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Protest Against Serving Veal

December 14, 1985

Eighbor mocks the efforts of Cleveland Amory and his associates to bring an end to veal consumption. While she apparently endorses compassion for the homeless and the hungry, she finds it ridiculous to work for the well-being of animals. I would like to address Eighbor on three levels.

First, she is obviously unaware of the relationship between meat-eating and world hunger. That topic would require more space than this letter allows, but the connection is well established. Stated briefly, the land being used for cattle grazing and to raise food animals would be used dramatically more efficiently to grow grains and other food crops.

Secondly, Eighbor is apparently ignorant of the threat to human health from the eating of veal. Veal calves are fed a deliberately deficient diet, largely synthetic and laced with antibiotics. The diet is geared to produce anemia, which gives the pale flesh so fancied by "gourmets." The drugs are needed to keep the animal from dying, since the diet leaves him weak and prone to chronic diarrhea and other diseases. Many veal calves die in their tiny crates long before they would have been slaughtered due to sickness. So when veal is eaten, one is eating the flesh of a very sick animal.

Finally, Eighbor may find it ludicrous for people to care about animals, but I can assure her that it is a sign of our evolving integrity as a species. It has only recentely become fashionable, after all, to care about the hungry and the homeless. Not that long ago we considered hunger "inevitable" and the homeless "irresponsible,." Certainly, as Albert Schweitzer said, we must extend our circle of compassion to include all species, for "the quality of a culture is measured by its reverence for all life."

JANE CARTMILL

Encinitas

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