Veal Facts

Peter Singer, Animal Liberation (2002), pages 129-136

 

HIGHLIGHTS:

  1.  Veal comes from male calves "left over" from the dairy industry.

  2.  Traditionally, veal calves were killed when they were just weeks old, before being weaned.  Their flesh was naturally tender and pale. 

  3.  This was uneconomical, because newborn calves weigh only about 100 pounds.

  4.  In the 1950s a new method of producing veal was developed and has become standard. 

  5.  Veal calves are separated from their mothers before weaning and then tethered in a stall that measures 1' 10" by 4' 6".  They remain there for the duration of their lives.

  6.  The point is to prevent the calf from exercising so that its flesh stays tender even as it puts on weight. 

  7.  Slaughtered at 4 months, a veal calf can weigh 400 pounds, but still have tender flesh.

  8.  Veal calves are exclusively fed a low-iron milk diet.  The point is to keep the calf's flesh tender and pale like a newborn's. 

  9.  Normally a calf would begin to eat grass at just a few weeks of age, but grass contains iron, which would turn the animal's flesh a darker color. 

  10.   Comfortable hay bedding is not allowed because it would be eaten.

  11.   The calf becomes anemic because of its diet.