“What? No cheese?!” By Dina Aherne

Dina is an animal rights activist based in Leicester who regular talks at vegan festivals and events about the cruelty involved in the dairy industry. You can follow her page, Imperfectly Vegan, on Facebook.

So you’ve taken the Great Vegan Challenge! Perhaps you’re only a few days into the challenge or perhaps a few weeks –  you deserve a personal thank you for opting for compassion over suffering!


It’s natural to get cravings, especially when you’re new to veganism. You’ve most likely been consuming animal products for all of your life! Craving cheese is definitely a common one! Have you tried Violife cheese though? What about Sheese? Oh and then there’s The Vegan Kind Mozzarisella classic & Tyne Chease Cashew Truffle!

Sainsbury’s free-from cheddar-style with chives is delicious! The Naturally Vegan Food Company smoked vegan cheese ball is just something else! Then there’s Tesco’s free from soft cheese too! Go on, give those a try! Don’t forget – plant based milks are in abundance! There’s Oat milk – great in coffee! Almond milk is nice in cereals & then there’s good old soya! In terms of cakes & biscuits – most supermarkets have a huge range nowadays! The Co-op apple crumble is amazing!

Why | How | What’s next?

It’s sometimes easy to forget why we choose to go vegan, especially when temptations kick in & others around us are perhaps not there yet! Oftentimes we carry on with our eating habits because that’s all we know & it’s part of habit & culture! Let’s not forget why you chose to try the vegan challenge: perhaps it was because you found out that a dairy cow has to be artificially inseminated to produce milk; perhaps it was because you found out that a mother cow often will be separated from her calf so that her milk can be sold onto supermarkets; perhaps you realised that a dairy cow’s lifespan is significantly reduced in the dairy industry. There are so many reasons to go vegan. It is really the least we can do for the animals, the planet & our health! Every consumer has a choice. A vote that they make if you like. You’ve chosen to vote for kindness & compassion. Thank you!

Did you know…?
Cows bellow for their calves| Calves are fed artificial milk replacement | Male calves are often killed for veal

The dairy industry is one of the cruelest industries around. The cow is legally classed as property & the farmer’s only real interest in the cow & calf is financial. Once a cow is ‘spent’, she is sent to be slaughtered.



See the Great Vegan Challenge as a journey. See it as a way of exploring new ways of cooking & living your life. There is so much support available on the Internet & social media. You’re definitely not alone!