PETA writes letter to Gloucestershire cheese-rollers urging them to use vegan alternative

The cheese rolling tradition stretches back more than 200 years. Credit: PA Images

Animal welfare charity PETA has written a letter to Gloucestershire's cheese-rollers asking them to end the use of Double Gloucester cheese in the world-famous annual event at Cooper's Hill.

The cheese-rolling is held on the second bank holiday of May every year, with races for men, women and children. This year it will take place on Monday 29 May.

In the letter, PETA's Vice President of Vegan Corporate Project Dawn Carr says the annual cheese wheel is "made by expelling fluid from the underside of an unwilling Gloucester cow."

The charity is urging them to use a vegan alternative instead which they say wouldn't leave "the trail of destruction caused by dairy."

PETA wants a vegan alternative to be created. Credit: PA Images

The letter outlines the view that "cows’ milk is meant for baby cows, not humans" and offers to help work with event organisers to make the wheel of cheese.

What is 'cheese rolling?'

The cheese rolling tradition stretches back over 200 years though its origins remain a cause of speculation. The most popular theory says it is a celebration of the end of winter and growth of new crops.

Participants chase a 9lb wheel of Double Gloucester cheese down the hill, which can travel at over 70mph.

Reaching the cheese is nearly impossible so the winner is whoever gets to the bottom of the hill first with their prize being a big round of cheese.

The organisers of the cheese rolling were contacted for comment but said they were too busy organising this year's dairy-based festivities to respond to the animal rights group.