Out of all animals, why does your resolution address veal calves?
Veal is unique in that its light-colored, tender characteristics cannot be achieved without the type of cruel treatment we describe in the article. Other animals can be raised cruelly or humanely and the taste will not be impacted so much. With veal, though, one knows that if it is light in color and tender in texture, it had to have been raised on a low-iron diet and in close confinement. Humane conditions simply cannot lead to the veal we are used to.
What do you intend to do after the resolution either passes or doesn’t?
I am certainly not going to drop it. When it comes to animal abuse causes, veal calf upbringing is most definitely one of the most horrific. My sense is that people do not equate the piece of veal they eat with the baby calf from which it came. Through continued education and publicity, I hope to create the conditions in which all food proprietors see it as being in their best interest to remove veal from their display cases and menus.
How do you know that purveyors are selling inhumane veal?
The majority of veal sold on the market is crate-raised. However, it is possible that some purveyors in Brookline are selling veal from baby calves that are treated more humanely. If so, I hope they speak up about this issue and highlight their own efforts to procure compassionately-raised meat. If they are truly confident in the upbringing of the calves whose meat they sell, they would be helpful in serving as a model for how to source veal in an ethical way.
If there are so few purveyors in Brookline, and veal is such a small percentage of meat consumed, why not aim for a “bigger” issue?
This is an issue of animal rights. Given that we use them for our own purposes, the least we can do for animals is to provide them with a life that is free from pain and torture.
This cause may be new to some, however.
To start off, we chose a cause that is difficult to oppose while being easy to support. Veal is easy to ultimately cut out of one’s menu because it is not as much of a staple as chicken or beef.
Moreover, although other animals are oftentimes killed at even younger ages than veal calves (e.g. chickens, pigs), the image of a baby calf as one chews a bite of veal is especially repulsive. The veal calves’ appearance (in combination with the relative ease of removing veal from one’s diet) might make ending veal consumption that much more persuasive to those who are new to the issue.