Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Inside the Veal Racket: Yet Another Reason to Go Vegan

Nobody loves dairy products more than me. Whipped cream, ice cream, cottage cheese, cheddar cheese, chocolate milk, yogurt - you name it, I probably crave it right now. But we have to face facts. Whenever we consume dairy products, we perpetuate suffering. Sometimes, this is easy to forget. Meat is easy to give up, but dairy is much more difficult.

This incredible video, made by the wonderful group Mercy for Animals, tells the truth about veal, and it connects the dots between the veal and dairy rackets. The video provides us with a glimpse inside the inner workings of the Buckeye Veal Farm in Apple Creek, Ohio. The whole process is profoundly sick and twisted, when you think about it. Cows are kept in a constant state of pregnancy to keep giving milk. Their babies are ripped away from their mothers so we humans can consume milk that is not meant for us. As this video points out, the calves raised for veal live short, incredibly miserable lives before they're sliced, hacked, butchered and slaughtered so human beings can devour their meat. As the Mercy for Animals website points out, the video
reveals baby calves chained inside 2-feet wide wooden stalls – so narrow they cannot turn around, walk, run, play, socialize with other animals, or engage in other basic natural behaviors. In such tight confinement, the animals are unable to lie down comfortably, breathe fresh air, see sunlight, clean themselves or bond with their mothers.
Think about how ghastly this state of affairs is. If a logical and advanced race of aliens from another planet were to land on earth and see this sick spectacle, what would they make of it?

Bob (The Price is Right) Barker narrates this video. At one point, he says exactly what I believe: "As a civilized society, it is our moral obligation to prevent animal cruelty. And veal production is both abusive and totally unacceptable."


I remember eating veal parmigiana in my past life and thinking nothing of it. Like so many people, I lived in a state of denial. I did not connect what it was I was eating with those baby calves being hung upside down and having their arteries slashed open, bucking and kicking as their lifeblood drained out of their little helpless bodies. "There is a crime here that goes beyond denunciation," wrote the great John Steinbeck in The Grapes of Wrath (1939). Steinbeck was writing about the horrible treatment of the poor during the Great Depression. He could have just as easily been writing about our gruesome and horrific treatment of animals.

Even if you think you know the horrors of veal production and how it ties in with dairy production, please watch this video because it will break down the walls of denial. The history books won't fondly remember the human race at the dawn of the 21st Century when it comes to our treatment of animals. But thanks to groups like Mercy for Animals, we are slowly making a journey in a new direction.

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