Some of you reading this will be vegan, some will be vegetarian and some will be flexitarian. If you are vegan, then this won’t apply but if you’re vegetarian or flexitarian then here’s a challenge –
Will you to consider giving up cheese, or at least, cutting back on the amount you are currently eating?
So let’s see if there is something below that will start you thinking or lead to more research and education.
1. The dairy industry is, sadly, one of the biggest polluters of the environment… that and cattle.
As the need for dairy products increases worldwide, the number of cows being milked also has to go up. Currently there are 264 million dairy cows, producing nearly 600 million tonnes of milk every year. This is a staggering amount as you can add on the beef cattle which is around 971.482 million. That’s an awful lot of bovine that have to be fed and watered.
So, not only is there a drain on the water, destruction of rain forests for feed for these animals, but there is also the waste and the amount of methane that each cow produces… daily!
Unfortunately water can be contaminated due to leakages of nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus either directly into the stream/river or through the water table which then can pollute waterways further down the line making them very toxic.
Even when farmers are careful and are environmentally conscious, the sheer number of dairy cows just makes it all too much of a losing battle.
2. Then there is the actual method of getting a cow to give her milk. This comes under the cruelty label as the calves anywhere from just born to 3 or 4 days old are taken away from their mothers. It is heart-wrenching to hear the plaintive cries of both mother and baby. The male calves are killed as they are of little use to the farmer and the females are kept to replenish the herd. A cow is kept pregnant and lactating constantly until around 5 years by which time they are so spent they are just sent off to slaughter.
3. On a different note – cheese is as addictive as sugar. Yes, it’s been scientifically proven. So if you think you really can’t go without cheese, now you know why. Also, unless your ancestors are from Europe where a genetic mutation spread that gave people the ability to produce lactase and drink milk (only about 35% of humans have this gene), then dairy is NOT good for your health no matter what the dairy industry spin doctors tell you.
So how do you give up cheese? Start slowly.
Make a list of the cheeses you really love – e.g. Edam, Brie, Feta then pick one, e.g. Feta, and go online and search for “make Vegan Feta cheese” – you must use the word vegan.
You will get a number of recipes back… some are made from tofu, others from nuts… check them out. You may have to make a couple of different ones to find one that really appeals to your palate.
Once you’ve got used to the plant based Feta – go try another one.