Kinship Circle
Email List

Facts About Dairy Plants & Veal Babies
By Brenda Shoss, Kinship Circle
Dairy Is Healthy, If You're A Calf
Humans are the only species to drink another's milk, and to drink it all the way into adulthood.

Though 75% of the global population is lactose intolerant, demand for milk products, plus government subsidies, sustain huge dairy factories. How do you get a cow to make unnatural amounts of milk? You keep her pregnant, in milk-yielding cycles, until she grows too sick or weak. When she's spent, she goes to slaughter.

What about all those babies? Her girls are groomed to produce more milk. Male offspring are taken within 24-48 hours of birth. They're auctioned off to veal factories, for life in a 2-feet wide crate and slaughter by 20 weeks of age. Tons of cow milk, cheese, ice cream, yogurt, etc. ensure that surplus male calves become veal.

Veal crates, pig gestation crates and hen battery cages give animals so little space, they cannot turn, walk, rise… Bans have passed at state levels:

  • Gestation Crate Ban:
    Florida, California, New Jersey, Colorado, Maine, Michigan, Oregon, Ohio, Rhode Island

  • Veal Crate Ban:
    Arizona, California, Colorado, Ohio, Michigan, Maine, Rhode Island

  • Battery Cage Ban:
    Arizona, California, Michigan


Type 9-digit zip code, i.e., 63130-4142

From search results, use contacts listed under: CONGRESSIONAL

Go to if LEGISLATOR LOOK-UP won't work in your browser.
Or try: and

Veal is an offshoot of the dairy industry. Veal parmesan. My mom made it, we ate it. For tongues weary of macaroni and cheese, the meat in rich sauce was a treat. Consumers buy veal as cutlets, scaloppini or Wiener schnitzel — with little knowledge about how it got to their plates.

At milk-product plants, heifers are immobilized in steel stalls and continually impregnated to boost output. Of their offspring, "female calves are either raised by the dairy farm as replacement heifers [usually housed in hutches, igloo type enclosures similar to crates in size], contract-raised for the dairy farm, or sold to other dairy farms. Males are mainly sold as veal calves or raised as steers, either by the farm or a buyer," (Lifestyle Production Stages, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency). Post-birth males are taken from mothers by the time they dry off, to ultimately become veal ("The calf is moved to an individual pen or hutch as soon as it is dry." U.S. EPA, Calves and Heifers).

"Mary remembers when as a little girl being taken to a farm for a summer vacation. One day they killed a calf…nearly 60 years later, she can still hear the terrible mourning cries of the calf's mother," writes Frank L. Hoffman, about his wife, in Veal Production: Is It The Result Of Kidnapping And Murder?

When I think about veal parmesan today, I see a grieving mother and her scared child. Calves farmed for beef nurse nearly six months. Conversely, calves fated for veal are usually denied mother's milk — colostrum, designed by nature to fortify delicate immune systems — though industry claims otherwise:

"Veal calves are primarily those dairy calves that are bulls and are thus not usable in the milking industry. These small animals should be allowed to consume colostrum, at least 6 quarts, before moved to the veal production facility. Colostrum is key to the good health of the calf for the next 18 to 20 weeks in which it will grow, prior to consumption," (Veal Calf Production).

Fragile babies are tethered by the neck inside 2-feet wide crates. They live upon slat floors unable to shift positions, flex their legs or lie down with ease. The American Veterinary Association describes separate pens as the norm, with typical dimensions of 22 inches wide by 54 inches long. Removed from mothers hours to several days post-birth, calves are fed liquids purposely meager in iron and fiber to suppress muscle growth and invoke anemia. This produces the white, tender meat called fancy, milk-fed, or formula-fed veal.

The lack of mother's milk, roughage and exercise creates babies crippled by leg and joint dysfunction. Calves mature with inept motor skills, abnormal gut development and chronic stomach ulcers before killed between 18 and 20 weeks of age.

