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I heard that there are foods that contain enzymes that come from slaughtered animals. Should I only worry about cheese? I'm not sure how to tell. I'm a little worried about my shopping choices being narrowed down too haha. Anyhow I'm looking to learn.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/grin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":D">
 

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Yes, cheese sometimes contains an ingredient called "rennet" or "enzymes" which may be derived from the stomach's of slaughtered cows. Unfortunately, in the US, there is no difference in the label of cheese that contains vegetarian (or microbial) rennet and animal rennet. Some specialty natural food stores, organic food stores, and Trader Joe's have cheese that is better-labeled, so you may want to try shopping at some place like that.
 

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You can also find out which cheeses have rennet by writing to the company or by visiting the company's website. Most domestically produced cheese in the US use vegetable or microbial enzymes instead of animal-based rennet, but not all.<br><br>
As far as enzymes in other products, <a href="http://www.vrg.org/ingredients/index.php#enzyme" target="_blank">the Vegetarian Resource Group</a> says they are typically vegetarian. Again, you could write to the company if you want to be totally sure.
 

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it's easier to avoid cheese altogether <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/grin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":D">
 

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There's two ways to go about veg*nism. One way gained a lot of popularity through the nineties and involves nitpicking over ever-expanding lists of ingredients, and excluding more and more people from being in the community through "exposing inconsistencies".<br><br>
There's another way to go about being an advocate for farmed animals, though. A way that's more inclusive and less exclusive. That way involves excluding the obvious animal products but rather than pushing people away, expanding the umbrella by advocating for animals in an honest way. You're already sparing most of the animals you can spare through dietary changes by not eating chickens. Rather than aiming for an elusive ideal of purity, why not help educate others about the treatment of those animals? That's how I choose to use my energy as a veg*n.
 

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Obviously not everyone is ready to give up cheese right away. There are resources on the Internet that have lists of vegetarian-friendly cheeses, but you can always call the company if you can't find out from someone else's research.
 
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