“Bob” Veal: What’s New Is . . . Um, Old

There’s really not much new under the sun, as evidenced by this article. (Warning: If you’re squeamish, you may want to take a pass.)

Nineteenth-century Americans routinely sold, bought, and ate “bob veal.” Many people regarded it as a delicacy; others were horrified at the idea. In either case, outrage over the notion of “bob veal” surfaced with yawn-inducing regularity. As it has, apparently, right in the here and now of the twenty-first century.

And it’s not just bob veal that got Americans cranked up. Every so often, someone would launch a crusade about slaughterhouse cruelty, about its impact on animals and humans. Etc.

Remember the uproar in early 2008 about “inhumane” practices at a California slaughterhouse? (I commented on it at the time. You can read that here and here.) As I noted then, there’s nothing new there. Dig around in nineteenth century newspapers, you’ll find hundreds of examples of that same story.

It all comes down to choices: If you want meat, well, there’s a price to pay. And there’s no way to produce affordable meat without, well, skinning a few calves. (Yes, for those who are wondering, I do eat meat.)

Tip o’ the mug to Chris Raines for pointing me toward this story. He blogs here. Follow him on Twitter, too: @ITweetMeat.

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