Hi everybody! I just found the site & am new here. I'm a vegetarian with a vegan question. The only animal product I eat is cheese. No meat, eggs, honey, etc. I'm kinda stuck on cheese. I love cheese pizza, and a few other cheese options. I don't have a really strong desire to be 100% vegan, and wanted your thoughts. I'm kinda happy where I am, and am wondering if there's something I'm missing. Thanks.
I have a few suggestions for you to try out. You can make cheeses out of nuts like almond " mozzerella" , you can find videos on youtube for it, I have some recipes if you'd like them just let me know. . Also for things like spaghetti or pizza I use nutritional yeast. It has the cheesy taste but it 100% vegan and it includes a variety of very beneficial vitamins. It is not like the brewers yeast. You can buy it at a health food store or even on Amazon which is where I bought mine.
In support of what Katieerin88 said, the following book has all kinds of recipes to make your own vegan style cheeses, from dry cheese mix to cheese sauce and colby style cheese (I tried them all and the block cheese was good but not exactly like dairy cheese). Some are tofu based, some nut based, a lot of them have nutritional yeast etc.
If you don't want to take the time to make your own, there is a commercial soy free cheese called Daiya which is a HUGE hit for a lot of people. It melts and tastes scarily like real cheese. I have only tried the wedges for grilled cheese and it was amazing. I have not tried the shredded mozerella or chedder but I hear those work great for pizzas. Expensive but if you only use it every few weeks to treat yourself to pizza or whatever it is well worth it.
Finally, if you are not interested in becoming vegan, but are happy where you are, why the need to question yourself and reach out on a vegan site? The fact that you are vegan in every other way makes me think that you want to be fully vegan more than you let on, but it's just my hunch. What sealed it for me was watching Earthlings, Forks Over Knives, and reading books like "Animal Liberation", "Animals as Persons", "The Sexual Politics of Meat", "The Food Revolution", "Why We love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows" etc. I found that my values and my true beliefs align very much with the abolitionist approach to veganism, though not entirely. I can not go back knowing what I know now, and also witnessing first hand and seeing with my own eyes what the inside of a chicken warehouse looks like (specifically a Gold n' Plump chicken warehouse). (I expect the Feds to track me down anytime now lol)
If it is simply addiction to cheese, sometimes it takes a while to wean off, and perhaps you are missing other things in your otherwise vegan diet. Do you feel satiety with other foods? Joy? Energy? Is it calcium or protein you are worried about? Do you eat enough variety? Keep an open mind about food? All of these can be met on a vegan diet. For me the one difficult thing to give up was not cheese but yogurt. The vegan yogurts are good but just not quite the same. But I found that creamy smoothies with frozen banana and protein powder did the trick.
Or maybe you are just not aware of how cheese is made and where the ingredients come from and how those ingredients were acquired. Or maybe you just have a different viewpoint about animals or about organic "humane" dairy products etc. Maybe it is a cultural influence you can not get past. Only you can truly answer deep down where you stand and what is acceptable to you. I have a few family members that really made an honest effort to be fully vegan but simply can not give up certain things and had visible health issues (lost a lot of hair) when they tried to go fully vegan, despite adding a DHA/EPA vegan supplement. They may or may not have made a full effort to do everything possible to ensure they were getting all their nutrients and eating healthy. They did not cook much and maybe were not experienced enough to know how to meet their needs. It's not for me to judge. If a person is doing everything they can in every other way, then that is something right? It's way more than most people bother with.
I went from omnivore to vegan overnight (with a week to wean off yogurt) and that was two years and two months ago. But I have since met many vegetarians and vegans who were vegetarian for years before becoming vegan. It baffles me sometimes but then I was an omnivore for 38 years with no clue before my eyes were opened (I was in recovery from an eating disorder and had begun to explore where my food came from beyond calories/fat grams etc and I had begun to explore the issue of world hunger beyond my own needs which led to learning about veganism). Maybe you just need more time to figure it all out. There are vegetarians who are more health oriented and not so much about ethics who are completely happy with eating dairy and cheese. They tend to also be more accepted by mainstream cultures also.
I hope this was helpful and not harsh because it certainly wasn't meant to be. I know how hard it can be to live in a society where people judge me as a vegan and constanly question my diet and my beliefs, and then there are also vegans, especially a lot of raw ones, who think I don't eat healthy enough and I have to be strong and stand up for where I am right now and what works for me and not let others get me down. This is where I am in my life and it took my whole life to arrive here. I'm not sure that I am content with where I am now but I am doing the best I can at the moment. Best of wishes to you!