child properly over the course of several months and for failing to apply the prescribed skin ointments for the rash, according to the records.

A healthy vegan diet

Vegans – exclude red meat, offal, poultry, fish, eggs and dairy products. Obtain protein from beans, legumes, pulses, nuts and soy products like tofu.

To make sure your child gets enough of all the nutrients needed for a growing child, their diet must include:

•Protein alternatives such as nuts, legumes and tofu
•Energy for growth and development
•Iron to prevent anaemia
•Vitamin B12
•Vitamin D and calcium to prevent bone disease
•Suitable fats from non-meat sources
•Food in the correct form and combination to make sure nutrients can be digested and absorbed.

•Vegans, use non-dairy milks e.g. soya milk that are fortified with calcium, vitamin D2 and vitamin B12

•Spread breads with avocado, or seed/nut butters to increase calories

More info available on The Vegan Society page.

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  • This is so upsetting and frightening for a young child to be neglected and treated in this way. I hope he is given the food and nourishment and love that he needs to become a healthy little bub.


  • Poor little mite. I hope he is now getting well cared for by someone who loves him. Hope he makes a full recovery. Keep her in prison I say.


  • I hope the child is now under the care of a doctor and is improving. She should not have the child if she isn’t willing to look after him properly


  • What the hell? The woman should not be allowed near children.


  • Hopefully the father is in control now of the baby!


  • Hope the mum gets help.


  • what a nut job! That’s not even a proper vegan diet anyway. People like that shouldn’t be allowed to reproduce!


  • Poor little boy, hopefully hes getting what he needs now.


  • This poor baby. The mother sounds unwell. I hope the baby is able to recover well and have no permanent injuries.


  • There are many children brought up as vegan, but there is a healthy way and an unhealthy way, sadly this mother did not have the right information, thank you Tracy Hardy for posting the information and link for the healthy way to be a vegan.


  • Oh that poor baby. Glad to hear that the father stepped in and stopped the mother from go to extremes.
    Being a vegan is by choice, and babies should be able to eat practically anything and everything that’s safe enough for them..
    And to let your child go through a severe rash because of lack of nutrition. Clearly shows that the child needs some nourishment.


  • This mother is disgraceful


  • I consider this diet more healthy than a lot of the processed foods that children are usually fed, although perhaps a little restrictive (eg no veggies?). But I don’t have the full story.


  • Shocking story – hope the child is well now.


  • Very scary for that child’s safety


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