veal. The culinary term for the flesh of a young calf (under 3 months) and a byproduct of the dairy industry. Calves are taken from their mothers (dairy cows) shortly after birth, confined, and placed on a formula or other substandard diet until they are slaughtered at 5 to 6 months of age. Humans consume the mother cow’s milk. Veal typically comes from dairy bull calves who are not otherwise useful to the dairy industry, as they don’t produce milk. See veal crate.