Mar 14, 2012

Fact Sheet: Dairy Cheese

Dairy cheese is made by, basically, allowing milk to curdle and then curing it in a variety of different ways to add different flavours and textures.  This cheese contains a variety of different chemicals and hormones.  It is a concentration of all of the ones found in dairy as it takes about 10 pounds of milk (4.5kg) to make 1 pound of cheese (0.45kg).  One reason that many people find it hard to 'quit cheese' is because of the opiate effect of the casomorphins which are found in milk, but whose affects are exacerbated in cheese.

Cheese by jtuason

Most dairy cheese available commercially in Australia has rennet in it.  Rennet is taken from the stomachs of baby cows and used to help it curdle.  There are a few rennet-free dairy cheeses available, however as we know, the dairy industry supports the deaths of 700,000 calves a year.  These calves are allowed to be starved for 48 hours before being sent off to be killed.

Calf by photogrammer1
Dairy cheese is known for not being the most healthy food you could eat; many people only eat small amounts because of this.  It contains a high percentage of fats and cholesterol, both of which people do not need in excess. A person could be led to think that cheese has a lot of things that they can't get anywhere else, however all the vitamins (A, B12 and more) and minerals (calcium, zinc and phosphorous) can be found from other more ethical sources.

Vegetable stand by comprock

If you really do enjoy cheese, why not try some healthy, cruelty-free alternatives?  The Vegan Store has a big range, you can find Tofutti cream cheese and cheese slices at the supermarket or you can try to make your own.  There are more available than I have just listed, feel free to try them all and find a favourite that is better for you and the cows!

Cow by vietor

Please note that I have only discussed the treatment of cows in the dairy industry and the composition of cow cheese.  I have not yet had a chance to research cheese from goats or sheep.

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