Sunday, August 10, 2008

Open Letter to Channel 7 News, Stop Promoting Veal

Not so long ago, channel 7 news booked a chef from Flint who was holding a weekend cooking school. The chef came to channel 7 to demonstrate a veal dish. Erik Smith, the morning anchor refused to eat the veal when the chef offered it to him. Good for Erik, standing up for his beliefs. Sadly, professed animal lover Alicia Smith does not have his chutzpuh.

Channel 7 "News" (I do not consider much of what local news puts on the air to be news) airs a segment "In the Kitchen". The mega market, Vince and Joe's presents a different recipe every week. Alicia Smith is the reporter who works the pieces. Personally I suspect that this is an advertising trade for Vince and Joes, but it clearly is presented as a news piece.

This week, the recipe was for a ragu, a meat based sauce used in Italian cooking. The ragu recipe calls for 3 meats, a beef, pork and veal combination. Animal lover Alicia Smith not only tasted the ragu, but raved that it was delicious. Sadly, the reporter failed to present the truth of Michigan's veal industry. So I will.

To Alicia Smith and Channel 7, wxyz News:
The recent presentation of a recipe containing veal as an
ingrediant can be viewed as nothing less than the promotion of animal
cruelty. The Michigan Department of Agriculture in its proposed 2008 Generally
Accepted Argiculture Management Practices
details the facts of veal
"production" in Michigan. First, veal are babies, calves. These
are the unwanted byproduct of the dairy industry. Dairy cows need a
to produce milk, because like humans and other mammals, milk is produced
feed offspring, the mother makes milk to feed her babies. So to keep milk
production flowing, dairy cows must be impregnated and give birth, but they
not need the milk for their babies, since the baby is immediately taken
from his
mother. (page 18, GAAMP
2008) If the calf is unlucky enough to be deemed a veal calf, he is
moved to a veal crate, where he will spend his entire life.

The Michigan Department of Agriculture reports that Michigan
veal are raised on the "formula" program. In other words, these unlucky
souls will never touch another cow, will never touch grass, will only see
light through a window and will never see a blue sky. They will spend
entire life in a crate that is large enough for the calf to stand, lay
down and
turn around. They will be fed formula for their entire existence.
(see pages 39 through 41 of the proposed 2008
) Ironically, the veal are fed formula because their mothers are
producing milk for humans.
By airing promotional recipes with veal as a component
channel 7 is supporting the veal industry. Cruelty must never be accepted,
especially cruelty that is institutionalized as it is in Michigan's food
industry. Please stop promoting veal on Channel 7 news. Instead, do an
actual news story about the truth of how Michigan veal is raised.
Email channel 7 and ask them to stop promoting veal and to do a real news story about how Michigan veal is actually treated.


Bea Elliott said...

Good letter.... However, it seems to be all the networks - I've noted that NBC has an ever-constant "veal" - "meat" campaign. Then we get to be reminded of their meat "foods" via all the Mc-advertising during commercial breaks. Vive-la-vegan internet! Thanks for posting this article!

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