05 November 2013

A Farewell to Cheese

One of the challenges I've had transitioning to a vegan lifestyle has been giving up cheese. Milk was easy (I've never really liked the taste of cow's milk), eggs were easy (I don't really like eggs, either), but cheese was difficult. I liked cheese. I put it in and on a lot of dishes, and it made the transition to vegetarianism easier.

But, to me, vegetarianism isn't enough. I've seen how dairy cows are treated, and (worse) how the calves are treated that are ripped from their mothers. Remember: cows have to have babies to provide milk, just like humans.

It was that thought that has helped me take cheese out of my diet. In fact, I don't even have a taste for it anymore. All I can do is imagine what the cows have to go through to give me something that has no real nutritional value and I just didn't want it anymore.

I'm finding that the vegan recipes I'm making (and, in some cases, making up) are even more delicious than the cheesy meals I made when I ate animal products. Instead of cheese, I taste all the other flavors that go into the meals.*

But I just don't want cheese anymore.

And I've discovered that I feel so much better after meals with no animal products or by-products than I ever did when I was an omnivore. I feel full, but it's not a bloated, icky, I-want-to-take-a-nap-now full. I feel good. Healthy. Better.

I thought it would take me longer to give up cheese. I really thought that would be the food that I clung to. I thought I'd have to buy vegan cheeses for a long time to get over the desire for that flavor in my food.

But I'm kind of over it. The new recipes I'm making a way yummier, and that flavor isn't worth the pain and suffering that occurs to get it.**

Cheese-free, y'all!

Oh, and happy World Vegan Month!

*This is not to say I only made meals with cheese before. But a lot of the cheesy recipes I have/know are easy, and when you've had a long day, they're the go-to meals. Plus, the kids like them because cheese.

**Please don't think I'm the type of vegan who judges people who eat animal products. I'm not. For my conscience, I can't do it, but everyone has to decide for themselves what's best for their bodies and lives. No judgment here.

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