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Why don't vegans eat cheese?

Why don't vegans eat cheese? 10 reasons to give up cheese products

Want to know why vegans don't eat cheese? Then you've come to the right place! There are around 5000 different types of cheese worldwide, which are produced when milk turns sour and the solid components separate from the liquid whey. For us Germans, cheese is something of a sanctuary - hardly any other country surpasses our cheese in terms of variety and quality. In fact, there is cheese from every region of the country - from Holstein Tilsiter to Allgäu Emmental. We eat it in one piece, as a slice on bread, gratinated on a casserole, as a fondue, with a salad, melted on a burger or as a complementary and beautifully soft dip.

Accordingly, many people are surprised when they hear that someone is actually voluntarily giving it up. In this article, I would therefore like to give you 10 reasons why vegans give up cheese products. Let's go!

An overview in advance: Vegans don't eat cheese because...

  1. it is of animal origin
  2. you are lactose intolerant
  3. caused by the killing of animals
  4. it is often not even vegetarian
  5. the dairy industry is brutal
  6. it is not as healthy as many believe
  7. cheese production is extremely resource-intensive
  8. Animals have not done anything to us
  9. factory farming is destroying the planet
  10. there are more and more plant-based alternatives

Notice: Even if the subject matter is very similar - Why vegans do not drink milkI will explain this in more detail in another article.

1. cheese is of animal origin

Cheese is made from animal milk

First of all: vegans eat cheese - but not if it comes from Cows, sheep, goats or other milk-producing animals. As a vegan, you try to avoid all forms of exploitation and cruelty to animals for food, but also, for example, for clothing, entertainment and other purposes, as far as is practicable.

Plant-based cheese alternativesbased on almonds or coconut oil, for example, are therefore very welcome in the lives of vegans. Not least because they mean that more and more people are eating an animal-free diet. A pizza without cheese? Unimaginable for many people. Fortunately, however, there is also a vegan cheese spread that melts.

2. cheese is not suitable for lactose intolerant people

Many people have a congenital or acquired food intolerance to lactose, a Sugar found in the breast milk of mammals. Vegan foods are (usually) lactose-free. Vegans with lactose intolerance therefore definitely refrain from eating cheese not only for ethical reasons, but also for health reasons.

3. animals are also killed for cheese

"No animals are killed for milk..." - Have you ever heard this sentence or even said it yourself? As a vegan, I don't eat dairy products like cheese because it only seems true at first glance. At closer examination with the dairy industry, you quickly realize that animals do die.

How so? Dairy cows are killed and turned into meat as soon as they can no longer give milk. The female offspring are threatened with the fate of their mothers. Male calves are even killed immediately after birth and processed into veal, as they are unable to give milk.

4. cheese is often not even vegetarian

Cheeses like Parmesan, Grana Padano, Gryere or Feta usually contain animal rennet. It is obtained from the abomasum of young ruminants. Cheese based on animal milk is by definition not vegan - but many types of cheese are not even vegetarian. One more reason why vegans don't eat cheese.

5. the dairy industry is brutal

Vegans do not eat cheese because the industry is brutal

For cows to give milk, they have to be pregnant. "Dairy cows" are artificially impregnated again and again with bull semen and a courageous grip, until at some point they are physically are no longer able to give milk. This is usually the case after about 5 years, although they can live to be 25 years old. A "dairy cow" that is no longer productive is, as I said, killed and processed into meat.

Their offspring is snatched away from them every time until then, so that it does not get the benefit of the mother's milk. It is a real Vicious circle for dairy cows - which Brutality of the dairy industry and makes it clear why vegans do not consume cheese.

Be sure to check out the Documentation Dominion an. There you can still much better put yourself in the position of the animals and form an informed opinion.

Tip: I have given you a list of Tools from factory farming that are standard in the industry. Decide for yourself whether you find them cruel - for example, if they were used on dogs or cats.

6. cheese is not as healthy as many people think

Cheese contains valuable nutrients such as Calcium and Zinc. So far so good. But most cheeses are also rich in unhealthy saturated fatty acids, which can increase the Cholesterol level rise leave - and nutrition-related diseases benefit. This is rarely mentioned in advertising, is it?

The variety and flavor of the cheese allow some people to overlook the fact that Pus and feces can be in the cheese. 100.000 Germs per ccm of cow's milk are permitted under the Milk Quality Ordinance of 1980. Accordingly, cheese with Listeria be contaminated. Another reason why vegans do not eat cheese.

