The production of veal has made a lot of strides since the 1980’s when animals rights activists released photographs of calves tied to the crates that they were raised in for the 3 to 24 weeks of their lives. The consumption of calves has dropped 10% since 2000, but as veal production is a by-product of the dairy industry, it hasn’t gone away completely.
Veal is the slaughter of a baby animal.
A cow’s lifespan, if it is allowed to live it out completely, is about 20 years. Veal calves are slaughtered before six months of age, which allows them to only live 2.5% of their life. Compared to the average lifespan of a human (79 years in 2014), that would mean that a baby would be slaughtered at 2 years of age.
All veal calves are slaughtered before 6 months of age.
- 15% of veal comes from “bob” veal calves which are newborn calves that are slaughtered at or before three weeks of age.
- Approximately 25-35% of veal comes from milk fed calves are taken from their mothers at an early age and are fed milk replacer. They spend their lives in crates, which are so small that they cannot turn around in them. They are slaughtered at 4 to 5 months of age.
- Approximately 30-40% of veal comes from red veal calves, which are taken from their mothers and fed milk replacer plus grain and hay. They are not confined to crates and are allowed to move about in large pens with other calves. They are slaughtered at 4 to 5 months of age.
- 20% of veal comes from free raised calves, which live in pasture and are not taken from their mother’s until they go to slaughter, at 6 months of age.
Veal: Don’t order it, don’t eat it.
No matter what is said about the “humane” production of veal, the fact that it is the killing of an animal, a baby animal no less, cannot be ignored. If you see veal on the menu at your favorite restaurant, skip it, and skip any other animal products as well.