When I decided to be vegan, I knew that the hardest part would be the cheese. I didn't eat too much meat, but I was addicted to cheese and everything with milk. Cheddar, mozzarella, cream cheese, milk with chocolate, ice cream, etc. But I always loved cheese. But, as everybody knows, being vegan is a matter of choice. Choose between eat without cruelty or eat because of the taste is one of the choices we must do. And I chose being vegan.
Of course it wasn't that easy, but it was worth it. And I got used to eat things with no cheese (or milk) and I was happy with my decision. I think if you're vegan and you're not fine with this, you continue suffering because what you don't eat, you should think again about everything. So, my life was like that for many years. Years without cheese.
One time a friend that went to Europe gave me a piece of vegan cheese. It was the first time I ate cheese in 5 or 6 years. And it was awesome! Sometimes people ask “Why do you want to eat something with the taste of something you don't eat?”. It's simple to me: I'm not vegan because of the taste of food. There are a lot of food that is really good, but I'm always putting it behind my choice. Being vegan is more important. So, if there is a food that tastes good – yes, even like cheese – and that is vegan, I will love it! So, I was really happy to try my first peace of vegan cheese.
After that, I stayed other years with no cheese. And it was fine too. In 2004 I went with my husband to Europe and could eat different kinds of vegan cheese in London. I was like a small child with candies. Couldn't stop eat them! I remember that when I came back to Brazil I wrote an article for a newspaper called “Alice in Wonderland”. Of course, it was about me being in Europe. And here I am, again. And, yes, I still feel like I am Alice in Wonderland. In Dublin they have basically all vegan products made in U.K., so it's really easy to find vegan stuff. If I eat cheese everyday? Yes, I do. Not everyday, but almost. It's so great I can eat cheeseburger, lasagna, sandwiches with cream cheese, etc. The only food I think that is really perfect even without cheese is pizza. I love the marinara pizza (you can read more about pizza here). Of course I want to try a margherita pizza some day, but I'm fine with the options we have here.
Well, living in this heaven of vegan cheese, I thought I was a little bit crazy being so happy with a small thing like that, but these last days I realized something: all my vegan friends in Brazil are crazy about vegan cheese too. Every time I'm chatting with somebody I read “When you come to Brazil, could you bring me some (vegan) cheese?”. Nothing about clothes, or perfumes, or CDs, or vinyls... Just (vegan) cheese!
So, I have to say that (Brazilian) vegans are happier with (vegan) cheese in their lives. Should I start to sell them instead of being a journalist? I think it would be like selling Brazilian beans here ;-)