Shun vealon Mother’s Day

To the editor

   Sunday, May 12, is Mother’s Day, a day for honoring our mothers and celebrating the importance of the maternal bond.
   The dairy cow has come to symbolize motherhood throughout the world. Ironically, her offspring are entirely denied her nurture. Torn from his mother at birth, the male, dairy calf lives a short, miserable life so that his flesh may be sold as "milk-fed" veal.
   Across the United States, hundreds of thousands of baby calves are chained by the neck in small wooden crates where they are confined so tightly that they cannot walk, turn around, or even lie down comfortably. This is where they spend their entire lives. Calves raised for veal are fed an all-liquid diet, which is deficient in iron and fiber in order to produce anemia and the pale colored meat sold as veal.
   He knows no sunlight, straw bedding, or companionship. He is anemic, weak and susceptible to disease. Without antibiotics, he would probably not survive until slaughter.
   Fortunately, an end to this suffering is in sight. In the European Union, agriculture ministers have mandated an eight-year phase-out of the crate. In America, a 70 percent drop in veal consumption since 1976 shows that caring consumers want no part of the abuses of veal industry.
   In 1996, the New Jersey legislature directed the New Jersey Department of Agriculture to develop "standards for the humane raising, keeping, care and treatment, marketing and sale of domestic livestock" within six months. However, six years later, these humane standards remain unfinished.
   Please contact the New Jersey Department of Agriculture to urge the department to draft meaningful humane standards that prohibit inhumane factory farming practices. Cruel practices that have been outlawed in other countries and that should be banned in New Jersey include veal crates, gestation crates (for breeding pigs) and battery cages (for egg laying hens).
   Assemblywoman Loretta Weinberg has introduced legislation (A-1948) to prohibit the inhumane production of crated, anemic veal in New Jersey. Please contact your representatives and urge them to support this bill A-1948.
   Honor your mother every day and honor the importance of a mother’s nurture by refusing to ever consume "milk-fed" veal. Through constancy of caring, we can put an end to the horrors of the veal crate.
   If someone does not know who their state legislators are, you can find out by visiting

Rose Reina-Rosenbaum