10 Disturbing Reasons To Never Eat Cheese

By Adriane Marie •  Updated: 11/07/22 •  7 min read

How is cheese bad for you? It won’t be worth a brief moment of melted enjoyment after knowing these surprising consequences of cheese!

how is cheese bad

1. Cheese Isn’t Vegetarian.

I was vegetarian for over a decade. During that time I chose to willfully ignore what I already knew and kept the fact that cheese isn’t even vegetarian conveniently tucked away in the back of my mind. Cheese isn’t technically vegetarian because it’s produced with rennet, an enzyme obtained from the stomach linings of slaughtered newborn claves. I occasionally found cheeses on the market labeled ‘vegetarian’, indicating they are rennet-free. But even vegetarian cheese comes with guilt because if you support the dairy industry, you also support the meat industry.
*See #4 for more on this.

2. Cheese Contains Antibiotics.

Why are there antibiotics in cheese?

Farmers give cows loads of antibiotics to keep them from getting sick, spreading disease, needing expensive treatment and dying before slaughter— in other words: profit-loss prevention. Illness occurs among livestock more than ever nowadays since cows live in such unnatural, crowded, confined and contaminated conditions. Furthermore, dairy cows are over-milked which leads to udder infections and creates additional need for antibiotics.

Ok, well who cares about antibiotics? Wouldn’t that keep me from getting sick?

No. Consuming antibiotics unnecessarily leads to antibiotic resistance. That means the next time you get sick and go to the doctor, the medications prescribed won’t work as well considering your level of dairy-induced antibiotic tolerance. Antibiotic resistance means feeling sicker than normal, longer than normal.

3. Cheese Contains Hormones.

Since sex hormones are part of animals, any animal derived product will also contain such hormones. Effects include growth promotion related to sex steroids and carcinogenic effects. No thanks!

In addition to naturally occurring animal hormones we should also be concerned about artificial hormones.

Why do farmers inject cows with hormones?

Reasons livestock animals are injected with hormones:

4. Cheese Means Baby Calf + Mother Cow Must Separate.

Cheese is made from milk. And where does milk come from? Female cows that are continuously stuck in a cycle of artificial insemination, pregnancy and giving birth to baby calves like machines so their bodies will produce milk. Once born, baby cows and their mothers are separated in order for farmers to take the milk. Meanwhile, the baby calf must drink formula but will more go to the slaughter house for veal production. As you can empathize, the experience is quite traumatic for these feeling, sentient beings who wail in distress as mother cow and baby are torn apart and continue to cry and search for one another. Eventually, female cows will also go to the slaughterhouse once they can no longer give birth and stop producing milk.

5. Cheese Often Causes Acne.

Don’t be surprised if your adult acne vanishes in no time after giving up cheese! Cutting dairy out of your diet can improve skin texture, skin tone and even improve skin conditions like rosacea. I personally noticed a dramatic difference in my skin a few short weeks after ditching dairy for good.

6. Cheese Often Causes Bloating + Gas.

The expression who cut the cheese? is all too relevant. Many don’t realize how unnecessarily bloated and gassy they’ve been until going cheese-free. A more peaceful digestion, flatter stomach and less flatulence are all positive aspects of cutting dairy out all together. Stop eating cheese and you’ll be kinder to your body…and others around you.

7. You’re Likely Allergic To Cheese.

For many regions around the world, particularly Eastern cultures, dairy consumption wasn’t really a thing until the Western diet and cheesy Big Mac’s entered the picture. Many people aren’t physically equipped with genetics that evolved to tolerate animal milk consumption. Regardless of ethnicity or upbringing, if you don’t have a full-blown allergy to milk (one of the most common food allergens in the world), it’s likely you’re still intolerant to some degree. You may not have immediate vomiting, diarrhea, hives, etc. but slowly over time cheese will take its toll on the body and intolerance will show itself in all sorts of undesirable ways.

8. Cheese Causes Weight Gain.

Cheese is fatty. But it’s your favorite food? Join the club. Many of us LOVE cheese because it has seriously addictive properties. Ever find yourself finishing an entire pizza not meant for one? Shredding too much parmesan on top of your pasta? Late night cravings for cheddar slices in the fridge? It may seem impossible to stop eating cheese but once you quit for good, like many other addictions the cravings will eventually stop.

9. Cheese Is Unsustainable.

It takes 13.5 CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of cheese, a car driving equivalent of 31 miles or 50 kilometers, a relatively a high carbon footprint when compared to other foods.

It takes 5,060 liters of water used to produce 1 kilogram of cheese / 606 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of cheese, a relatively moderate water footprint compared to other foods.

Cheese production is also destructive in terms of the land usage cattle need for pasture, their toxic solid waste (excrement/manure), deforestation for animal feed and an overall intense consumption of our beautiful planet’s resources.

10. Cheese Is High In Saturated Fat And Salt.

Cheese is widely touted as a great source of protein and calcium. Not surprisingly, the dairy industry (valued around $720 billion USD) is often the voice shouting such claims. The industry won’t be so quick to advertise the fact that too much cheese (and that’s easy to do!) leads to clogged arteries, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease/heart disease. Why risk it? Get your protein and calcium from plant sources and cut out the cow.

But cheese is still my favorite food! Vegan cheese, that is. In the past not only was vegan cheese hard to find but it was absolutely disgusting. It’s incredible how the taste, texture and availability of vegan cheese has progressed in the last few years alone. If you haven’t tried vegan cheese in a while, it might be time to give it another chance!

The best vegan cheese brands in 2022


1. Violife

The Violife range is free from dairy, preservatives, casein, lactose, gluten, nuts and soy. Coconut oil based + fortified with B12.

2. Daiya

The industry leader in plant-based foods. Available at more than 25,000 grocery stores across North America and internationally.

3. Miyoko’s

Founded on the principle of compassion for all living beings. On a mission to craft dairy products we all love, 100% from plants.

4. Field Roast

Crafts daring plant-based meats and cheeses from flavorful selections to mouth-watering recipes.

5. Treeline

Sells all kinds of vegan cheeses including goat cheese, slices + shreds, cream cheese, soft French-Style and aged artisanal cheese.

6. Kite Hill

Award-winning plant-based yogurts and cheeses, to delicious pastas, dips and even food for kids.

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how is cheese bad

FINAL NOTE: Too often we have an ‘out of sight out of mind’ attitude when it comes to important topics, food perhaps being the most common to overlook. People have eaten cheese for ages and it tastes delicious. There’s no denying that. But as we now know with research, science, statistics and facts: cheese is not good for animals, people or the planet. Will you choose to indulge in quick pleasure that causes so much pain? The choice is always yours.

To get the full run-down on cheese sustainability, animal welfare, nutrition and more check out HEALabel’s ethical consumer profile on cheese.

Check out this: 2022 Dairy Ingredients And Dairy Substitutes List

Adriane Marie

Hi, I'm Adriane, creator of HEALabel! I organize info for you to comprehensively see how purchases impact health, environment, animals and laborers. Stay aware because you care! Subscribe below to get my weekly newsletter with tips, new info and other ethical consumer insight.

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