7. cheese production is extremely resource-intensive

The animals have to be fed in order to produce milk for cheese dairies. Between 50 and 80 kilograms of fresh mass is what a cow eats per day. Mainly concentrated feed such as soy, corn or millet. In addition, she drinks every day up to 150 liters of water.₁ ONE COW - ONE DAY! Around 1.5 billion cattle are said to be kept worldwide.

Not to mention the energy-intensive stables and animal transportation. This could be avoided if we Consume plants directly would.

8. animals have not done anything to us

I have already told you how cruel the "milk system" is. Apart from the fact that no one deserves to be exploited and ultimately killed - Cows, sheep, goats & co. have not even done anything to us. They are innocent and have an emotional world, just like us humans. Good taste is no justification for paying money for milk and cheese products and ignoring such cruelty. For many vegans, this is a major reason to avoid animal cheeses in all colors and forms.

9. factory farming is destroying the planet

To make matters worse all animal products highly inefficient. 77 percent of the world's land area is used for "animals as food producers" - but they only provide 18 percent of the calories. a lot of land area requiredbecause concentrated feed (especially soybean meal) has to be grown for the animals and they have to graze somewhere. Accordingly, the Factory farming also the main driver of the Deforestation of rainforests - and the main reason for the fact that today still People starve must.

Above all, it accelerates the climate change and its consequences. Not only through the energy required for animal transportation and stables and the high water requirements - but also through the methane emissions of the cows. The Federal Environment Agency assumes that dairy cows are responsible for around 14,000 kilotons of CO2 equivalents. 20 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions of German agriculture.₃

Notice: These are just a few ecological reasons to avoid animal products such as cheese. Below "Why vegan?" I will explain all my personal motives.

10. there are more and more plant-based alternatives!

Vegan cheese alternatives are on the rise

Because I was really addicted to cream cheese and the like, I found it difficult to "give up" cheese during my Conversion from vegetarian to vegan comparatively the most difficult. But on closer inspection, it is nowadays really easier than everto do without animal cheese without having to miss out on the taste.

Whether it's hard cheese, cheese spread, cream cheese, shepherd's cheese, mozzarella or sliced cheese - there are now so many purely plant-based alternatives that taste really good! In Munich there is even the First manufactory that exclusively sells vegan cheese - with a constantly growing variety. This is also increasing in traditional supermarkets and organic markets.

So I can as a vegan continue to eat my funghi pizza or pasta casserole with gratinated cheese - just without the animal suffering.

Tip: Incidentally, cashew nuts can also be used to imitate the cheese sauce that many people love so much. No more problems!

Why don't vegans eat cheese? Especially for the animals!

Now you have learned many reasons why vegans do not eat animal cheese. None of them is the taste - because most vegans probably like it too. Rather, it is the background to cheese production and its consequences for humans, animals and the environment. Given the growing range of plant-based cheese alternatives, it is no longer possible to speak of a real renunciation.

I hope that I have been able to clarify the vegan motives for "giving up cheese" and the preference for plant-based cheese slices. Do you have any questions, tips or your own experiences with animal or vegan cheese that you would like to share? Then I look forward to your comment.

Stay animal-friendly,

Christoph from CareElite - Plastic-free living

PS: Have a look around the blog. Learn next, for example, Why vegans do not eat honey.

₁ Birgit Lorbacher: What do cows eat? (as of 20.12.2021), available at [07.06.2022].

₂ UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO); Global land use for food production, available at [11.04.2022].

₃ Engelke, S.W., Daş, G., Derno, M. et al. Milk fatty acids estimated by mid-infrared spectroscopy and milk yield can predict methane emissions in dairy cows. Agron. Sustain. Dev. 38, 27 (2018). [07.06.2022].

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* Links with asterisks are so-called Affiliate linksIf you click on it and buy something, you automatically and actively support my work with, as I receive a small share of the proceeds - and of course nothing changes in the product price. Many thanks for your support and best regards, Christoph!

Christoph Schulz

Christoph Schulz

I'm Christoph, an environmental scientist and author - and here at CareElite I'm campaigning against plastic waste in the environment, climate change and all the other major environmental problems of our time. Together with other environmentally conscious bloggers, I want to give you tips & tricks for a naturally healthy, sustainable life as well as your personal development.

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