By: Frank L. Hoffman
At least once a week, most of us go to the super market to buy our groceries. Some of us may buy a neatly packaged Styrofoam tray of veal. Or we might be going to a restaurant and see on the menu such dishes as veal cutlet, veal parmesan, veal scaloppini, Wiener schnitzel, or some other gourmet entree containing veal. Veal is there because people buy it and because very few of us think about, or want to think about, the violence behind its production.
Male calves are taken away from their mothers two or three days after their birth and placed in small crates or pens that measure only 22 inches by 54 inches in size. They are fed a low iron diet to keep them anemic so that their flesh remains a light pink. A human in this condition would be considered quite ill. These calves are chained in place so that they can never move about or exercise their limbs, and many of them never see the light of day until the day that they are taken to slaughter.
These calves are treated as a commodity and not as living, breathing, feeling, beings who suffer and feel pain just as we do. This total indifference to the pain and suffering of others was brought to light in the photo to the left and comment from Farm Sanctuary of a downed, disemboweled, but still living, calf in a Pennsylvania stockyard whose workers refused to humanely euthanize him. They deliberately let him suffer in agony.
Such actions, or lack of action, tell us a great deal about the problems in our society and how inhumane and sadistic we humans can be. And the rest of us in society, who buy and eat veal are a part of this suffering and pain, because we keep places in business who do these horrible things.
It's time we stop shooting ourselves in the foot by sanitizing violence in our society. It's time we recognize our part in this suffering and stop contributing to it. It's time we make peace with the whole of creation.
Other Veal Production Articles
The calf photos on this page are from our photo journal The Cattle