I love cheese.
I was that girl in a staff meeting in college eating a full loaf of french bread and a block of extra-sharp cheddar cheese from Tillamook. Oh, and a honeycrisp apple to round it out. And maybe coffee. I’m clearly part French, no?
At any rate, this whole cheese debacle has turned my world upside down in the span of 48 hours. I simply cannot let it go. I have been scouring the internet furiously trying to find a justification for WHY they separate mothers and calves at 1-2 hours old (or, maybe 24-48 if they’re lucky). I could find ZERO reason to benefit the animal (other than some clearly bollocks answer saying “oh, a calf drinking from the cow’s dirty teat can cause infections,”…and my question would be…um…why are you keeping the cow’s teat so dirty AND what about wild animals…they’re just fine nursing their young).
IF I could find a dairy that siphons off some of the milk, while still allowing the mother to nurse her calf during the day, much like what we imagine from the idyllic old days of family farming and using that milk to feed ONE family, I think I would be okay with that. But even the certified humane label that I’ve begun researching is somehow okay with mothers being separated from their young. I’m not okay with it. I am okay with death being a part of the natural life cycle, and if harvesting meat in the most humane way possible is our human way of doing what a lion or wolf would do, at this point I am okay with it. I’m leaving room for that to change, but I simply cannot let this go.
But, I love cheese.
And ice cream.
But mostly cheese.
I’m starting with that, because it’s something I can see with my eyes. And when I see that slice of cheese and say no to it, I will be thinking of that baby cow…
So today I tried it out. I went to Panera and ordered my favorite tomato/mozzarella panini without the mozzarella. It was yummy and I didn’t miss the cheese. I stopped by Trader Joe’s and got some alternative dairy products.
I’m daunted by the whole topic. It feels like I’m face a vast ocean of sadness that I can’t make a dent in, but I hope to try.