When does Veal Become a Cow

Hate to tell you, but by your definition (after they are weaned), a baby male cow is no longer veal one day after they are born.

Within moments of birth, male calves born on dairies are taken away from

their mothers and loaded onto trucks. Many are sold through auction

rings where they are subjected to transportation and handling stresses.

The fragile animals are shocked and kicked, and when they can no longer

walk, they are dragged by their legs or even their ears.

Veal is a by-product of the dairy industry. In order for dairy cows to

produce milk, they must be impregnated and give birth. Half of the

calves born are female, and they are used to replace older cows in the

milking herd. The other half are male, and because they are of no use to

the dairy industry, most are used for beef or veal.

Every year, approximately one million calves are confined in crates

measuring just two feet wide. They are chained by the neck to restrict

all movement, making it is impossible for them to turn around, stretch,

or even lie down comfortably. This severe confinement makes the calves’

meat “tender” since the animals muscles cannot develop.

In addition to restricting the animals’ movement, veal producers

severely limit what their animals can eat. The calves are fed an all

liquid milk-substitute which is purposely deficient in iron and fiber.

It is intended to produce borderline anemia and the pale colored flesh

fancied by ‘gourmets’. At approximately sixteen weeks of age, these weak

animals are slaughtered and marketed as “white” veal (also known as

“fancy”, “milk-fed”, “special fed”, and “formula fed” veal). Besides the

expensive veal which comes from calves who are kept in small wooden

crates, “bob” veal is the flesh of calves who may be slaughtered at just

a few hours or days old. While these calves are spared intensive

confinement, they are still subjected to inhumane transport, handling,

and slaughter, and many die before reaching the slaughterhouse.

Most of these veal calves are allowed to live only 16 weeks in that horrible state. What’s this “weaned after 7 months to one year”. They don’t stay with their mothers long enough to even nurse. To read more, check out www.factoryfarming.org

The Mailbag column Lorraine refers to is found by clicking on this: http://www.straightdope.com/mailbag/mveal.html

Please note: this forum is meant for comments upon the column. If responses to Lorraine’s posting wander into debates on the mistreatment of animals, vegetarianism, etc, those probably belong in the Great Debate forum.
[Note: This message has been edited by CKDextHavn]

That’s censorship! You’re trampling on my first amendment rights! Free speech, free speech!

(Sorry, CK, couldn’t resist. . .)


I ain’t trampling on your rights, Veg, I’m trampling on your warehouse where the rapes of calfs are stored. (Pretty neat, eh?)

Veal can never become a cow. Veal is meat from a dead calf. A cow is a living animal. Rather difficult for meat from a dead animal to become a living creature. Unless it’s in the back of my fridge.

Don’t take life so serious. It ain’t nohow permanent

That may be true, but I think everyone with a brain pretty much understood the question to be, “how old would the animal have to be before it’s flesh – after slaughter – would be considered ‘beef’ instead of ‘veal’?”


Sorry, Rich, old pal, I’ve got quite a good brain, and according to the original answer, the question should’ve been “when does a baby cow stop nursing?” Hey, we’re supposed to be great communicators, people should say what they mean and not depend on people reading between the lines and interpreting “what they really meant.” Either learn how to communicate or keep to yourself.

I’m sorry, Lorraine, have we met? You referred to me as your “old pal,” and yet I don’t seem to remember meeting you. It could be that I simply don’t remember you.

Or it could be that you used some inexact speech there. Perhaps I should have “read between the lines” and assumed that you were being sarcastic, instead of that you actually believed us to be “pals.” Interesting that you would make this blunder in a post where you implore someone else to “learn how to communicate or keep to yourself.”

[[according to the original answer, the
question should’ve been “when does a baby cow stop nursing?”]]

I see, so now instead of telling us that the answer was incorrect, you’re telling us that the question was incorrect. Or were you trying to indicate something else, but doing it in such a way that others would have to interpret what you really meant after reading between your lines?

You must have such a nice view with so many windows. . .