While other countries employ barbaric treatment of animals for human consumption, the United States does its fair share of it—veal. All for their deliciously tenderized pale white meat, veal is wildly popular in Europe and the U.S. but most people are not aware of the extreme cruelty in the production of it. And for others that do know a little, they perhaps don’t know the whole story. So here it is.
For many years Europe produced veal, but not in the way the U.S. do today. Back then, cow calves were fed mother’s milk then sent to slaughter about 2 weeks after birth. The U.S. and its notorious farming corporations do it differently. You can read about this in detail in this great article by Dave Kopel, the director of the Independence Institute. But in short, we use larger calves in greater size and weight (yielding more meat and profit), and basically cram the animals in crates so small so that calves can yield no physical movement, hence producing no muscle tone in their bodies resulting in tender flesh. They gestate in these crates for weeks, being fed atrocious meals that combined milk substitutes, antibiotics, water, and mold inhibitors. The cannot turn around, can barely move side by side, and many end up losing muscles in their legs and ending up hunched over them, never able to stand back up again. They live in atrophy and eventually end up in slaughter, often picked up by cranes or dragged across the pavement as they could not walk, all so that the food industry can charge hefty prices in fancy restaurants.
I’ve had veal once, and it was delicious. But knowing it ended on my plate this way, and that there are so many other food options out there, I can leave it off my diet. I eat meat I admit, but with a guilty conscience, however I would simply not add another cruelty-meat to my list. I’m trying very hard too to swear off cows in general.
Two summers ago on Mother’s Day, I worked myself up to stand in Union Square Park in NYC and handed out homemade flyers on Veal Facts, urging the public to learn about this and spreading the word. It’s not a heroic thing to do, but it’s not something I do usually. It felt great to do something about it. I got a lot of positive responses, and a few negative ones too. However it comes down to having good sense to choose between what’s right and wrong. I have a lot of issues with cruel farming practices in general, but veal? That’s the worst. Learn how you can help here.