I have a friend who is a vegan and for some reason she, and many other people, seem to call Vegan cheese Gary.

Why is vegan cheese nicknamed Gary though? Where did this come from?

I am from the UK by the way, so this may be only applicable to the UK.

1 Answer 1


This started as a reaction to a rant from one dairy lover who was offended by vegan cheese being called cheese. Excerpt from the rant suggesting the vegan cheese being called Gary:

"Call it Gary or something just don't call it cheese because it's not cheese!"

The relevant part of the rant as an image is here.

enter image description here

The internet responded and so did the real world. Facebook page called 'It's not Vegan Cheese, it's Gary' has started and it collects humorous images and memes about vegan cheese being Gary.

enter image description here

Some supermarkets follow the trend as well - for example Sainsbury's (a grocery shop for those that are not from the UK) launched this ad on Facebook:

enter image description here

So vegan cheese is called Gary because of one particular non-vegan having first-world problems about the implication of it being cheese.

  • Also, this blatantly ignores that tofu variations have been called "soy cheeses" long before mainstream western veganism... Commented Jan 7, 2019 at 16:57
  • I don't like the term "Gary" because it seems to be taking the mickey. But a term other than "cheese" for vegan replacements for cheese doesn't seem to be a bad idea if we want to avoid using language that condones the eating of animal products. But I am the sort of person who calls meat "dead animal" and meat eaters "flesh eaters" (which in both cases is what they are). I dislike terms such as "quorn chicken".
    – ool
    Commented Jan 30, 2023 at 17:49

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.