Police arrested a woman for child neglect Tuesday for refusing to take her baby to the hospital or listen to her pediatrician because she wanted the child on a vegan diet.
Police said Sarah Anne Markham took her newborn to a pediatrician who said the child was dehydrated and needed to be taken to Florida Hospital immediately. But the Department of Children and Families received a tip via the abuse hotline that Markham did not take the baby to the hospital, and that the child was also losing weight.
Police said Markham told them she didn't think her baby was dehydrated because the child still "had bowel movements." She decided to get a second opinion with a vegan doctor, but could not give police an address.
Markham also refused to give the baby the formula and medicine that the pediatrician gave her because they contained animal products. Markham told police she bought a soy formula from Whole Foods Market. When asked if she checked with a doctor to make sure it was safe to give the baby, police said Markham decided that since Whole Foods sold the formula and it wasn't an animal product, it was safe.
Police arrested Markham after she became argumentative and took 45 minutes to get ready to go to the hospital.
According to the arrest report, Markham told police she would only take the baby to the hospital because she had no choice and that she would refuse to allow anyone to give the baby animal products. They decided that she wasn't cooperating.
Markham was booked into the Seminole County jail and released on bond. The baby was taken to the hospital by a family member.