In July of 2015, after 20 years of running a goat dairy farm and an award-winning cheese company, Carol and Julian Pearce decided to go vegan. The owners of The Sanctuary at Soledad Goats in California announced that they would stop breeding goats for dairy and would begin producing dairy-free cashew cheeses instead.
In an interview, the couple had the following to say when asked why they’d decided to start making plant-based cheese after 20 years of producing award-winning goat’s milk cheese:
“We decided that we could not be a rescue and bring so many more babies into the world each year as well… We have always treated our animals with love and gentleness. Anybody who visits the farm can see that. But being a dairy farm at all is still adding to the problem. We don’t want to be part of the problem, we want to be part of the solution… Now, by not breeding, we can save animals from cruelty, not compound it by bringing more into the world.[So now] our cheese is made of nuts and milk obtained from the nuts. We are replicating the quality of cheese that we have been successful in producing with the goat’s milk—smooth texture, fresh ingredients… and made in the artisanal way with care, consistency, and passion. So far, our samples have been very well received with many people telling us that they will continue to purchase our products in the plant-based form. This is so very encouraging to us.”
In addition to caring for the goats in their former dairy herd, the Pearces rescue abused, abandoned and neglected goats, cows, horses, pigs, chickens, ducks, dogs and cats. Their plant-based cheeses are available to U.S. customers for online ordering at the sanctuary website.