February 22, 2013
Unnecessary and cruel
Despite almost universal public opposition, hundreds of thousands of calves raised for veal are intensively confined in individual crates too narrow for them even to turn around.
Tethered by their necks to further restrict their movement, they're virtually immobilized for their entire 16-week long lives. Unfortunately, this confinement is common in the veal industry, despite overwhelming scientific evidence that it's inhumane and at odds with public opinion.
Even the American Veterinary Medical Association says that calves should be able to turn around and the American Veal Association—the veal industry's trade group—"recommends that the entire veal industry convert to the group housing methodology."
Additionally, Randy Strauss, CEO of Strauss Veal (the nation's largest veal producer) calls veal crates "inhumane and archaic" and says they "do nothing more than subject a calf to stress, fear, physical harm and pain."
The veal industry is a direct byproduct of the dairy industry and depends on it for survival, as all veal calves are the male offspring of dairy cows. (Dairy cows must be re-impregnated annually to continue producing milk, and half of their calves are male.)
Here's a quick look at some of our work to free calves from crates.
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Our undercover investigation of a "bob veal" slaughter plant shined a bright light onto the abuses that male dairy calves can endure.
After working with The HSUS, retailers such as Wolfgang Puck and Bon Appétit no longer serve veal from calves confined in crates. Strauss Veal (the largest U.S. veal producer) and Marcho Farms have both converted their veal operations to crate-free housing.
The HSUS offers materials that make it easier for consumers to avoid supporting veal crates—and that's one of the ways you can help! Some include our guide to meat and dairy labels, our list of dairy-free and delicious products, and dozens of delicious, humane recipes.