I want to talk about the veal industry. Why? Because as a society we view it as being worse than other animal agriculture categories – and yes it is awful. These baby cows endure extreme confinement with no access to their mother and then are killed when they are only 1 to 24 weeks old but there is something you should know. Baby killing is widespread in the animal agriculture business.
Back when I used to eat meat, I despised the idea of eating Veal. I was dead set against it. No way in hell would I even think about eating a baby cow. Now that I know the truth about the Veal industry it bothers me even more. Veal can be from male or female baby cows, but for the most part, veal is a byproduct of the dairy industry – and most of the time it is a male baby dairy cow. Since they can’t produce milk they are slaughtered early on and deprived of their mother’s milk. They are kept in small pens so that their muscles do not develop (this means the meat will be softer) They are slaughtered anywhere from 1 to 24 weeks old and most of the time have been alone in a cage – usually in close proximity to other babies, but with no contact with another cow until the day they are shot in the head with a bolt gun.
The worst realization I had after researching this industry was that killing babies is the norm, not just for veal… it’s the same with chickens, ducks, goats, turkeys, pigs, lambs, beef cows, and dairy cows. Chickens are killed around 7 weeks unless they are male and born into the egg industry – then they are killed on the first day of their life, usually ground up alive. Ducks are killed at 8 weeks. These birds are intelligent creatures that could live out a full life of 8 years! Goats are killed at 14 weeks and live a life of 14 years. Turkeys can live 15 years naturally but are killed at 20 weeks. Pigs are killed around 24 weeks but can live a life of 12 years. Lambs will live for 14 years, yet are killed around 24 weeks. Beef cows go to slaughter at 18 months but could live out a life of 20 years and dairy cows are left to live the longest time of 4 years – but by that time, they have been forcibly impregnated and had their babies stolen from them over and over… and as soon as their milk production is not at an acceptable level, they are killed.
The veal industry is despicable yes, but it’s really not far off of any other type of animal agriculture. So don’t think by avoiding veal you are free from paying someone to kill baby animals, this only comes when you kick all forms of meat from your plate entirely.