The Life of a Veal Calf

The life of a veal calf

Veal calves are taken from their mothers immediately after birth, where the calves and their mothers are bellowing for each other. The calves are deprived of their mother’s milk, support, love and affection. Veal calves 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 where they aren’t permitted to move, turn around, lie down, walk or run—but are chained standing up in crates 22″ wide and 58″ long. This is where they spend their entire short lives, in completely inhumane, cruel and unnatural conditions.

To get the light colored and tender meat sold as “milk fed” veal, calves are denied all solid food, and are fed food they would never normally eat. They have constant diarrhea, and are kept in total darkness.

The everyday life of a veal calf:

  • Veal calves are intensively confined – they cannot move, lie down, walk, turn around and are chained typically standing their entire lives.
  • Veal calves are not given drinking water, this deprivation of drinking water causes calves to gain weight more quickly.
  • In place of fresh drinking water, calves are given drug-laced liquid feed – this is their daily food for their entire life.
  • Veal calves are denied solid food.
  • Veal calves suffer from chronic diarrhea.
  • Veal calves live in the darkness their entire lives, never seeing the light of day or sun.
  • Veal calves often get intestinal diseases and respiratory diseases due to their diet, lack of water, drugs given, and lack of a natural, healthy life.
  • Veal calves get serious and chronic leg injuries due to a complete lack of exercise, movement, and standing 24/7 chained.
  • Veal calves are not given straw beds or soft bedding, but must stand for months on a hard surface, which contributes to chronic pain, suffering and leg injuries.
  • Veal calves mother’s grieve for the loss of their babies from the first day they are removed from them just after birth

Veal calves 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.

The Life of a Veal Calf

The Life of Factory Farm Veal Calves

Actions you can take:

  1. Boycott all veal – tell your friends and family to boycott veal too.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Spread the word! Tell others about factory farming. Share on social media and help get the word out!


Photo Credits: Farm Sanctuary via Photopin


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