Originally Posted by Sukisumi
Cheese isn't worth this!
p.s. I'm new to the forums so please be kind to me even though I'm a bit of a bumbling idiot at the moment :P
(I'd hope we're kind to you whether or not you're new.
You said it yourself, cheese isn't worth it. Cheese is nothing but FAT, and humans are wired to crave fat. Kinda how we start eating more in the fall to get ready for winter even though there's no practical reason for this. So you may think you can't give up cheese but like anything else, once you're off it for a while, the craving goes away. You keep yourself addicted to it the more you eat it. (Also, consider that cheese is just the fat of moo milk, which is pus and antibiotic filled, and designed for baby cows, not humans. Is that worth it?)
But here's the thing: Why do you want to be vegetarian? If it's at all for the animals, then even if cheese seems like too much to give up, you'll try to, because a preference for eating cheese shouldn't be greater than the suffering of the animals that produced it. We can't motivate you to go veg; we can support you, we can provide facts and stuff, but ultimately, if you don't have the motivation from within, if it doesn't mean enough to you, then you may as well keep eating meat, forget the rennet. Being vegetarian (or even vegan) doesn't have to be hard - we make it hard by clinging to old ways of life or preferences, or discounting something as too hard before trying it. Yes, just read the labels, There are cheeses out there without rennet. Plan shopping trips so you know you'll be able to find the products you need. If you have to, don't walk down the cheese aisle till you're over craving it so strongly.
As for travel, a quick google search of Being Vegetarian In Italy turned up a LOT of links with advice. It's possible. It might be hard work and mean a commitment of time and energy, but it's possible. There's always pasta marinara w/o cheese on it. You recognize you're kind of using these things as excuses not to go all the way just from your tone and 'petty hope' line (you're not a bumbling idiot!) - and that's okay. Change is HARD. Leaving your comfort zone is REALLY hard. But it can be done if you're committed, have good reasons, and recognize baggage for what it is.
Best of luck, you CAN do it! (I used to put Parm on everything, by the way, and now I forget we even own a can of it. It can be done!)
Also, don't jump in to fake cheese. It's not the same and you won't like it. And you don't even need it, since there are good vegetarian cheeses out there.
ETA: I just looked at the can of Kraft Parm in our fridge and it looks vegetarian to me, no rennet, no any other animal trace ing. (Though I'm vegan at home which is why I don't use it.)