Pasture O U T to
The demand and market for pastured, humanely
raised veal means a tastier product on plates.
By Jan Greenberg
THE numbers speak for themselves.
According to the U.S. Department of
Agriculture, in 1944, Americans ate an
average of 8. 6 pounds of veal per person.
By 2004 (the latest year for which data is
available), consumption had fallen to less than
a half-pound. As writer Marian Burros pointed
out in a 2007 article in The New York Times:
“The most successful animal-rights boycott in
the United States started more than 20 years
ago and had nothing to do with foie gras.”
pictures of young calves tethered in
stalls so small they couldn’t turn around
and were often unable to lie down.
Suddenly, highly touted white veal, so
tender it could often be cut with a fork,
became anathema to many, eschewed by
consumers and causing many restaurants
to remove it from their menus.
replace retiring dairy cows, and basically
useless males. The males are sold for
pet food, sent to slaughterhouses almost
immediately after birth, and sold as “bob”
veal or sent to veal producers.
It began in the late 1980s, when veal
calves became a prime symbol of animal
abuse. Animal-rights activists circulated
WHITE VEAL PRIMER
Commercial veal may rightly be called a
byproduct of the dairy industry. To keep
producing milk, cows must produce
calves, usually yearly. That’s a lot of
calves—more females than are needed to
The use of containers and tethers began
in Holland after World War II as a way to
add some value to the male calves and
use up the excess whey generated by the
dairy industry. This was the origin of white
veal, which, when adopted by American
veal producers, became the basis for the
American veal industry. The meat, subject,
for a while, at least, of a highly successful