Mary Martin wonders if her readers have some advice for helping a vegetarian friend go vegan. Her hang-up is cheese. She just loves cheese (Mary’s friend, not Mary).
How many times have you heard that before? “I’d go vegan except I just love cheese too much.” The answer is simple: get that far. If someone says they can’t give up cheese, tell them to forget about the cheese, work on everything else. They can probably stop eating pigs, cows, chickens, and fish. So get that far. Become a lacto-vegetarian.
Then later, bring up the cheese again. Most people change gradually, not quickly. So if they’re not ready to go 100% vegan overnight, help them ease into veganism slowly. Once they’ve gotten to the stage where they’re almost vegan, they just need to stop eating cheese, you can give them suggestions.
Here are my suggestions for overcoming cheese:
- Read The China Study. The health argument against dairy products is strong. It helped convince me to ditch dairy for good.
- Remind yourself that cheese is very similar to butter – it’s mostly fat and if consumed, should be consumed in very small amounts. That can help you wean yourself off.
- You can order vegan “cheese” products online and have them shipped if you don’t have a store that sells vegan “cheeses.” For blue cheese and gouda, I’d suggest the brand Shreese. For mozzarella I suggest the brand Teese. For feta I recommend the brand Sunergia.
- Give it up cold turkey. It’s a bad habit like smoking.
- Don’t be too hard on yourself at first. If you slip up, it’s fine, just get back on the wagon.
- I’ve heard the book, “Breaking the Food Seduction” by Dr. Neal D. Barnard is good for this purpose. He talks about addictive foods: sugar, chocolate, and… cheese! Many vegans tell me it helped them stop eating cheese.
And of course, there’s the humane discussion. Mary says, “Sending her to HumaneMyth won’t necessarily help, but I suppose it can’t hurt.” Likewise, HumaneFacts could be persuasive. Or videos like these ones:
What are your thoughts? How did you give up cheese? What would you say to someone who says, “I’d go vegan except I just love cheese too much.”