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Veal Essay

1981 words - 8 pages

Veal When people hear the term ?veal?, many think of sick baby calves lying in their own defecation waiting to die. That?s not the whole truth. Veal is a very controversial meat, but it is also very nutritional and difficult to produce.What exactly is veal you ask? Veal is the meat from male dairy calves. The meat comes from a young beef animal. Veal is associated with many types of international cuisines. Italian, French, German, Swiss, Hungarian, and Czech are just a few major countries whose main cuisine dishes contain veal (Barris 115).Bull calves are not needed to within the milking herd because they cannot produce milk and are rarely used for beef production. Only a very few of all bull calves are used for breeding stock. Most dairy producers sell the male calves to major veal industries (Hinman 13). Before the beginning of the veal industry all male calves were raised for breeding purposes. Many of the bulls were kept and the rest were sold to neighboring farms.As demands for more milk products increased dairy farmers developed new production technology. Some dairy farmers started to use artificial Insemination for dairy production. Artificial insemination is a technology that takes the male sperm and impregnates the female without sexual intercourse. The use of the recently developed technology made breeding easier and more efficient with less labor. This new innovation made the male bull calf obsolete for breeding purposes. This meant that more male calves were available for the production of meats. With more male calves on the market, industries began buying calves from dairy farmers for the mass production of veal. Still, some old fashioned farmers still raise bull calves; the majority of veal is raised on specialized veal farms (Hinman 16).There are two main types of veal. They are milk-fed veal and grain-fed veal. Milk-fed calves are raised on a special diet. The diet contains all the nutrients necessary for perfect bovine health (code of practice, online.). A result of the diet is a light pink color, mild taste, and soft texture of the meat. The milk-fed veal calves are raised until they reach a weight of 450 - 500 lbs.Grain-fed veal calves are raised on milk fed diet for 8 weeks after birth. After the 8 weeks they are switched to a corn and protein diet. Grain-fed veal will reach a weight of 650 - 700 lbs.There are three major methods for the housing of veal that are used mainly in the production of veal. The methods used are stalls, hutches, or group pens.Stalls are the most common method of housing veal. Calves are individually housed within the stalls. These pens are very important to the health of the animal. They also allow manufacturers to pay special attention the calves individually (Code of Practice). Stalls also provide a cleaner environment with a less chance of disease transmission. Within stalls the calf's feeding source is kept clean so that feces and other harmful contaminants do not fall into the feed and risk the...

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