Mandy Nolan’s Soap Box: Say cheese


Say Cheese

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.

4 responses to “Mandy Nolan’s Soap Box: Say cheese”

  1. Des Bellamy says:

    Well, apparently the child ethicist may be right:

    And you’re right. We don’t sell our bodies for it. But we do sell the bodies of the 700,000 or so male calves who are taken away from their mothers 12 hours after birth and at five days either sent to the slaughterhouse or shot in the head. We don’t get much for them – that’s why they’re called “bobby” calves – they used to fetch a bob (apologies for the lapse into sterling, but “ten-centy” just doesn’t sound the same). We have to kill them because they want the milk, and it’s ours, all ours. We must have it.

    “Not addicted” to a substance that causes such suffering reminds me of those footballers who keep appearing on TV saying “I drink every day, but I’m not an alcoholic”.

  2. Kathleen says:

    Im not ready to be a Breatharian quite yet. If we were to believe the “ethics” of what we eat, combined with whats “good” for us. There wouldnt be a darn thing left!

    Love what you eat, and eat what you love.

    Bring on the cheese!

  3. Dr Whoo says:

    Hilarious, as usual, Mandy!! I too have a vegan daughter. Sigh.

  4. june says:

    The words “cheese is as addictive as heroin!” have definitely come out of my mouth and you’re right, it’s an unfair and untrue comparison. But it was two full years before I stopped craving cheese every day so there’s no doubt in my mind of it’s addiction. I gave in one day and had a small slither of brie (my old favourite). It was DISGUSTING (apparently your taste buds change a lot depending on the food you eat) and while a small part of me was devastated to have really lost my old love – truely, I did LOVE cheese – the cravings faded quickly after. Which is nice for the baby cows Des mentioned above.

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