« Guest Post: Vegan Christmas (and Thanksgiving!) Tips from Karin Ridgers of VeggieVisionTV | Main | Recipes: Mushroom, Spring Onion & Chilli Vegan 'Omelette' »

November 22, 2012




It's Emzy Mouche! What a great article. I do however have two points to make.

You mention that, "Like most ways in which we use animals for our own purposes." This suggests to me and possibly others who may not know better, that there are are ways to use animals for our own purposes that do not exploit them. Perhaps the word most should be replaced with the word all? (Just a suggestion.)

Secondly that Lactose is a milk sugar and not a milk protein. Gotta keep our facts straight ay?

Anyway, I really loved the post and I won't mind if you delete this comment, because it does criticise your hard work, but please know that I mean no malice.

Love & light xxx

Andrea - Chocolate and Beyond

Thanks Emzy for your comment! And thanks for pointing those out to me - I do of course know that lactose is a milk sugar, eek! A mere slip of the tongue, but I'm glad you mentioned it as I have now corrected. And yes, I think language is important - all ways in which we use animals for our own purposes are exploitative and wrong, not "most".

So I have not deleted your comment as I do not see it as criticism, just being helpful - and I'm glad you made the effort to read my post :)


Excellent and inspirational post!
I have only been vegan for about three weeks now. There is a pizza place that serves a DELICIOUS mozzarella pizza... I was so upset at first at the thought of never having this pizza again. It's the best pizza I ever had. (H-A-D!)

... I thought about "treating" myself to it every month or two rather than giving up such a pleasure. Then I thought a little more and realized this is not something I want to commit to: cruelty.

Fat, pus, and, as I already stated, the cruelty. It's all disgusting and I have given up on the excuses I rationalized to myself for years. I loved cheese but I love compassion and a guilt-free lifestyle much MUCH more! <3

Andrea - Chocolate and Beyond

Thanks so much for your comment Bethany! It is interesting to read what you say as well - how you at first thought you may consider "treating" yourself to cheese occasionally, then realised how this was not right. A taste to us is life to another sentient being, hey? It's wonderful to hear you say you love compassion more than than a taste :)


Excellent advice :) I found fake cheese to be utterly disgusting when I first ate it, though I went from eating cheese almost every day to none at all. After a few weeks you lose all taste for it.
The baked almond feta will forever remain my favourite home-made vegan cheese :)


You're absolutely right about not trying the cheese alternatives right away. I tried the Daiya shredded cheddar cheese on nachos and thought it was gross, at first. Now I've been a little over 9 months vegan and I think it's fantastic. Go figure. It's true that your taste buds seem to change or adapt or something. I find so many foods have more flavour than I remember them having before. My absolute favorite non-dairy cheese is the Daiya havarti-style wedge as well as their shredded cheeses for grilled sandwiches. Mmmmm.

For salads and stirfrys, I really like using the nutritional yeast as a parmesan substitute, and I also add it to all kinds of dishes indiscriminately, it just adds a great flavour!

I'm hoping to try making some nut cheese in the upcoming cold months, fingers crossed!

In the end, though, it all comes down to a cruelty-free life. I didn't think I could give up cheese and I had a round of brie in my fridge for months that I thought I'd eat when I 'broke down' and really needed a cheese fix. I never got there! I ended up throwing it out just last week when I rediscovered it at the back of my fridge. There simply was no justification for the cruelty involved in providing my taste buds with a brief burst of flavour.


Thank you! I am really battling with dairy which I know is so bad for me as I have a lot of sinus problems. However I still have tea twice a day with milk in BUT have changed to juice in my cereal. Your blog has helped me.

Andrea - Chocolate and Beyond

@Maisie - thank so much for your comment and glad you liked the post :) The baked almond feta is certainly one of the best! There is an oat cheese recipe I want to try next - maybe for Christmas!

@Liisah - it seems a lot of people have this experience don;t they? Trying a vegan cheese alternative and then not liking it, but a few months on adapting to the different taste? I'm really glad you never ended up wanting to eat that wheel of brie! Well done and thanks so much for your comment.

