Veal Farmers - Meat or Murder ?

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code1 | 16:15 Mon 30th Jun 2008 | Food & Drink
7 Answers
Whilst I am an agriculturalist first and foremost, and a keeper of livestock, I am always under the delusion that the killing of young livestock is somehow inherantly wrong..

What's your views on Veal calfs ?.

Is it right or wrong, or will society and market forces dictate the way we eat our meat in the future.


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Although I'm a vegetarian, it's not in a 'look at the fluffy animals' kind of way, and in different circumstances am sure I would be able to despatch something small and defenceless in order to survive. Having said that, the production of veal is hardly a matter of survival - it's more a question of sheer indulgence and gluttony.
It's more efficient to be vegetarian in terms of how much land and resources are needed to produce food.
A cow needs to be kept in calf to produce milk.

We can only eat so many older bullocks. What do we do with the surplus bull calves?

We could slaughter them at birth, I suppose. Or even worse send them to Europe where they can't get enough veal. Veal production is far more cruel in some other European countries.

Or perhaps we should become vegan - no milk, cheese, butter, yoghurt or leather.
At the top of my garden is a farmer's field. At the moment it's full of cows and beautiful MALE calves which will all be disappearing to France, no doubt, very soon. The cows shout with grief at the loss of their calves for days and it's heartrending to hear. Veal is not necessary, nor suckling pig, nor spring lamb. The older animal needs a little gentler cooking, but so what! I think killing babies for food is barbaric. If an animal ate a human baby, it would be put down.
If we kept the calf with the mother there would be no milk for us, the cost to the farmer for keeping unwanted bulls alive would be astrronomical.

We already produce enough beef for for our needs, for export and for dog food.
If we're talking about moral dilemmas, why don't you mention little fluffy lambs to....which have been on the Brittish dinner table for donkey's years
When i found out that some Veal calves are kept in dark Veal crates, i was sickened. Stuffed into cramped conditions with no hope of surviving their ordeal, then i remember it is like that at Butlins, it sort of made me feel better.
A milk cow has to give birth every year to a calf in order to stay in milk. now the farmer has a choice, he could call out a vet and have the animals put down. and then paid for the removal and incineration of the carcass, that would be very expensive for the farmer to do and he would not keep milk cattle if he had do this for every male calf born, hence the price of milk would rocket.
His other less expensive choice is to take the animal to market and have him auctioned off for a couple of quid.
probaly just braking even.
Now if we ate veal in this country, it would'nt have to be shipped abroad, it would gallop around our lush green fields till it was about 4-6 months old, and then end up on our dinner plates as rose veal.
So it is our fault the veal ends up in dark crates in europe. because we are so squemish about baby animals.
which is joke as chickens that you eat are 3 months old and lamb its all in the name "LAMB"
wise up if you want milk you have to have veal

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