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Pasture Raised Veal Gaining Popularity

Consumers Warm Up to Humanely Raised Veal

While the vegetarian trend has continued to rise, a meat movement is also gaining popularity. The latest subject in sustainable agriculture? Pasture-raised veal. Compared to conventionally raised veal, rose veal, as it's been dubbed, is leaner, with a blush color.

Eating veal has long been an animal-welfare issue, with opponents pointing to calves confined in stalls so tiny that livestock are unable to move. But producers of pasture-raised veal argue that the meat comes from hormone- and antibiotic-free calves who drink their mother's milk, consume pasture grass, and freely roam pastures.

Animal-rights activists are against the slaughter of young animals who have strong maternal bonds — yet according to veal proponents, calves are the same age as lamb and older than pigs when they're slaughtered. Where do you stand? Would you be more likely to eat pasture raised veal?

Image Source: Getty
Join The Conversation
chefphil chefphil 5 years
Pigs are about 1 year at slaughter, so is lamb. If you drink milk you cause veal to be born. If there is no market for grazed veal they will be shipped to a crate facility. If they are not able to be sold to that facility they are shot at birth. Or just destroyed for some other product. Poultry is all under a year. Steers are slaughtered at one and a half years.These are the facts. It is far better to concentrate on how the animals were treated during their short lives, and how humanely they are slaughtered. 
Caitie64 Caitie64 6 years
I'm a meat eater, but veal is something I won't touch. I think an animal should have the chance to grow up. It's a higher degree of wrong to me. But that's just my opinion.
Pampire Pampire 7 years
I don't eat veal period. If I did I would be thinking about it being a baby and I wouldn't be able to handle that. I kind of wish I could be a vegetarian because I do love animals so much but my husband and kids are big meat eaters and I have to cook it anyways! I don't eat much of it when I do eat it, I usually prefer the veggies more especially delicious salads! Yum!
beram1220 beram1220 7 years
I recently stopped eating meat and even when I did would never eat veal. Something about eating baby animals freaks me out and now the whole concept of eating any animal freaks me out. It started when I read Skinny Bitch, then The Omnivores Dilemma and In Defense of Food. It's a personal choice and a lot easier for some people than others. Luckily I live in a healthy town in California with a year round farmers market and lots of cheap healthy stores. My family on the other hand has to trek 45 minutes to buy a $10 gallon of organic milk from a tiny market.
suziryder suziryder 7 years
Yes, it is. Reading The Omnivore's Dilemma really opened my eyes to how little I know about my food. My husband and I want to have a garden next summer, and ideally we want to live somewhere where we'd have enough land to raise some chickens. I mean, how else can you be sure about what you're eating, unless you raise it yourself? (Or you actually visit the farm, but how many of us can do that?) But until then, I think we'll still buy organic, free range chicken eggs... I mean, it supports to concept of humanely raising animals, right? And I think from now on we'll seek out grass-fed beef, because that really DOES make a difference in their lives Most cattle are fed corn, which they can't digest properly, so they get sick and need antibiotics all the time, lead miserable lives, etc. Grass fed cattle can actually be outside and eat what nature intended them to eat and have more space to live... I'm sure it's much more expensive (we don't eat much beef so I haven't sought it out yet) but it's a good way to vote with our wallets, you know?
poizenisxkandee poizenisxkandee 7 years
suziryder thanks for the tip. the documentary did mention how many brands/companies mislead consumers about the living conditions of the animals in their products...they showed how a small organic company who treated their animals well got bought by a bigger company and while the nice name remains, nothing about the animals or the process stayed the same. there was one company at the end who did seem to have the wide pastures and humane killing we think of, who scoffed at the idea of machines and cages. the only thing we can do is do our research and find out who is honest and who isn't. isn't it terrifying how little we know about the food we consume every day?
mamasitamalita mamasitamalita 7 years
I tried posting again with links to a wikipedia article on rennet but Sugar blocked it? rennet is used to begin the curdling process, and i would say most cheeses are made this way
mamasitamalita mamasitamalita 7 years
some cheese uses vegetable rennet or citric acid, but yes. its needed to begin the curdling process, and pressed curds are what make cheese. I'm VASTLY simplifying the process, but yes rennet is a by-product of veal calves. and it drives me NUTS when people get all sanctimonious about not eating veal but have no clue about cheese.
kitchenhacker kitchenhacker 7 years
I had veal (pasture-raised) for the first time in ages. I'd been avoiding veal due to the conditions that it is traditionally kept in. I feel I have as much (if not more) of an obligation to support humane practices as I do to boycott inhumane ones. Also, supporting humane practices is much tastier...
Spectra Spectra 7 years
I don't eat veal, period. But pasture-raised beef is obviously a better choice than conventionally-raised stuff.
partysugar partysugar 7 years
Now I am craving humanly raised veal.
suziryder suziryder 7 years
poizen, have you read The Omnivore's Dilemma? I'm currently working on it.. apparently "free range" chickens means that they have a little fenced in yard available to them through a little door in their otherwise traditional chicken shed. And since the farmers worry about the chickens getting sicked when they're babies, they're not allowed outside until they're 8 weeks old, and by then they're so used to their shed that they're afraid to go outside. And then they're slaughtered at 10 weeks. mamasita, I didn't know that! Is that true for all types of cheese? I'm not a vegetarian, but I wouldn't eat veal no matter how "humanely" it was raised.
poizenisxkandee poizenisxkandee 7 years
though no, i still wont eat veal, or advocate it...there's something not right to me about that.
poizenisxkandee poizenisxkandee 7 years
food inc. thats all i have to say. i stopped eating red meats since middle school, didnt really like them. still eat a lot of chicken, eggs, fish, etc; and ive thought about getting better quality/more humane foods; but after said documentary ive started buying more non caged/free range/organic produce. i noticed it first in the quality of my eggs. no more flat, rubbery, and overly yellow eggs; organic free range chicken eggs are so much more fluffy and soft and more of a natural yellowy color; and in the quality of the other food that i choose, no way am i going to shop anything else again.
mamasitamalita mamasitamalita 7 years
if you eat cheese, you participate in veal calf usage. rennet from their stomachs is the way cheese is made.
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