We were having a discussion on the JainVegans group and Trisha sent a message about why cheese can never really be vegetarian. It’s short, clear and logical.
Making cheese doesn’t involve any direct slaughter, but a dairy farm is part of a larger agricultural system.In order for a sheep (or any mammal) to lactate, she has to give birth first. From this new generation, only half, at most, will be those who will be milked, (the ewes). What happens to all the little ram lambs? Some go on to “stud”, but most will just end up being killed for their flesh.
In addition, even many of those who will be milked end up as “food” when they are no longer productive.
People may like to view this site which gives a very interesting look into “free range” etc and a interesting look into the secrets and horrors of the milk and the associated industry- the veal industry – Humane Myth http://www.humanemyth.org
Farmers in small operations do not allow animals to live out their natural life because it is unprofitable. Dairy farming involves a great deal of meat production.
So, cheese can never be vegetarian because it leads to the indirect slaughter of animals for their flesh.