Take Action: January 2011 Archives

Do You Know What Veal Is?

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A few days ago, we were in a health food store. In the frozen section, they were selling eggplant cutlets. Not only did this seem a little far-fetched as a substitute for what might normally be veal cutlets, it also brought up the question: What exactly is veal?

calf002.jpgVeal comes from male calves, as the cattle industry has little use for them (they are not raised for meat as commonly as females are). These calves are penned separately from the other cows so that their mothers cannot feed them. Often they are given only a milk-based formula. Many farms keep the calves in small, solitary "veal crates" where they cannot move around so that their muscles do not develop properly. Finally, some slaughterhouses bleed the calves to death to drain the meat of color. When an animal is given food, its meat is darker and tougher. But veal is supposed to be light-colored and tender, a result achieved by this starving, confining and bleeding.

There are, of course, problems with free-range meat. But at least the animals are allowed to move and eat while they are alive. Even people who do eat meat can stop supporting the production of veal. If there is no demand for it because people refuse to eat it, the farmers will have no reason to continue these practices.

But back to the eggplant cutlets... Being a vegetarian or a vegan means that a person cares about animals and does not want to hurt them. Why would these people intentionally imitate such an industry -- especially if they have to eat eggplant to do it?

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This page is a archive of entries in the Take Action category from January 2011.

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