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An End to Veal Crates

Written by PETA | August 8, 2007

Veal_cow.jpgThere is an end in sight, and while this isn’t going to stop us from doing everything in our power to end all abuses of cows right now, the announcement this week by the American Veal Association that they will phase out veal crates by 2017 is a major landmark for the animal protection movement and proof that decades of pressure on the industry to end its cruel practices has paid off.

Veal, which rates a full 10 out of 10 on the WTF? scale, is made by chaining calves by their necks inside solitary crates for up to 23 weeks. The AVA’s decision to finally abandon this torture means an end in sight for what will one day be regarded as among the most vile practices in human history.

This announcement marks the latest in a series of victories for the animal protection movement in its long struggle to eliminate the solitary, intensive confinement of farmed animals. Earlier this year, three of the world’s largest pig meat producers—Smithfield Foods, Maple Leaf Foods, and Cargill Meat Solutions—took steps to phase out gestation crates for pigs, and recently, following years of discussions with PETA, Burger King made a commitment to buy 20 percent of its pig meat from suppliers that do not use gestation crates and 5 percent of its eggs from sources that do not confine chickens to battery cages. Shortly afterwards, Wendy’s followed suit, pledging to purchase 20 percent crate-free pork by the end of 2008 and increase that percentage over time.

This is an important step forward, and, put together with these other victories for animals, it’s clearly part of a trend. As Ingrid Newkirk puts it, “While the best way to prevent cruelty to animals is to simply stop eating them, any progress made toward mitigating their suffering is commendable.”

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  • Jedadiah says:

    I think that you guys need to back off and let the farmers make the decisions on what is best for not only the animals but for the consumers as well. They all have families too and if you seriously think that they would produce something that is not safe for people to eat then you are insane. You guys are trying to ruin farmers but who do you think makes it possible to eat, the farmers. Oh and do you know how many jobs these farms produce. They are responsible for hundreds of thousands of jobs nation wide. So if you don’t ever want to eat again then feel free to keep trying to end farming but if you want to eat, then I would suggest that you back off.

  • Michele says:

    Hi Susannah I think you summed it up perfectly for me. It is not ideal that we may have to wait for 10 years for these veal crates to be phased out completely though I believe others above have already suggested that continued pressure from animal rights activists may force the industry to make the changes even sooner however it is still a major change for the factory farming industry to make don’t worry I am not singing their praises I’m just glad they are starting to cave a little. Every little change is a step toward a huge victory. Some people still do not have a clue what happens to the animals that end up on the grocery shelves so this kind of change will educate those individuals and the more people who become aware of the reality for these animals the more pressure the industry will face. The ultimate victory will of course be when everyone stops eating meat completely but until that happens any victory however small is a step in the right direction.

  • Maya says:

    Ana Hi!! Yes I agree with you Costa Rica does still have problems and since you’ve been there I’m sure you know much more than I. We have three friends who live there and they like me are optimists and see things getting better while also acknoledging that the 25 percent of rainforest that Costa Rica is quoted as having preserved is declining rapidly. I guess what I mean is that Costa Rica is a good theoretical model for all countries and if consumers would support the eco friendly tourism we could see improvement. The big question is how do we attract consumers? Thank you by the way for visiting my blog that means a lot to me and my strays!! Poe and Hugo say hi! And yes INDOOR CATS all the way!

  • Susannah says:

    Any progress is preferable to no progress. This step may seem “small” and it is absurd that it will take ten more years to make these changes happen but the fact is that before this change there was no end in sight and now there is one. A crack has been made in the walls of “Eternal Treblinka” as Isaac Bashevis Singer called the plight of farm animals and its the kind of crack that is structural and will lead to other cracks until the walls ultimately fall down. I wish there were simpler solutions that all humans would just stop eating animals for instance or that agribusiness would suddenly come to its senses about how to raise animals humanely but that is the realm of dreamland where it all sounds good but nothing gets done. Here at least something will get done even if it is ten years later than it has to be.

  • Ana says:

    Thank you Larry Sullivan and Shannon for your very honest comments. I agree. Being an abolitionist I see this as good PR for the animal abuserskillers. Bigsmall cages they still get slaughtered and they still suffered from birth to death. I have traveled throughout latin america and the major problems there are government corruption and illiteracy. Hello Mayayes Costa Rica does put money into its environment because it does not have a standing military but it also does kill animals for food. In all of latin america they kill animals for food in some very brutal and horrible ways since laws concerning animals are very rare and too few. I moved about very easily in these countries because being latina I speak the language and know the customs. One of the best customs are rice and beans perfect protein meal with plaintains and avocados. Mangos are rich in vitamin C. But the meal of rice and beans is seen as a poor man’s meal you made it big when you can eat a “steak”. It is the advanced wealthier nations particularly the USA that have promoted the excessive eating of animals much to the detriment of both animals and people. The people who ate this simple but “poor man’s meal” tended to live longer and maintain a good weightbeing poor they could not afford to eat flesh. Witness the many overweight latinos in the USA eating so many fast foods cheap flesh many I know have developed diabetes or have had heart attacks. Very sad for both humans and animals. This is something to think about.

  • Kris Shulfer says:

    this video is horrific!!! i cannot believe that people are still ordering veal and i just heard that they have put in “upper class” resturants something called suckling pig. i was like does that mean baby pigs?? that made me literally dry heave and throw up in my mouth!!! it is great that improvemnts are underway that is all we can hope for!!

  • Larry Sullivan says:

    A bunch of me and my friends could go around and undo the chains in a hell of a lot quicker time than TEN YEARS!!! Of course we’d undo the chains and let them all run away but still…TEN YEARS to undo chains?!?! C’mon…