*Please read this carefully. The distinction is ROSE veal raised in the UK only.
‘Veal’ is a dirty work in the UK and so it should be if it were ‘white’ or ‘milk-fed’ veal. The 80’s campaigns against the cruel practice of keeping calves in tiny crates and feeding them low iron diets (causing them huge digestive issues) all for the purpose of keeping their meat pale were so successful that the UK as a nation doesn’t generally eat veal. Veal is defined as meat under 12 mths.
Why is that a problem? The diary industry creates a byproduct of unwanted bull (male) calves. The majority are either shot shortly after birth or exported to Europe and raised for white veal in intensive farmed system with very poor welfare standards. The rest of the EU seems quite happy to nosh into white veal. In fact it is very popular in the Netherlands, France, Italy, Poland etc.
UK reared Rose veal is however a totally different product, calves don’t travel long distances to EU destinations, they are fed a normal diet and kept on straw bed in small groups. In isolation rose veal would not be high on my list of meat choices, but in comparison to the fate of the calf and if you are a consumer of dairy it is more ethical to eat UK reared rose veal than not. Sainsbury’s, M&S and I am sure others stock rose veal and it is supported by RSPCA and CIWF.
Note ** UK exports of calves to the Netherlands is currently on hold due to threats of TB. This could change in the near future and calves are still being exported via Northern Ireland.
Want to learn more see https://www.ciwf.org.uk/farm-animals/cows/veal-calves