@Vanja - I'm really happy that this post has helped you - that is exactly what it is here for :) Hopefully you can manage to switch to non-dairy milk in your tea and experiment a little to see which ones you prefer. I have chronic sinus problems and I have to say, while I still suffer with them occasionally, they are getting to be a lot less the longer I am vegan. The relief from how bas they used to be is incredible! Please do let me know how you get along!


Great article. I was a vegetarian cheese fiend and never thought I'd go vegan. But I took the plunge around 18 months ago and I'm so glad I did. I found out that dairy contains casein, which is a hormone designed to keep calves addicted to their mother's milk. So it's little wonder we think we can't do without it.

Personally I am wary of using too much soy, so I have managed to work out recipes that don't need cheese. I'd certainly recommend veganism, your skin, waistline and heart will thank you. And it's the right thing to do..

Andrea - Chocolate and Beyond

Kirsty thanks so much for your comment. And you are right - once vegan, everything and everyone (humans and nonhumans alike) benefits :)


Great article, Andrea.

I'm from Portugal and it isn't easy being vegan around here. There aren't many vegan alternatives to anything at most stores, you can only find some of them in health food stores (and I mean vegan cheese, not tofurkey or vegan seafood, those you can't find anywhere) and they're extremely expensive. This means I have to make most of them myself. I've tried that vegan ricotta before, and it tastes heavenly. If you mash the tofu it works really well for pizza, and if you purée it instead, it makes the most wonderful spread for sandwiches or toast - I love a tofu spread sandwich with lettuce and tomato.

For those who don't like soya milk (I actually do), I recommend almond milk which tastes heavenly with coffee or tea. Rice milk is good to put on your cereal but not much else (I don't really like the taste - it tastes like the water you cook your rice in).

I used to wish we had all those vegan substitutes I keep reading about, like tofurkey, egg substitutes etc, but now I don't mind going without them as I don't miss turkey nor eggs at all! It's probably better for my health as well, because this way I'm eating less processed/industrialized foods.

It's very hard to eat out though. The vegan community in Portugal is very small so most restaurants don't offer a vegan option, except the vegetarian or ethnic (indian, mexican, chinese) restaurants. Of course I don't mind going to those restaurants, but sometimes people invite me to getogethers or birthday parties or company dinners at regular restaurants and I always end up having to order the salad.

My vegan experience:
Even though it's probably more difficult to be vegan here in Portugal than it is in most countries, I'm glad I made this decision. Torturing animals in order to satisfy my taste buds is criminal. I must confess I wasn't aware of what animals had to endure in order for us to have meat, eggs, milk, cosmetics, and clothing, or I would have gone vegan a LOT sooner. I'm also volunteering at a local shelter and doing some fundraising. I've rescued a few cats and dogs too, and adopted two of them. Doing whatever I can for animals is what makes me happy, I only wish I could do more :)

I'm sorry for the long post and for any grammar mistakes, English isn't my first language :S

Keep up the good work Andrea, I love your blog and your yummy recipes.

Andrea - Chocolate and Beyond

Hi Carolina. Thanks so much for taking the time to write such a thoughtful comment and for letting others know your own experience and your story.

You say you realised that "Torturing animals in order to satisfy my taste buds is criminal" and that is the truth. Even if we do not have as much choice in the foods we have access to, like yourself, it doesn't make it right to treat other sentient beings as our resources. And where can people not find vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and beans?

You are a great example for others. Thank you for sharing :)

The comments to this entry are closed.


  • I'm Andrea, and am obsessed with creating fabulous food. After I managed to ditch dieting, the reason Chocolate and Beyond was born, it seemed natural to evolve my site into a foodie blog. More so since I also ditched animal produce to be vegan. Now, I love showing how inventive cruelty-free cooking can be. And sometimes I like to rant, too. I wouldn't be myself otherwise :) x

    PS. This blog LOVES your comments! Especially about the food!

Food Ads


Become a Fan

Free eBook!



  • mumsnet
  • Top Food Blogs
  • Foodies100 Index of UK Food Blogs
    Morphy Richards
  • This site uses StatCounter