Friday, May 18, 2007

Do you eat veal?

You might be and you just don't know it! If you are not eating vegetarian cheese, you are. See, many cheeses are made with the enzyme rennet. Where does rennet come from? It comes from the stomach of a baby cow. Yep, pretty gross. Now, I am not saying I am a vegetarian because I am not. I do however try to be educated in what foods I do eat and I do try to avoid anything that I deem cruel. One of the places I draw the line at is the slaughtering of baby animals. So, I do not eat veal and now I will be more particular about the cheeses I buy.

The story goes that cheese was invented when people used to keep milk in bags made of sheep stomachs. When people began to travel with the milk in these bags, the combination of the agitation and rennet enzyme caused the milk to ferment and coagulate, forming cheese.

Most cheese can also be made with (good) bacteria, and microbial rennet (made from mold). While these methods only came about because the demand for veal calves cannot keep up with the demand for the enzymes used to make cheese, it is good that many major companies are not using veal rennet. Luck us, Kraft cheese, that is made in the US, is vegetarian!

Here is also a list I found of cheeses listed by brand that are vegetarian.

I think I am having a bit of a moral dilema when it comes to eating meat at all. I mean, I do not necessarily think that eating meat is wrong per se. Yet, I am troubled by how animals are treated and try to limit my consumption to companies that I know treat their animals well, whether it is meat, poultry, dairy or eggs. Am I the only one having this moral dilemma?

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Crabby McSlacker said...

Well crap, I didn't know about the rennet thing.

I'm with you--I'd really like to avoid eating things that involve any cruelty to animals. I'm not a vegetarian, but it's worth paying extra money and being extra picky to try to do this. Sure wish our government was more supportive of this and made it easier.

Dawn said...

NZ has recently starting labelling all egg cartons as to whether the hens are caged or free range (or one of the "inbetween" systems). I think it's a great move because it makes you stop and think at the point of sale.

Samantha said...

Yes, I learned this info in one of my nutrition classes and then was reminded again after I ran across it somewhere else.

I think that it is great that people are made more aware of how the animals they are eating are treated. They work so hard for us and give up their lives they deserve more respect.