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What is Rennet?

Rennet can also be derived from non-animal sources, and in North America, GMO-Microbial rennet is used more often in industrial cheese-making because it is less expensive than animal rennet.

But before you breathe a sigh of relief at the discovery that your favorite dairy cheese or yogurt might not be coagulated with rennet from the stomachs of calves, don’t forget that they are all made with milk – the primary product of the dairy industry – which is the reason these calves are being slaughtered in the first place.

In other words, if you’re an ethical vegetarian who avoids the products of animal slaughter, keep in mind that offering financial support to the dairy industry is essentially agreeing to support the killing of male calves for the production of veal.

However, the good news is that there are many vegan varieties of cheese, yogurt and pudding available on the market, some of which are also suitable for those with soy allergies. And with a little time and effort, you can even make your own! See the links below.

The many long-time vegans living healthy lives are evidence of the fact that human beings can thrive on a varied diet of wholesome and delicious foods from the plant kingdom. Try it today – it’s easy, it’s enjoyable, and it’s the source of ongoing rewards for your body, mind and spirit.

with M Butterflies Katz

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Image: graur razvan ionut /

Read more: Animal Rights, Conscious Consumer, Diet & Nutrition, Food, Pets, Vegan

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Angel Flinn

Angel Flinn is Director of Outreach for Gentle World – a non-profit educational organization whose core purpose is to help build a more peaceful society, by educating the public about the reasons for being vegan, the benefits of vegan living, and how to go about making the transition.


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3:25PM PST on Nov 9, 2013

To lovely d....drinking milk after age 2 years is unnecessary and unhealthy in humans. .we are the only species that does it 'Milk is acidic and breaks down bone structure it hastens osteoporosis .milking cows is a human thing .they are only meant to provide milk to their young then stop and allow the body to heal. Currently man keeps cows pregnant every year and destroys the cows insides Cows are slaughtered after 4 years of being pregnant constantly then having their babies ripped away from them and standing in fecal lined stalls with painful machines attached to their teats 2-3 times per day. Your lies about needing to milk them are an excuse to make you feel better about the pain you cause

12:23PM PST on Nov 27, 2012

This article just scratches the surface of all the animal suffering in the world.
We are all either part of the problem or part of the solution.
Adopting a vegan lifestyle assures that all animals are safe from pain and suffering.
Being vegan assures you that no matter what you read/see that you are no part of it.
Great feeling!

1:45PM PST on Nov 14, 2011

This is a good article. It's important to educate people about exactly what they're eating.

4:23AM PDT on Sep 24, 2011

It's not the fourth but 3rd stomach being used.
Anyway, a cow normally lives 25 years, in the dairy industry, they rarely go over 8 years (& i'm being generous here!!)
Talking about "natural" the most natural substitute milk for humans is not the cow's milk but the horse milk, which is the easiest to digest for human babies. But please remember that in the so called nature a baby eats hir mother's milk, not the one of another animal.

7:29PM PDT on Sep 3, 2011

My thoughts exactly Paul B. Cows are abused almost from the day they are born until the day they are slaughtered by the dairy industry. Even then we go on to wear their skins. Let's hope that what goes around does not come around to bite us one day.

2:39AM PST on Feb 20, 2011

Lovely, I think you will find that most people on here object to (just for a start), separating mother from calf at a few days old, (have you heard the distress cries of mother cows? they go on for days!), "disposal" of male calves into the cruel veal industry, constant re-insemination so the cow is always productive, and, when production falls off, slaughter of the cow, probably for beef soup, and all so we can "enjoy" the substitute for breastfeeding, which has become marginalised as if for misfits! As for causing pain by not milking the cow, excuse me, but in the natural world there would be a calf there to take that milk! Please, Care2, carry on "dissing"!

12:31PM PST on Feb 16, 2011

I do have a problem with your advocacy against the use of milk as if you are killing the cow to get milk?!
Cow milk is the most natural substitute to human milk and everybody should be encouraged to drink it.
I come from a farming community in India and know for a fact that you are causing immense pain to a cow by not milking it.
Please would you stop dissing milk and milk products in your future columns. Thank you.

2:48PM PST on Feb 2, 2011


9:21PM PST on Jan 26, 2011

OMG......I wouldn't eat veal if my life depended on it and now I find I am contributing to this horrible practice because I eat cheese. I could just throw up!

Thank you so much for this article.....gonna cross cheese off my menu.

9:08PM PST on Jan 26, 2011

Yup. This reminded me of the time that I asked my Dad what the heck rennet was and decided to look up in the dictionary when he couldn't give me an answer. Poor baby cow! I'm so staying away from the cheese now.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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