Vegetarian cheese is cheese that is not curdled with
rennet, an enzyme that occurs naturally in animal stomachs.
Most vegetarian cheeses are curdled with either plants,
fungi, or bacteria.
Vegetarians who do not consume cheese with rennet
generally choose not to because it involves slaughtering
animals to extract the enzymes.
Vegetarian cheese is hard to distinguish from cheese made
with rennet. This lack of distinguisability often forces
vegetarians who are ethically-opposed to harming animals
to consume cheeses that contain rennet.
Even though more cheeses are being made with vegetable
rennet, it is usually impossible to spot the difference,
unless the package is clearly labeled “vegetarian cheese.”
Recently, some grocery stores have started doing this
to aid vegetarian shoppers, who would not otherwise be
able to distinguish the difference between the vegetable
and animal rennet cheeses.
In addition to eating cheeses made with vegetable rennet,
there are more alternatives to eating regular cheese.
Vegans, for instance, do not consume cheese at all because
it is an animal byproduct and subsequently requires animals
to be caged and suffer. Many vegans, however, do
consume cheese substitutes.
Chreese (www.chreese.com) is one of these substitutes.
Chreese is an all natural, non-soy, cheese replacement
that requires substantially less natural resources
and energy to create than cheese with rennet.
And chreese is just one substitute. There are a number
of other all natural alternatives you can find
at local organic and health food stores.
If you are a vegetarian and you don’t support animal
suffering on your behalf in any capacity, you may
also want to consider adjusting your dietary habits
if you consume cheese made with animal rennet.
To reiterate, you have three basic options: you can
look for grocery stores that label vegetarian cheese;
you can purchase vegetarian cheese online; or you can
purchase cheese alternatives online or at your local
organic or health food store.