Posts Tagged 'veal'

Biological facts

A Mother’s Day story.

Dairy cows must be kept constantly pregnant in order to lactate. After four years of forced pregnancy and constant milking, dairy cows are considered “spent” and are sent to slaughter.

Despite common beliefs, cows, like all mammals, do not lactate spontaneously. They only produce milk to feed their babies and not humans. This biological fact does not change whether the dairy comes from a conventional, family, organic, or free-range farm. There is no such thing as a cruelty-free dairy as the cruelty is inherent. No farming method changes the fact that in order to produce milk for human consumption, cows must be impregnated and their babies must be taken away and killed. And no boycott of veal is truly genuine unless dairy is also boycotted.

No purpose

Thank you National Post for reminding us why milk is murder.

What most people don’t realize is that the production of veal doesn’t occur due to consumer demand, but as a byproduct of the dairy industry. The more cheese, butter, yogourt and ice cream we consume, the more we rely on Holstein heifers (female cows) to produce milk.

Each year, these cows require a break from milking and their udders dry up. To get the milk flowing again, they must be impregnated, which means giving birth to a calf that probably isn’t needed at the farm. If it’s a female, it has the potential to be used for milk production, but chances are its mother won’t be ready to retire as Holsteins are good for about six years of service. If it’s a male, it serves no purpose at all.

In most cases, the calf ends up with three possible fates: It either goes to a veal farm, where it will live for another five to six months; gets slaughtered after two weeks and is marketed as “bob” veal; or is killed almost immediately, with its meat going into pet food.

On that note, check out Liberation BC’s clever Mother’s Day campaign:

Tough choice

Ontario Veal Association pitches marketing board for industry, look at U.S. changes to veal housing standards.

Some U.S. packers now only accept calves from group pens.

The group pen versus individual pen argument is a catch-22 for the industry. Open group pens look better to the public than traditional individual calf huts.

However, European research has found calves raised in individuals pens tend to be healthier, with lower mortality and medication rates, than calves raised in groups pens, said Mr. Vermeire, a Phd in animal nutrition and past chair of the Joint Committee of the American Society of Animal Science and American Dairy Science Association.



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