Cows are intelligent, emotionally complex, and nuturing beings. Like dogs, they form social groups within a herd and often form likelong bonds with family members and others. Like humans, female cows form strong maternal bonds with their calves that last a lifetime. Despite all fo these attributes, however, over 42 million of these animals are killed every year in the meat and dairy industry. Their normal lifespan is about 20 years, however those raised for meat and dairy never live beyond 6 years. The veal industry in particular, slaughters yound calves at an infant age of 6 months old.
The meat and dairy industry are synonymous when it comes to the cruelty, exploitation, and overall treatment of these animals.
In the meat industry, at a very early age male calves are castrated and dehorned without anesthetic as well as branded with painful hot irons. They are typically kept in unnatural rangeland or pasture where their grass diet is heavily supplemeted with grain laced with growth hormones to increase their mass unnaturally fast, and antibiotics to help prevent the cow from getting diseases caused by unhealthy conditions. When they reach "market wieght, usually around 16 months old, they are led into transports and shipped to slaughterhouses where they are systematically stunned and dismembered.
Dairy cows are no luckier than their male counterparts. Like any mammal, cows only produce milk if they have given birth. This means that female cows are used as machines to continuously produce calves, usually for 2-4 years, where they are "spent" and sent to slaughter for cheap beef. Like humans, cows endure a nine month pregnancy and when a mother cows gives birth, her calf is taken away, usually within minutes. The powerful maternal bond between mother and baby is broken, leading to frantic and constant bellowing and crying for days. If the baby is a female, she is seperated to be raised as a dairy cow and fed milk replacer while humans get to drink the milk that was meant for her. If the baby is a male, he is sent to a veal producer where he will be confined to a small crate and fed an iron-deficient diet. The limited movement and unnatural diet produces the pale and tender flesh characterized by veal. These calves are then killed between the age of 3 weeks and 18 weeks old. The veal industry is a byproduct of the dairy industry and the two are systematically linked.