It would definitely be easier, more convenient to be a vegetarian, rather than a vegan, sometimes. And I will admit I miss cheese more than meat. But something that started out about me, then about the world in which I live, has ended up being about animals.
I've always thought of myself as an "animal lover". For most of my life I've shared my home with dogs. I've even met a few cats that I like. But for a long time I never thought about being against cruelty to animals, and being part of a system that is nothing but cruel.
Factory farming has given animals less space, often keeping them indoors their entire lives. It has shown little regard for their welfare, or for that matter, the consumer's welfare, using barbaric means to move sick or "downer" animals into the food chain to save their profits. And ultimately, no matter the quality of their existence, animals have their very lives ended for our pleasure.
Some would reason that continuing to consume dairy is "kinder" than eating meat. But if you look at dairy production, you'll see it's anything but kind. First, what could be more painful to a mother than having her newborn ripped from her only hours after birth? But a dairy cow's milk is a product, not to be wasted on her young. Male calves are often stuffed into veal crates, sealing their fate to a completely miserable, and mercifully short life. Females face the same sad lives as their mothers.
Dairy cows are repeatedly inseminated to become pregnant again and again, so they'll keep producing milk. They have become replaceable parts in the factory, and when they are "spent" after only a fraction of their natural life expectancy, they are sent to slaughter as well.
Undercover videos show workers abusing animals in deplorable conditions. That is what factory farming is! That is what it does! If you want to continue to consume dairy, take time to watch what happens on a dairy farm. At least be an educated consumer. But, if you are open to taking a step, let it be this one. Ditch dairy.
If you can't give up cheese just yet, how about starting with milk? Their are many wonderful substitutes: "milk" made from almonds, coconut and soy. Their are some dairy free cheeses too, and they're getting better all the time. If you can't give it up, how about cutting down? Every little bit helps if we do it together.
If you want a glimpse into the dairy industry, please read this:
Grace was treated like trash