One USDA subsidized review disclosed that "stall and pen calves required approximately five times the amount of medication as hutch and yard calves." Veal contains excessive traces of antibiotics that may threaten human health. "I would not serve anything to my customers I would not eat myself," states Park Avenue Cafe chef Neil Murphy. "And I would not eat meat that came from a sick animal."

Cows are herd animals who graze for fibrous food. Veal calves are denied natural instincts. In a summary of scientific data, Welfare of Calves in Veal Production, Farm Sanctuary notes that calves experience anxiety, food rejections, stress, lethargy, social withdrawal and aberrant coping mechanisms. They toss and shake their heads, kick, scratch and chew.

Animal cruelty concerns have launched veal crate bans in some areas. Outlawed in the UK since 1990 (CIWF on Veal Crates 2008-05-19), the European Union has since banned crates and anemic diets (Veal Crates CFHA). Compared to beef, poultry and pork, U.S. statistics show meager per-capita veal consumption, at 0.4 pounds in 2009 with a projected drop to 0.3 pounds by 2021 (; U.S. Dept of Agriculture Economic Research Service).
Since animal welfarists released footage of roped and crated calves, veal sales have steadily declined and by some accounts, never recovered (Veal to Love, Without the Guilt, New York Times). In 2007, the American Veal Association resolved to expire veal crates by 2017, though this wistful pledge is unlikely to span the industry. Strauss Brands claims it became the first U.S. veal processor to raise crateless, tether-free calves in 2008 (AVA statement).

While recently out for dinner, I was dismayed to find veal on the menu, I left a discreet card asking the manager to omit this inhumane and unhealthy entree.

Much to my surprise, our waiter met us in the lobby to get more "Please Say No To Veal" cards. Apparently he and fellow servers hoped to convince their employers as well.
▲ Get facts in leaflet form ▲
Animal cruelty is part of the dairy factory, where dry lot dairies have replaced most traditional farms. Cows are stalled indoors and artificially inseminated on a "rape rack" to stay pregnant and lactating. Unprofitable male calves are mainly auctioned to veal plants. After 3 to 4 years of exhaustive 12-month pregnancy cycles, spent dairy cows are slaughtered for ground beef.

► MASTITIS afflicts up to half of U.S. dairy cows. BGH-induced mastitis is an excruciating inflammation and bacterial infection of the udder (Feedstuffs Magazine).
► FROM MILK TO MEAT: Cows live assembly-line style in industrialized buildings that thrive on enormous government subsidies and public demand for dairy. Cows are forcibly impregnated (rape racks) to sustain milk-yielding birth cycles until too sick or weak to produce. Spent dairy cows are sent to slaughter. Most of the half million downer cows who stagger toward kill floors each year come from dairy operations. By the time they reach stockyards, they can't stand or walk. Once down, organs collapse against organs. Workers use tractors and forklifts to drag animals upright. They're shocked, pounded, hauled in chains. No definitive law exists to stop their torture or keep them out of the human food chain — even though scientific evidence shows downers harbor Mad Cow Disease (BSE, Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy) and foodborne pathogens.

► VEAL BEGINS AT DAIRY PLANTS where calves, who'd naturally suckle for 6-12 months, are taken from mothers within 24-48 hours of birth. They're denied colostrum, initial mother's milk that fortifies their delicate immune systems. Male calves are slaughtered for veal by 20 weeks of age.
Before they can stand, calves are neck chained inside 2-ft wide crates with no straw bedding. From birth to death, they stand upon slat floors in the dark — unable to shift positions, flex their legs or easily lie down. Most are crippled with leg/joint disorders and fed liquid-only diets meager in iron and fiber to suppress muscle growth and cause anemia. This produces white, tender meat called fancy, milk-fed or formula-fed veal. Without roughage or exercise, motor skills and gut development are stunted. Calves suffer chronic diarrhea, stomach ulcers and respiratory diseases.

