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gypsywench's avatar

What's the 'Beef' with veal?

Asked by gypsywench (1626points) August 15th, 2010

Personally I grew up on veal. I love it! Osso buco, and Veal Piccata. Some people have a problem with it being baby cow meat. The best and most expensive veal even being unborn calf. My “beef” ( Pun intended ) with the issue is : Why is it okay for some to eat Adult cow meat vs. Baby calf ? You are still eatting the cow regardless of age. If you grab a burger from your favorite fastfood joint you are most likely eatting beef that was inhumanly treated. Why turn your nose up to veal? If it boils down to the treatment and humanity in it all. Does that make Kobe beef okay? In Japan, where the cows are rice and beer feed and massaged to improve beef quality. That sounds very humane.

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24 Answers

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

You hit the nail on the head in that the issue is usually in regards to the treatment of the animal.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

There are plenty of articles on the internet explaining why so many people feel strongly about not eating veal. Essentially, it has to do with the inhumane way they are raised. The calves are taken from their mother shortly after birth and put in a crate that provides no room to move. Other concerns have been voiced as well.Laws are being passed in the U.S. and European countries that will provide better living conditions, ban the use of hormones, etc.

As far as I know, no one has a problem with Kobe beef. In fact, other countries have attempted to duplicate the process.

gypsywench's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer My point being: I am fully aware of the inhumane treatments of certain animals before the slaughter. Why is it more acceptable to eat an adult cow that’s inhumanly treated vs. the baby cow? I have no problem with Kobe beef. It’s delicious.

Erulin's avatar

@gypsywench you have a point… adult cows have to suffer inhumain treatment for alot longer then a calf

Ron_C's avatar

Why do the animals have to suffer in the process in becoming food? With veal, calves are confined and force fed milk. The more they are force fed, the whiter the meat, the higher the veal price. I am not against eating meet, like one person said “if we were not supposed to eat meat, why did god make it so delicious?”

What I object to is the factory farms, confining chickens, cutting off their beaks and feeding the hormones tortures the animals and make the consumers less healthy. The same goes for the factory farming in all of its nasty practices.

With veal you take the least humane practice then add a little factory farm technique, it is pretty disgusting. I wonder what it does to the people that work in these factories. Maybe that is why the immigration policy is so screwed up. They can’t get free people to work under those conditions and do the terrible things to the animals so they hire illegal immigrants and blackmail them into servitude and cruelty.

jca's avatar

I read that the veal calves are so starved for iron that they will lick the nails on the fences that confine them. i am among those that don’t eat veal. i feel that it’s equivalent of mistreating a baby human. the veal calf never had a somewhat pleasant upbringing from day 1. i fee by eating veal it creates a demand for it, therefore, i do my best not to eat it.

Trillian's avatar

As @Ron_C said. And while the killig of a cow may seem inhumane, what with being knocked in the head and all, its life up until that point is pretty good. They are provided with food and shelter. They basically eat all day. So…. not really all that inhumane.

rentluva5256's avatar

The baby never got to live its life. It’s like abortion.

Frenchfry's avatar

I have never eaten veal in my life.. Does not mean I won’t try it. I am a meat eater. I prefer to have it killed humanely and to be put on my plate with alittle salt and pepper. Please

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@gypsywench Thank you for the clarification on the actual question. My guess would be that, because of the huge media attention regarding veal and how it gets to one’s plate, that many people refuse to eat it. While laws have been or are being set up in several countries that will change how veal is produced, they don’t get as much press as the sensationalism created years ago.

Strauss's avatar

The original concept behind veal was young, milk-fed calves. This was perverted, like so many other food concepts, by factory farming, until we got our “calf-in-a-box” product we know today. Humane treatment of animals was sacrificed in the name of production and profits, as is the case with many other meat products. Commercial chicken production is another example. The chickens are raised in such crowded conditions that they have to have their beaks cut off to prevent them from injuring each other, or hens that have been caged and force-fed in order to lay more eggs. Commercial hog production has similarly produced large lakes of hog-shit that have their own environmental challenges.

janbb's avatar

I love veal but gave it up about 10 years ago because of the cruel lives they live. I also don’t eat foie gras and limit my consumption of meat because of factory farming.

josie's avatar

It seems to me that if anybody objects to how animals are treated as they are raised for (cheap) food, you still have choices. Become a vegetarian, or buy from the people who convince you that their food livestock is treated with greater kindness than somebody else’s food livestock. Or you can pay somebody to massage the beast before you eat it. All sorts of choices. But since the animals cannot talk, how does anybody actually know if the critter appreciates one way of being raised for slaughter than another? It still winds up being killed and cut up. So your question is a good one-just what is the beef?

zenele's avatar

I don’t mind eating the calf, so long as it isn’t cooked in its mother’s milk.

