This undercover video from the Humane Society of the United States (disclaimer: my wife works there and I once did, too) documents the conditions at a Vermont slaughterhouse where veal calves are treated with the kind of respect usually reserved for household intruders.
Today, both the USDA and the Vermont state agriculture agency suspended operations at the plant, pending an investigation. Though, according to this article in the Burlington Free Press, the owner of Bushway Packing doesn’t think his operation has done anything wrong.
Y&H has no interest in being self-righteous or hypocritical here. I eat veal meat — and often enjoy it. But when I watch something like this (and it is exceedingly difficult to watch), I tend to think we have serious problems buried deep within our livestock systems in this country, despite all the efforts to make them more humane.
The timing of this investigation is perfect. The results come two days after Jane Black at the Washington Post wrote about a trend among livestock producers to move toward humanely raised veal, sometimes known as “rose veal” because its flesh isn’t milky white like the other forms of young calf meat. You can find the stuff at Palena, Restaurant Eve, Proof, Marcel’s, and Charlie Palmer Steak, according to Black’s article.
One way, I think, to combat the old system, as represented in this video, is to insist on rose veal — and even grow to prefer it over the soft milky textures of the old stuff. What do you think, Y&H readers? Let’s get into it!