"Stall and pen calves require about 5 times the amount of medication as hutch and yard calves," (USDA subsidized review). Veal has excessive traces of sulfa drugs, clenbuterol, penicillin, tetracycline, drug-resistant bacteria strains…harmful to human health. Cows are sociable animals who graze in herds to get fibrous food. Crated calves are denied natural behaviors. They experience anxiety, food rejection, stress, lethargy, social withdrawal and aberrant coping mechanisms. They obsessively toss and shake their heads, kick, scratch and chew (The Welfare of Calves in Veal Production, Farm Sanctuary).
ANTIBIOTIC-LACED FOODS: Dairy cows and calves contain drug residues found at USDA slaughter plants. "Heavy reliance on antibiotics for growth promotion and for disease prevention may spawn antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria, with human health risks," (2009, Transformation Of U.S. Livestock Agriculture: Scale, Efficiency, And Risks. USDA Economic Research Service). 70% U.S. antibiotics are fed to farmed animals (Union of Concerned Scientists).

Calves crated for veal are mega-dosed on antibiotics to accelerate weight gain and fight illness. They're purposely fed a liquid-only mix of water, powdered milk replacer, vitamins, sulfa drugs, mold inhibitors and antibiotics to induce the anemia that gives veal its pale color.

► UNNATURAL GROWTH: Bioactive factors in cow's milk may up IGF-I and growth hormone levels in prepubertal children. 10/06 Impact of cow's milk on prepubertal hormone levels (Janet Rich-Edwards, ScD, MPH).

Dairy is healthy if you are a calf.

► HUMANS ARE THE ONLY SPECIES TO DRINK ANOTHER'S MILK and consume it into adulthood. Some 75% of the global population is lactose intolerant. By age 4, they struggle to digest lactose (carbohydrate in milk), with abdominal cramps, flatulence, diarrhea and more side effects (Liebman, B. Nutrition Action, Lactose, Truth or Intolerance). Milk consumption is tied to heart disease, juvenile onset diabetes, asthma, allergies, cancer, high blood pressure, stroke (American Heart Association).

► DAIRY AND DISEASE: Female low-fat cheese eaters (sometimes, often) are at 132% increased risk for incident coronary heart disease. Women non-fat milk drinkers are at 48% more risk for the disease (E.E. Avalos, Dept. of Family & Preventive Medicine, University of California-San Diego. Public Health & Nutrition 2013).

Coronary heart disease is considered medically preventable. "Patients eating a plant-based diet can reverse the medical condition or at least stop the progression of diseases," (Dr. Colin T. Campbell, nutrition professor, Cornell University).

► CANCER, GROWTH HORMONES: American dairy milk is genetically-modified unless labeled 'NO rBGH.' Genetically-engineered bovine growth hormone (rBGH) in milk increases cancer risks. Dairies inject rBGH in cows to increase milk output. rBGH is banned: European Union, Canada, Australia. Monsanto Co., manufacturer of rBGH, has influenced U. S. product safety laws that permit sale of unlabeled rBGH milk with IGF-1 [insulin-like growth factor]. (Monsanto would lose billions if banned in U.S.). American cheeses are also contaminated with rBGH and IGF-1 unless labeled 'NO rBGH,' (The Cancer Prevention Coalition, cancer-prevention professionals with 100 offices nationwide; Samuel S. Epstein, MD, Founder).

Ovarian Cancer: Milk sugar lactose breaks down to galactose in body. When dairy consumption exceeds enzyme capacity to break down galactose, build-up in blood may cause ovarian cancer. Studies show milk-drinking women at higher risk (Nurses' Health Study 2004). High levels of galactose, a sugar released by digesting lactose in milk, may damage ovaries and lead to ovarian cancer. Industrial milk production has changed milk's hormone composition in ways that could increase risk for ovarian and hormone-related cancers, (Ganmaa D, Sato A. The possible role of female sex hormones in milk from pregnant cows in the development of breast, ovarian, and corpus uteri cancers. Med Hypotheses. 2005; 65:1028-37 / Harvard School of Public Health, Calcium and Milk: What's Best for Your Bones and Health?).

