A day with cheesemakers and an evening with a cheese-inspired meal
I feel quite conflicted about cheese. On the one hand I know it's nearly as bad in so many ways as meat, worse in terms of ghg emissions than chicken, that dairy cows burp as much methane as beef ones and use as much land and resources, that dairy is often more cruel than beef - round here (in Brittany) I see beef calves long at foot in family groups in woodsy green fields, while at our most local, organic, small scale, artisan cheese maker/dairy farmer (lovely people, lovely cheese), sad, separated, calves in pens suck on anything they can find (fences, bucket handles, fingers...) while the whey from their mothers' milk goes to the pigs around the corner.
But still I find it very hard to walk past his stall on the market, with its rounds of the most luscious, creamy soft rind cheeses (remarkably inexpensive too, as they only bring it themselves from a couple of km away) or indeed that of the Italian deli man, where the great hunks of parmesan and pecorino, big wooden drums of oozing gorgonzola, huge wedges of perfectly holed, almost translucent Emmental and Gruyere, and the rest, seem to me to have the same awe-inspiring beauty and cultural and historical richness and resonance as any landscape or work of art or architecture! I buy olives and sun-dried tomatoes and fresh gnocchi and pasta, and occasionally succumb to a morsel of cheese, or even a few 'chutes' of ham and sausage to sprinkle like spice on my mostly plant-based dishes, all the while knowing that this ain't how we're going to be able to feed 8 billion people. Sigh.
I go on reading people like you, whom I appreciate very much, and trying to educate myself, at least to be aware of my cognitive dissonance.