Nothing ruffles the feathers of a conventional meat-eating family more than when one of your kids decides to be vegan. And it’s not just the issue of separate meal preparation, or the death by salad. It’s the constant bombardment of vegan propaganda.
While sipping on her soy latte and observing me make sandwiches my darling food activist pipes up: ‘Did you know that cheese is as addictive as illicit drugs?’ This strange piece of anti-lactose rhetoric is ludicrous. ‘Really?’ I say. Well wrap me in Alfoil and call me a cheese wheel!
This may come as a shock to cheese detractors everywhere, but the internet is not a credible source of information about the harmful effects of cheese consumption. So in defence of cheese I consider my rather cheesy argument… I will accept that cheese blocks your arteries, creates more mucus and that ethically and environmentally perhaps the use of animals for food is questionable and in the long term not sustainable. If we want to cut down on our carbon footprint then we should all be eating carrot sticks and kale. I know that. I accept that.
But we are not talking food ethics here. We are talking about the addictive qualities of aforementioned caseus. (That’s latin for cheese, dickhead.) There is a big difference between ‘addictive’ and ‘sustainable’. I would suggest that cheese is not actually addictive; it is in fact, simply, delicious. I guess if you’re into opiates you’ll probably chime in with ‘heroin is delicious’.
But unlike heroin, cheese is not a Class A drug. As far as I know, no-one has ever sold their body for haloumi. Bikies do not go on interstate cheese runs. Cheese lovers don’t hock their DVD to score some skanky blue-vein. A week-long bender on brie will not see you hit rock bottom. Child Protection don’t turn up because your cheese addiction has caused you to neglect the kids. You don’t book into rehab to get off Persian feta. Your first thought on waking every day is not ‘how will I get parmesan today?’
A cheese lover’s life doesn’t revolve around the getting and eating of camembert. When you acquire cheese you buy it at Woolies; you don’t go to a park to meet a bloke in tracksuit pants and score it. Cheese production does not fund the Taliban. Cheese dealers don’t require cheese mules to lodge baby edams up their bums so as to smuggle illegal dairy through customs to sate the desire of the cheese market. You won’t be executed for strapping cheese to your body. People will just avoid you.
Cheese makers hang in wine bars, not cartels. No-one has ever made a TV series about cheese. Breaking Bad’s Heisenberg would lose its kudos if he were cooking up bacteria instead of meth. You can eat too much cheese, but you won’t actually suffer from an OD requiring an agent that reverses the effect of cheese. Cheese eating doesn’t change your behaviour – you don’t nod off, scratch, or talk with a strange gravelly voice.
Cheese doesn’t make you lie to your mother. Eating cheese does not make you feel like you’ve been kissed by God and then hours later like you’ve been fucked over by Satan. Loving cheese is not a disease. It’s a personality type. I guess, like drugs, there is hard cheese and soft cheese, but in my opinion cheese is more of a gateway drug to heavier stuff like a champagne and Sauv Blanc.
I’m not wearing this ‘cheese is evil’ rubbish because after years of cheese addiction I know that sweet dreams are made of cheese. The vegan has lost interest and left. Lactose addiction isn’t an addiction, it’s a discheese.