Breast Cancer: In China, a nearly non-milk nation, cancer deaths of women 35 to 64 averaged less than 9 per 100,000, compared to 44 per 100,000 in U.S. (Dr. T. Colin Campbell).

Prostate Cancer: A diet high in calcium has been implicated as a probable risk factor for prostate cancer. In a Harvard study of male health professionals, men who drank 2 or more glasses of milk daily were almost twice as likely to develop advanced prostate cancer as non-milk drinkers (World Cancer Research Fund, American Institute for Cancer Research. Food, nutrition, physical activity, and the prevention of cancer: a global perspective. Washington DC: AICR, 2007 / Giovannucci E, Rimm EB, Wolk A, et al. Calcium and fructose intake in relation to risk of prostate cancer. Cancer Res. 1998; 58:442-447).

► GASTROINTESTINAL: Over 20% of U.S. dairy herds are infected with Johne's Disease, a bacterial infection that leads to chronic diarrhea, weight loss, death. M. paratuberculosis, a bacteria responsible for Johne's Disease, has been found in humans with Crohn's Disease (National study, 1998).

Humans do not easily digest casein, cow-milk's main protein. Damage to intestines and stomach can progress to autoimmune and malabsorption diseases. Chronic constipation in children may be tied to milk intolerance. In children studied, constipation improved 68% on soy milk. None improved on cow's milk (New England Journal of Medicine, 1999).

► JUVENILE ONSET DIABETES: Strong correlation between dairy use and juvenile onset diabetes. Cow's milk proteins stimulate production of antibodies that in turn destroy insulin-producing pancreatic cells (New England Journal of Medicine).

► OSTEOPOROSIS: When milk is ingested, it produces net metabolic acidity, or "acid load in blood." To neutralize this load, salts (calcium, phosphorus) are leached from bones. In one study post-menopausal women consumed 1,400 mg. of calcium a day (three 8-ounce glasses of skim milk) for 2 years and lost bone at twice the rate of a group given no milk (National Dairy Council).

"In places where calcium and protein are eaten in high quantities a deficiency of bone calcium calcium exists, due to excess animal protein," (Dr. John McDougall). Conversely, countries with minimal dairy consumption have the lowest rates of osteoporosis (T. Colin Campbell, The China Study).

► ANEMIA: In infants, cow's milk can cause intestinal-tract blood loss and decrease iron levels. Cow's milk, consumed directly or via mother's breast milk, can cause colic in babies.

► ACNE: Higher rates of acne were found among girls who consumed milk/dairy (Nurses' Health Study, The Scientist Magazine, March 2007).

ALLERGIES: Cow's milk is #1 cause of childhood food allergies (American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology). Up to half of U.S. children are allergic to milk. For kids and adults, mucas-making milk can lead to coughs, sinus/ear infections, asthma… (Dr. Frank Oski, Johns Hopkins University). "Cow's milk is not recommended for a child when sick (or when well, for that matter). Dairy products may cause more mucus complications and more discomfort with upper respiratory infections," (Dr. Benjamin Spock, Baby and Child Care).

Facebook Twitter YouTube Flickr Kinship Circle Store CafePress Store eBay Giving Works GoodSearch

spacer spacer KINSHIP CIRCLE
Animal Advocacy  |  Education  |  Disaster Aid  •  •
314-795-2646  |  7380 Kingsbury Blvd  |  Saint Louis, MO 63130 USA

●  Federal 501c3 under U.S. IRS ruling, Public Charity Status: 170b1Avi
●  Tax Employee Identification Number (EIN) available upon request
●  Nonprofit Certificate of Incorporation, Charter: N00071626