“Tell me three things about cheese that will make me want to never eat it again!”
OK, first off, if you want to quit eating cheese, that’s wonderful news! Like most vegans, I wasn’t born vegan. I grew up eating meat and dairy products, and that included a lot of cheese.
Once I gave up cheese, I felt so much better and had much more energy too. You’re making the right decision by cutting out cheese from your diet. Cheese can be a tough one to drop but once you learn the reality of cheese, you won’t have any problem cutting it out.
“Cheese is a love affair that’s not going very well. Which is to say, we love cheese, but it doesn’t love us back.” – Dr. Neal Barnard
If you find yourself hung up on cheese, don’t worry, you’re not the only one. Cheese is one of the hardest products to ditch and for a good reason: cheese is addictive. No really, cheese has opiates in it. Cheese is packed with amphetamine-like chemicals called phenylethylamine.
Good rule of thumb: if you can’t pronounce a word, much less spell the word then you shouldn’t risk putting it in your body.
Here are a 3 reasons to quit eating cheese:
1. Cheese Contains Casein
Cheese contains casein (a protein found in milk and cheese). Casein breaks apart during digestion to produce morphine-like compounds called casomorphins. From PCRM’s website, “These opiates are believed to be responsible for the mother-infant bond that occurs during nursing. It’s no surprise many of us feel bonded to the refrigerator.”
Another drawback of casein is that it may lead to cancer. (source) Many kinds of cheese are also packed with saturated fat and cholesterol, which clogs your arteries and can lead to heart disease and strokes.
In fact, cheese is about 70% fat. Don’t even get me started on Velveeta, which has 800 mg of sodium in just 2 ounces!
2. Cheese Contains Rennet
If that’s not enough, many kinds of cheese are made with rennet, which is an enzyme that comes from a calves’ stomach lining. It gets worse. Cheese, like all dairy products often contains pus. Cheese contains pus due to the cows that udders get bacterial infections because of the dairy industry treating them like milk machines.
3. The Often-Cruel Dairy Industry
If somehow you’ve read the above and you still want to eat cheese then just think about the cruel and abusive dairy industry is. Cows only produce milk when they are pregnant.
On dairy farms, cows are impregnated over and over again and are drugged so that they will produce more milk than what they naturally would. The male calves are taken away when they are just one day old and are used for veal.
I’m not even going to get into the horrors of that, but if anyone you are with orders veal at a restaurant you should probably end your friendship with them immediately!
Are you grossed out and fully convinced to give up cheese now?
Dairy-Free Cheese Alternatives
The good news is that there are many dairy-free cheese alternatives out there, so you won’t have to miss much.
- Tofutti brand makes a variety of soy cheeses (as well as nondairy cream cheese, sour cream and ice cream).
- Teese vegan cheese is another delicious vegan cheese
- My personal favorite vegan cheese is Daiya which you can find at your local health food store.
Another great bonus about switching to vegan cheese: they are cholesterol-free!
No Vegan No Cheese?
I just imagined that being sung to the tune of Bob Marley’s “no woman, no cry,” so sorry if it doesn’t make sense! Anyway, there are a hundred reasons to go vegan, but a lot of people find it really hard to give up cheese.
If you’re thinking about which foods should I break free from number one on the list ought to be cheese.
When you stop eating cheese you’ll see that you can lose weight much more easily and your skin will probably look better. Also, if you get headaches, they might go away and your digestion will work better.
So, if you’re on the fence about a vegan diet, I hope my reasons not to eat cheese give you a little nudge towards a vegan diet.
*Related: Celebrities Who Don’t Eat Cheese