Veal is the meat of young cattle (calves), as opposed to beef from older cattle. Though veal can be produced from a calf of either sex and any breed, most veal comes from male calves (bull calves) of dairy cattle breeds.
There are five types of veal:
- Bob veal, from calves that are slaughtered when only a few days old (at most 1 month old) up to 60 lb.
- Formula-fed ("white" or "milk-fed") veal, from calves that are raised on a milk formula supplement. The meat colour is ivory or creamy pink, with a firm, fine, and velvety appearance. They are usually slaughtered when they reach 18–20 weeks of age (450-500 lb).
- Non-formula-fed ("red" or "grain-fed") veal veal, from calves that are raised on grain, hay, or other solid food, in addition to milk. The meat is darker in colour, and some additional marbling and fat may be apparent. It is usually marketed as calf, rather than veal, at 22–26 weeks of age (650-700 lb).
- Rose veal in the UK (generally called "young beef" in Europe), is from calves raised on farms in association with the UK RSPCA's Freedom Food programme. Its name comes from its pink colour, which is a result of the calves being slaughtered at or after 35 weeks (8 months up to 12 months).
- Free-raised veal, The veal calves are raised in the pasture, and have unlimited access to mother’s milk and pasture grasses. They are not administered hormones or antibiotics. These conditions replicate those used to raise authentic pasture-raised veal. The meat is a rich pink color. Free-raised veal are typically lower in fat than other veal. Calves are slaughtered at about 24 weeks of age.
The veal industry's support for the dairy industry goes beyond the purchase of surplus calves. It also buys large amounts of milk byproducts. Almost 70% of veal feeds (by weight) are milk products. Most popular are whey and whey protein concentrate (WPC), byproducts of the manufacture of cheese. Milk byproducts are sources of protein and lactose. Skimmed milk powder, casein, buttermilk powder and other forms of milk byproducts are used from time to time.
Culinary uses 
Veal has been an important ingredient in Italian and French cuisine from ancient times. The veal is often in the form of cutlets, such as the Italian cotoletta or the famous Austrian dish Wiener Schnitzel. Some classic French veal dishes include: fried escalopes, fried veal Grenadines (small thick fillet steaks), stuffed paupiettes, roast joints and blanquettes. As veal is lower in fat than many meats, care must be taken in preparation to ensure that it does not become tough. Veal is often coated in preparation for frying or eaten with a sauce. Veal Parmigiana is a common Italian-American dish consisting of breaded veal cutlets.
In addition to providing meat, the bones of calves are used to make a stock that forms the base for sauces and soups such as demi-glace. The stomachs are also used to produce rennet, used in the production of cheese. Calf offal is also widely regarded as the most prized of animal offal. Most valued are the liver, sweetbreads, kidney, and bone marrow. The head, brains, tongue, feet, and mesentery are also valued.
At birth 
Newborn calves are given a varied amount of time with their mothers, which can be anything from a few hours to a few days. Free-raised calves are raised alongside their mothers, and always have access to their mother’s milk.
The modern veal industry has strong connections with the dairy industry. To produce milk, cows must be lactating, and to be lactating, they must get pregnant and give birth. Approximately 50% of all calves born in dairy farming are male. Since only female calves are used to produce milk, use of male dairy calves is limited, outside of breeding.
While calves are young and most vulnerable to disease, they are kept in hutches, which keep them isolated and restrict movement so as to prevent connective tissue from developing, as the taste of veal raised in this manner is considered desirable.
"Milk-fed" veal calves consume a diet consisting of milk replacer, formulated with mostly milk-based proteins and added vitamins and minerals. This type of diet relates to infant formula and is also one of the most common diets used for calves in the veal industry.
"Grain-fed" calves normally consume a diet of milk replacer for the first six to eight weeks. The calves then move on to a mostly corn-based diet.
Free-raised calves are raised on an open pasture and receive a diet of milk, grass, and fresh water. Furthermore, free-raised calves do not receive antibiotics, which is often a focus of criticism amongst animal welfare organizations.
Animal welfare 
Veal is a controversial issue in terms of animal welfare.
Multiple animal welfare organizations, who strongly focus on factory farming, attempt to educate consumers about several veal production procedures they consider to be inhumane. This education has proven successful in creating pressure on the industry, resulting in changes in the methods used by the veal industry.
A strong animal welfare movement concerning veal started in the 1980s with the release of photographs of veal calves tethered in crates where they could barely move. After the release of these photographs, veal sales have plummeted, and have never recovered.
Many veal farmers have started improving conditions in their veal farms. The American Veal Association has announced their plan to phase out the use of crates by 2017, which is often the main focus of controversy in veal farming. Strauss Brands is the first veal packer in the U.S. to raise veal calves completely tether-free and group-raised since December 31, 2008.
