Say Cheese!

So, before going vegan, I was one of those people that thought I would never be able to give up cheese.

My go-to junk food was pizza.. my favourite being from the local pizza house, that cooked an unbelievably cheesy pizza (I only used to add onion). Also, my fave snack when there wasn’t anything in the house was a block of cheese, I could munch on cheese at any time of the day, I was like an overgrown mouse!

So, after going vegan, did I sat here feeling sorry for myself because I can no longer have a piece of cheese, or a cheesy pizza? No of course I haven’t. Once you open your eyes and see the cruelty in the dairy industry, cheese suddenly loses its appeal. I could never say that my desire for the taste of cheese is more important than the life of a calf or the pain of a mothers separation from her calf.

I find it completely ridiculous that I never realised the cruelty in the dairy industry. It’s a little embarrassing that I managed to get to my late 40’s without realising why cows produced milk. Who knew, they had to be pregnant, I honestly thought cows produced milk because they ate grass!!! I also never knew that a cow was pregnant for 9 months the same as us, or that their calf would then be removed within hours of their birth so we could have their milk.

I’ve enjoyed a number of vegan cheese alternatives, some better than others, none have replaced the melty cheese really, but it doesn’t matter to me, I just don’t eat so much pizza – not a bad thing! I’ve found my homemade pizza is good, also One Planet pizza is pretty good.

A few weeks ago I accidentally ate something that contained cheese, I was mortified! It was a Good Life spinach & mushroom Kiev. It said on the front cheesy filling, but until that point every Good Life product I’d had was vegan, so I had stupidly thought they were a vegan brand and cheesy filling was ‘cheesy’ filling.

When I took the Kiev out of the oven, most of the filling had escaped, I did think it looked realistically burnt like cheese in the pan, but even then I never made the connection. Because most of the filling had been released it wasn’t until I’d almost finished it that I tasted a cheese flavour … I was just thinking to myself, wow, they really nailed the cheese like taste.. when I thought oh fuck. I was too ashamed with myself to check the packaging at that point, I just threw it in the bin.. a day later I checked online and realised that I had indeed definitely eaten cheese (probably other stuff too!). I felt sick. I can’t describe how guilty I felt, not helped because I’d been enjoying it until the lightbulb moment.

Anyway the point of this post, is, once you make the connection as to who suffers and dies for your food, clothes, beauty etc you cannot knowingly contribute to that any longer, not if you really do care about animals and hate animal cruelty – going without a sprinkle of parmesan is not the same as going without the baby that you carried for 4 months (goats gestation period).

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