Why is it that some people associate vegetarianism with virtue? It’s like, you know Jim, why, he’s a good, salad citizen.

It isn’t true at all. Indeed, the word itself comes from the Sioux vege tar which literally means “bad hunter”. This was regarded by Sitting Bull as a capital offence and generally considered bad form.

But it might have a lot to do with ethics or its lack thereof. Are vegetarians what they are because they love animals? Or are they so because they nurse a deep and malevolent hatred towards plants? Or, as vice-presidential aspirant Sarah Palin once observed: “If God had not intended for us to eat animals, how come He made them out of meat?”

These are the good and searching questions that, once upon a time, kept Aristotle up at night.

Be that as it may, vegetarians have taken it a step further by inventing veganism which means the kitchen sink plus no milk or dairy products, whatsoever.

In short, No Joy At All.

The odd thing about vegetarians is that they attempt to make their meals as close to the real thing as possible, which is weird if they really wanted to forget the whole meat thing. Like they claim the Impossible burger is “impossible” to distinguish from meat. Sitting Bull would have harrumphed.

Camembert is the latest food getting the vegan treatment, landing as a cheese-free cheese made with cauliflower and hemp seeds by its American makers. But how will this faux fromage go down in France?

“Mon Dieu,” exclaimed the French bleakly. They took their dairy products seriously and were still cheesed off with Lionel Ritchie for taking a revered French product less than seriously in his hit song Hello – “Is it brie you’re looking for?”

The French were genuinely distressed by the fake Camembert and thought it was no way to make America grate again.

After fish-free sushi and meatless meat, what was next? Was nothing sacred? It seemed that nothing was, and everything suddenly appeared 50 shades of gruyere.

History will record that it a Benedictine monk named Bert Camoens who invented the cheese by accidentally sneezing on a dish of milk one sun-dappled morning in the late 18th Century.

The pollen count in Normandy was especially high on that morning, and Brother Camoens was busy so he soon forgot both the sneeze and the milk.

Three weeks later, he noticed a somewhat ripe smell in the air. Further investigation revealed the forgotten milk dish, now containing a moist, soft and creamy cheese-like substance.

A lesser man would have shuddered and dumped the whole thing in the trash. A superstitious one would have crossed himself before dumping it in the trash.

But Bro Camoens was both pious and bold. After crossing himself, he ventured a cautious taste and thought that the ambrosia would go well with strawberry jam and sourdough bread.

Napoleon the 3rd agreed and decreed that Camoens be nominated as a national treasure and the cheese to forever bear his name.

Such was the ancient and humble beginnings of the Norman cheese and it explained the intensity of the region’s rage against its vegan pretender.

It was clear that it was up to no gouda.