Becoming Vegan: Living, Laughing and Loving Without Dairy

Dairy-Free Paleo Tomato Tart “I could never give up dairy,” they say. All of them. From the grey-hairs in church basements peddling mushroom-creamed casseroles to the receding-hairs eating nachos and pounding beers from the cheap seats.

People love their damn cheese.I get it. Think back to your childhood. Did you ever eat a vegetable untainted by dairy? “Raw” meant ranch-covered, and “cooked” meant butter and/or cheese-covered.

We grow up consuming dairy in a way that makes other foods seem like a cheese shovel. I can say first-hand that it doesn’t have to be that way. I resisted cutting back on dairy, and it was a slow process to cut it out completely, but I did, and so can you.

Cut the cheese

You’ll resist in the beginning. If cheese removal was at the urging of another, you’ll resist with a fury that would be admirable if you were fighting social injustice or for the rights of woman and man (mostly woman).

The walls will shake and the dog will cower in his chosen furniture cave as you scream about the weeks of imaginary meal plans you’ll have to tear up. Tacos?! Pizza?! Burgers?! Grilled cheese?! Life will never be the same.

Lol, cow’s milk

There is no civilized way to drink milk. Sanitizing the experience by pouring milk from a cartoon-covered carton doesn’t make up for the fact that you’re suckling at the teat of a 1,500-pound beast.

If you find that to be a weak argument, you’re right, because it’s a dumb joke, but it doesn’t strip the truth from the legitimate reasons dairy will destroy your body or why you can’t believe studies about the benefits of milk.

This is an intellectually fraught area. Clean science is hard to come by, especially when big anything is involved (in this case big dairy), but I try to strip it down into two simple arguments:

  1. How do you feel when you eat dairy?
  2. Why would humans need the milk of another animal? No other creature does this.

And thus, we return to the original point: The teat you suckle matters.

Is it worth it? If you work it

My suggestion is to do your own research. Doing so means starting with your own body. How do you feel? Right now. Good? Bad? What did you eat last? All the science in the world won’t make up for knowing your own body.

If you feel gross, change your habits. Maybe you’ll decide that life is too short to not eat cheese, or maybe you’ll decide life’s too short to feel like garbage.

The only thing you can do is make a choice that makes sense for you, but if you’re worried about getting the nutrients from milk, please note that calcium, the face of milk health benefits, is abundant in other foods.

You’ll have to work at it if you choose to cut out dairy. It’s not easy. We’ve been conditioned to consume dairy our whole lives, but I found it’s also one of the best food groups to reconsider if you don’t feel well.

So how do you stop eating dairy? More to come in part 2. There will be pizza.

Want some dairy-free recipes? You’ve come to the right place! Every recipe on this site is dairy free. If you’re looking for the best dairy-free alternatives, we’ve got that too.

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