This article contains sensitive/graphic (ish) images depicting what happens to cows in the dairy industry for a process called articifical insemination. Please continue with caution and skip over the pictures if needed.
What can I say about cheese?
There are so many different flavours, aromas and ways of making cheese out there… so why would you choose to eat the cruel cheese?
In case you don’t know, to make cheese, you need milk. And milk comes from cows. But, cows only produce milk only when pregnant, much like humans. They don’t ‘need’ to be milked.
This means that in order to get the milk from a cow, the cow first needs to be pregnant. And let me tell you, if you think farmers just wait for the cows to go get it on, you are sorely mistaken. To keep up with demand (which, I don’t really understand because from my memory milk didn’t even taste good), farmers’ need to artificially inseminate the cow, which is a fancy way of saying they shove their arm up it’s ass and shoot semen into the cows cervix with a giant needle looking thing.
Seriously, who in their right mind would a) think this is a good idea and b) want to continue to fund this? I mean look at that! You see why this is messed up, right?
Anyway, after they do that, they then steal the baby, and either do the same thing to the baby if it’s a female, or they cart off the male to get butchered and if you’ve ever wondered what veal is, well now you know.
To turn milk into the actual cheese that you eat, they add rennet, which is an enzyme that curdles the milk. Yes, you read that correctly, the milk is curdled to make cheese, because cheese is a mold. Check out more on the whole factory process of milk being turned into cheese here.
This also isn’t even mentioning the fact that cheese is addictive. One of the most common things people who want to go vegan struggle with giving up is cheese, and that’s for good reason! Not only is cheese more crave-able because it’s high in fat, but it’s also addictive because of the high concentration of casein. (A milk protein) When casein is digested, it becomes casomorphin, which is a type of opioid. And I think we all know how that affects the brain.
With that said, you don’t have to fear! You can make cheese out of a lot of different things, not just out of cows’ milk! You can not only use other animal milks (like goat or buffalo), but you can also use tofu or different kinds of nuts. Which brings us to the vegan alternatives for cheese:
In case you don’t know, here are the brands/kinds of cheese in the collage, listed starting in the top left-hand corner, and moving clockwise:
- Daiya Medium Cheddar Style Block
- Daiya Jalapeno Havarti Style Block
- Daiya Smoked Gouda Style Block
- Daiya Provolone Style Slices
- Daiya Swiss Style Slices
- Earth Island* Mozzarella Style Slices
- Earth Island Garden Herb Style Slices
- Earth Island Pepper Jack Style Slices
- Nuts for Cheese Un-Brie-lievable Wedge
- Nuts for Cheese Super Blue Wedge
- Nuts for Cheese Smoky Artichoke and Herb Wedge
- Violife Just Like Parmesan Wedge
- Violife Prosociano Wedge
- Chao Tomato Cayenne Slices
- Chao Creamy Original Slices
- Miyoko’s Double Classic Chive Cheese Wheel
- Miyoko’s Sun-Dried Tomato and Garlic Cheese Wheel
As you can see, there are lots of different types of cheeses out there. These aren’t even all the cheeses these brands make. I tried to showcase some of the different options available, which are tofu, cashew and potato. (Yes, potato!)
I recommend checking out these brands, if you’d like to dip your toes in and see what’s out there, or if you’re feeling more adventurous, you can try making your own cheese at home!
(This is a picture of my attempt at homemade cashew cheese. While it didn’t turn out quite as hard as I expected, it still tasted good, and was fun to do!)
Quitting dairy cheese may be hard if you find yourself addicted, but begin by replacing it with some of these alternatives, and in the blink of an eye, you won’t even remember not being able to not eat it.
*Earth Island is called Follow Your Heart in the US.
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(Artificial Insemination photo from here)