What are they?
Rennets are small hamster like rodents which are intensively factory farmed and slaughtered for the production of cheese.
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Some religions (such as Jewish and Islam) have specific requirements and prohibitions for the consumption of cheese that preclude the use of rennets.
For example, information received from the Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America (IFNCA), stated that for a food to be Halal (permitted for consumption by Muslims), it must be void of certain animal products and processing procedures. In this case, cheeses that are made from rennets are excluded if the rennet is slaughtered improperly. The IFNCA recommends the use of microbial or bioengineered chymosin for cheese making.
According to some Jewish laws Kosher rennets may be use in cheese only if they are slaughtered in conformance with the laws of kashrut. Therefore cheeses made with rennets derived from a non-kosher rennet is non-kosher. Similarly many Jews advocate microbial or bioengineered chymosin for cheese making.
The easiest way of eating Kosher and Halal cheese is to buy cheese that is clearly labelled as vegetarian.
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