you ever had veal cutlets? Did you wonder what veal really was? Veal is the
flesh of a baby cow called a calf. Veal calves have especially hard lives and
its difficult to believe what happens to them. Its important that you
know about it though so that you can decide whether or not you want to eat veal.
Its also important that you let your family and friends know where veal comes from.
Some people like to drink milk from cows. In order for a dairy
cow to produce milk, she has to keep having babies. When the cows have female
calves, theyre likely to grow up to be dairy cows like their mom. When the
cows have male calves though, many of them are taken away from their moms right after they
are born to be raised as veal.
These babies are put in tiny wooden stalls all by themselves.
Theyre chained at the neck so they cant turn around or move more than a
step forward or backward. All they can do is stand up and lie down. This is
done so that they dont develop muscles so that their meat stays very tender.
Twice a day they are given some liquid food. This food contains chemicals that will
help the babies survive under these awful conditions. Except for feeding time, they
are all alone. This is very hard on babies who are meant to be in a herd with their
moms, aunts, cousins, etc. These babies never get to play or graze or feel the
sunshine of their backs or be with their mothers. They spend their entire lives in
the dark in little stalls until theyre big enough to be killed and turned into veal
usually around 16 weeks old (about 4 months).
One million baby cows are raised like this in the U.S. every year.
When the calves are old enough to be killed, they are forced
to walk to trucks that will take them to the slaughterhouse. Because they were never
allowed to exercise, they have trouble walking. People use electric prods to force
them into the trucks. When they are too weak, they are chained around the neck or
one leg and dragged.
The best way to help veal calves is to not eat veal. You
can also tell everybody you know what happens to baby cows for veal.
You might want to check out the menus at nearby restaurants.
If you see a menu with veal on it, you can write or talk to the manager and explain
about veal calves.
The reason we have so many veal calves is because we keep
making cows give us milk. You can help veal calves by drinking less milk and eating less
cheese and ice cream. You can substitute soy milk for cows milk. There
are also substitutes for ice cream and cheese.
Some people think you have to drink milk to get calcium to
build strong bones. This is not true. You can get calcium from many sources.
The funny thing is that when you eat a lot of meat and drink a lot of milk you get
too much protein and that washes away all the calcium. There are people in some
countries where milk is not available who have stronger bones than we do because they get
their calcium from better sources.
Many people get sick from drinking cows milk because
they cant digest it. Thats because cows milk was meant for baby
cows, not people! Dairy products are also very bad for people with allergies or
asthma. To make dairy cows give more milk than they would normally produce, farmers
give them all kinds of chemicals that end up in the milk that people drink. Yuck.
If you would like to help the baby cows, you can also write to
your Senators or Representatives and ask that they pass a
law to provide a better life for veal calves.