The Life of a Baby Calf Raised for Veal
Baby calves raised for veal are taken from their mothers immediately after birth, where the calves and their mothers grieve and bellow for each other for days. The calves are deprived of their mother’s milk, support, love and affection from the time they are born. Calves raised for veal are male calves from dairy cows that are sold to veal farms. From their first few days forward, a veal calf’s life is one of strict confinement in “veal crates” where baby calves are not permitted to move, turn around, lie down, walk or run—and are often chained to further immobilize them in 22″ wide and 58″ long crates. This is where they spend their entire short lives (about 16 weeks), in completely inhumane, cruel and unnatural conditions where they suffer.
To get the light colored and tender pale meat sold as “milk fed” veal, calves are denied all solid food and water, and instead are fed a liquid drug-laced diet completely unnatural for them, depriving them of needed nutrition. As a result, they experience chronic diarrhea, anemia, and are barely kept alive in order to attain the soft “white, tender meat.”
The Life of a Baby Calf Raised for Veal
- Baby calves raised for veal are intensively confined — they cannot move, lie down, walk, turn around, and are chained typically standing (or sitting) their entire lives.
- Baby calves raised for veal are not given drinking water, this deprivation of drinking water causes calves to gain weight more quickly.
- In place of fresh drinking water, baby calves are given drug-laced liquid feed — this is their daily food for their entire life.
- Baby calves raised for veal are denied solid food.
- Baby calves raised for veal suffer from chronic diarrhea and their stalls are filthy with manure that they are forced to live in.
- Baby calves raised for veal live in dark stalls their entire life, and never see or experience daylight or sunlight.
- Baby calves raised for veal often get intestinal diseases and respiratory diseases due to their diet, lack of water, a drug-laced diet, and lack of a natural, healthy life with movement and exercise.
- Baby calves raised for veal get serious and chronic leg injuries due to a complete lack of exercise, movement, and standing 24/7 chained.
- Baby calves raised for veal are not given straw beds or soft bedding, but must stand for months on a hard surface, typically hard wood floors or cement, which contributes to chronic pain, suffering and leg injuries.
Baby calves raised for veal live a horrible life of suffering from the time they are born to the time they die. They are deprived of their mother’s milk, fresh air, movement and exercise, adequate nutrition, fresh water for hydration, proper veterinary care, and veal farms and “factories” are a breeding ground for stress and infectious diseases. The slew of antibiotics given veal calves are ingested by humans consuming their meat, which creates antibiotic resistance for those who eat veal.
Approximately 700,000 veal calves are slaughtered in the U.S. annually, approximately 15% of whom are bob veal calves.
Actions You Can Take
- Boycott all veal — tell your friends and family to boycott veal and share your knowledge.
- Learn more about veal farms and industrial animal agriculture and why it’s such a significant threat to animal welfare, the environment, natural ecosystems, habitats and wildlife, and human health.
- When you dine out, if you see veal offered on the menu, ask the restaurant to consider removing veal because of the abuse and inhumane treatment of the calves. Voice your concern.
- Call your politicians and ask them to get involved and support animal welfare laws, and keep track of their voting record. Here’s some ideas.
- Spread the word! Tell others about intensive industrial animal factory farming. Share on social media and help get the word out!
Photo Credit: Farm Sanctuary via Photopin
TV Ad Produced by: Humane Farming Association (HFA)