Criticism of veal crates revolves around the fact that the veal calves are highly restricted in movement; have unsuitable flooring; spend their entire lives indoors; experience prolonged sensory, social, and exploratory deprivation; and are more susceptible to high amounts of stress and disease. According to the Veal Quality Assurance Program, the Veal Issues Management Program industry fact sheet, and the Ontario Veal Association, individual housing systems are important for disease control and in reducing the possibility of physical injury. Furthermore, they state it also allows for veal farmers to provide more personal attention to veal calves.
Alternative agricultural practices for using male dairy calves include raising bob veal (slaughter at two or three days old), raising calves as "red veal" without the severity of dietary restrictions needed to create pale meat (resulting in fewer antibiotic treatments and lower calf mortality), and as dairy beef.
Drug usage in veal 
The USDA does not approve the use of hormones on veal calves for any reason, with the exclusion for use in ruminating cattle, which is not related to veal.[clarification needed] They do, however, approve the use of antibiotics in veal raising to treat or prevent disease. There is no check to see whether farmers and veal producers do not use antibiotics for reasons other than preventing or treating diseases.
In 2004, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) expressed concern that the use of illegal drugs might be widespread in the veal industry. In 2004, an official of the USDA found a lump on a veal calf in a Wisconsin veal farm, which turned out to be an illegal hormone implant (such implants are only allowed legally for beef cattle). PETA suggests this practice has been going on for 30 years. In 2004 the organisation stated "Penicillin is not used in calf raising: tetracycline has been approved, but is not widely used."
Veal crate bans 
The following shows where veal crates have been banned, or are currently in the process of being banned:
Veal crates became illegal in the UK in 1990, and a full ban has been placed for the entire European Union, as of 2007. Switzerland, with its substantial dairy industry, continues to use crates.
Veal calf production as such is not allowed in many Northern European countries, such as in Finland. In Finland, giving feed, drink or other nutrition which is known to be dangerous to the health of the animal to an animal which is being cared for is prohibited, as well as failing to give nutrients the lack of which is known to cause the animal to fall ill. The Finnish Animal Welfare Act of 1996 and the Finnish animal welfare decree of 1996 effectively banned crates in Finland and provided general guidelines for the housing and care of animals.
United States of America 
Crates have been banned in several states in the United States. As stated above, several large veal producers, as well as the American Veal Association, are working on phasing out veal crates. State-by-state veal crate bans are as follows:
- 2006 - Arizona (effective 2012, a part of Proposition 204 )
- 2008 - Colorado (effective 2012)
- 2008 - California (effective 2013, a part of Proposition 2)
- 2009 - Maine (effective 2011)
- 2009 - Michigan (effective 2013)
- BBC Food - Food matters - Is veal cruel?[dead link]
- Encyclopaedia Britannica "veal"
- Ontario Veal Assoc. - milk-fed veal definition
- Grain-Fed definition in Recommended Code of Practice for Raising Farm Animals[dead link]
- The Appeal of Veal[dead link]
- Veal could be sold from the dairy case -Delft Blue[dead link]
- Montagné, P.: New Concise Larousse Gatronomique, page 1233. Hamlyn, 2007
- CCFA - Veal Calves
- Veal Farm FAQ
- Ontario Veal - All About Veal Housing
- OFAC.org Veal issue center[dead link]
- HSUS Welfare of Veal Calves[dead link]
- Burros, Marian (April 18, 2007). "Veal to Love, Without the Guilt". New York Times.
- Veal, Cast in a Kinder Light, Washington Post
- CFHS on veal crates
- Veal Assoc. Recommends Group Housing
- AVA statement
- Canadian Coalition for Farm Animals, 1997
- Sargeant JM, Blackwell TE, Martin W, et al. Production indicates, calf health and mortality on seven red veal farms in Ontario. Can J Vet Res 1994;58:196-201.
- Maas J, Robinson PH. Preparing Holstein steer calves for the feedlot. Vet Clin Food Anim 2007;23:269-279
- HSUS - Strauss and Marcho veal crates[dead link]
- USDA's Veal Factsheet
- USA Today, "Illegal hormones found in veal calves" March 28, 2004
- PETA Veal Factsheet
- CIWF on Veal Crates (UK ban on bottom of page)
- CFHA - Veal Crates
- independent.org - Europe Plan for Veal Crate Ban
- University of Nebraska - Cali. Veal[dead link]
- "Arizona Makes History for Farm Animals" May 2007
- "Colorado bans the veal crate and the gestation crate", Compassion in world farming
- "Maine Bans Veal Crates" The Exception magazine
- "Michigan Adopts Law to Ban Gestation Stalls"
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|Look up veal in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
- Ontario Veal Association — Ontario veal industry in Canada.
- Thinking Outside the Box — Dutch veal farming from Beef magazine
- Veal Farm — Veal industry in the USA.
- Veal Recipes. A collection of recipes for various cuts of veal, tips on cooking, selection and handling of veal