Erulin's avatar

@josie come on, saying we don’t know that animals don’t prefer spending their entire short life in a cage they can’t move in because they don’t speak is like saying WWII Japanese torturers didn’t know they were hurting their victim because he didn’t speak Japanese…

Very weak arguments at best…

gypsywench's avatar

@Trillian Really? Most cattle raised to become beef are confined just as poorly for as the calf. Some becoming crippled over time with their limited surroundings. Especially the meat that ends up in fast food.

josie's avatar

@Erulin Not even the same argument.. Human beings contemplate the nature of their existnence. They can put their happiness or suffering in a context. Animals do not. Animals raised for food are…well, being raised for food. The only other alternative is to not raise animals for food and hunt them ad hoc. But more humans are being fed because of the industrialized food industry than not. There is no shortage of food on earth, but there is certainly a shortage of money to buy the food in some parts of the world. The cheaper it is, the more people get fed. So pick your poison… feed more humans, or be nice to animals. I vote for humans. You may not. Suit yourself. Humanity rightly has set higher standards for itself than the critters they eat. War crimes are a different discussion. Nice effort.

Erulin's avatar

@josie following your arguments I can only say : “Human beings contemplate the nature of their existnence. They can put their happiness or suffering in a context. Animals do not.”

Because animals don’t speak, we have no idea if they do or if they don’t… Ever have a dog or a cat ? They do actualy feel happy or sad according to what happens to them… It’s probably the same for more animals then just the ones we find “cute and cuddly” enough to be concidered pets…

josie's avatar

@Erulin So my original comment stands. Don’t eat your pets, and if you feel that strongly about it, don’t eat any other critters either. But human beings have always eaten critters, and it won’t stop. So you follow your conscience, but I suspect that others want to eat something other than dandelions. I don’t eat much meat, so it is not a big issue for me. But I know that others thrive on it. They have to decide if they can live with eating critters or not. Since it is natural to do so, how can you argue against it? And since when it comes to food, the cheaper the better, how can you argue against mass production of it? But I promise you I will not try to force you to eat a critter if you do not want to.

Battousai87's avatar

I would agree that there really isn’t much difference eating a baby cow from a cow factory or an adult cow. if anything the most twisted thing to consider, if the animal is suffering…well then the baby cow is better of since it suffers less than a cow that is allowed to reach maturity just to be eaten (i don’t really believe this but it’s a thought for the sake of arguement). Also again for the same of argument…well most of the cows that are raised in cow factories, none of them would be alive if they weren’t’ bred specifically to become burgers and steaks (just some food for thought lol)

I don’t buy beef from the stores. I have relatives in upstate NY and down the road from there is a family that raises cattle for beef that have been a good friend of my family since before my mother was born. The cows are treated superbly. The farmer speaks at farming conventions (yeah even farmers have conventions) about humane treatment and new ways to manage and develop beef cattle. I still haven’t had veal from there, we just buy a half a cow and that offers up enough meat to last almost a full year. I’ve met the cattle, they usually tell us the cows name (which is kind of weird but still). I’ve never had the notion that his cows were being mistreated,

I guess to answer the question, i don’t personally have problems with veal though i dont’ eat it because, well, half a cow is way more meat than a baby cow lol.

As for the whole not eating animals thing….well, god gave me two types of teeth, half for eating vegetables, and the other half for eating animals and anything else. Why should i let god down by not using his gift to mankind….omnivorous :-D

YARNLADY's avatar

@Yetanotheruser I agree completely with your evaluation of the original source. It is only the corporate farm technique that has perverted it.

Erulin's avatar

@Battousai87 euh, actualy he gave you 3 types of teeth… (pre-)maulers, cainines and incisors

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

If you think of this issue in terms of whether something is delicious to you or not, you don’t get it. And yes, it’s just as wrong to eat grown cows as it is eat to eat baby cows.

anartist's avatar

Little baby anythings with soulful big eyes . . .
people get silly
but it’s just fate like Donovan says Dona, Dona

I love veal and kobe beef too. ;-P

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