Why Isinglass Is Vegan

by / Friday, 16 October 2015 / Published in Activism, Lifestyle, vegan

isinglass family


I (Phil) had just gotten off the phone with my friend. He invited me to a party that weekend. There was going to be a keg there.


I asked my friend if he would find out what brand the beer was. I told him I needed to check if it was vegan.


He paused, probably to try and decide if he wanted to be friends with me anymore.


“Are you serious,” he asked.


I was in college and had literally gone vegan 3 days earlier. With everything that I ate I scoured the “Animal Ingredients A-Z” list. (don’t use that list ever, by the way)


And over those first few days I saw on that list that some beer isn’t vegan. Sometimes it is processed with something called “isinglass.” I didn’t even know what it was at the time.


But if it was processed with isinglass it wasn’t vegan. So I wasn’t drinking it.


I’ve since learned that it is something from a fish bladder that is used to process some beer. It actually sounds disgusting.


But that’s not the point


The vast majority of fish aren’t killed for fucking isinglass, they’re killed for people to eat. So if we stop eating fish but keep drinking beer, fish overall come out ahead.

So in other words, drinking beer processed with isinglass doesn’t kill animals. Vegans refusing to drink beer with isinglass kills animals.


[Tweet “When we make vegan eating look hard less people go vegan.”]

When we make vegan eating look hard less people go vegan.


So we need to make sure we are focusing on the right things. The animals are counting on us not to fuck shit up for them.


Here are the new rules regarding beer for vegans:

1. You’re not allowed to ask your bartender if a certain beer is processed with isinglass. Just order it.

2. If you visit barnivore.com never talk about it out loud. Not even with other vegans.

            a. The last thing a new (or any) vegan needs to hear about is a list of vegan and non-vegan beers.

3. Assume all beer is vegan unless it has like “milk stout” in the title or some shit like that.


Don’t be a piece of shit.


If you use barnivore.com keep it a secret. Seriously, don’t even tell other vegans. The last thing we need is a shit load of people hearing about how it’s so impossible to be vegan that you have to visit a goddamn website just to find out what kind of alcohol you can drink.


Focus on the big picture and the little shit will work itself out.

However, if you care more about personal purity at least understand that your personal purity is resulting in unintended consequences. What consequences you might ask?


Picture yourself clubbing a million fish with a baseball bat over and over again. Until they all die. Because when you make a stink about isinglass in beer that’s basically what the fuck you’re doing.


But if you became vegan to help animals, just drink the fucking beer!


Warning: The beer discussed in this blog will not help you drop fat. The good news is, our free ebook will. Join over 10,000 others by downloading it for free by clicking the yellow button below:


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  • Chanti Lowenberg

    Orrrrr… you could just drink vegan beer. Because there are tons of fucking options and contributing to anything that involves animal cruelty is unnecessary.

  • Pamela

    Is this satire? I honestly can’t tell, but I hope so.

    • No

      • Pamela

        I don’t understand how drinking beer not processed with isinglass kills fish. You say it makes veganism look too difficult, but most beers don’t even have isinglass in them, so odds are that most peoples’ favorite beers are alright (minus anything by Guinness). If the one thing that holds someone back from going vegan is having to do some research sometimes, they wouldn’t be a very dedicated vegan anyway. It’s not that hard to check a website.

        • Will

          I think it’s summed up by: “When we make vegan eating look hard, less people will go vegan.”

          They’re not saying don’t look up the beer list online, just don’t tell anyone you did and don’t ask the bartender if a beer is vegan or not. Don’t make other people think veganism is complicated. If we make it look difficult, or even worse, if we make ourselves look superior, who would want to switch?

          • Pamela

            I don’t see how making sure your alcohol is vegan makes veganism look so difficult to people that they won’t even try it. If that’s what makes them say “Nah, I’ll stick to eating all kinds of animal products”, they wouldn’t have made very devoted vegans.

            I agree that you shouldn’t ask the bartender if the beer is vegan or not, but that’s because odds are they have no clue. And I disagree that being careful about ingredients makes us look like we think we’re superior. People just automatically think that about us as it is.

          • Ally DeLaine

            Hi Pamela, i think you have excellent points. And Will I dont believe that we as vegans ought to keep it a secret that we are trying to remain vegan! that’s just ridiculous! i am a VOICE for the voiceless, so why should i be silenced? ugh

          • I totally agree with you and Pamela. If someone thinks its ‘too difficult’ to be vegan because they have to think about how their beer was made then they aren’t exactly vegan material. I don’t ask in a bar because odds are the bartender wouldn’t know anyway, but there is no way I’m ashamed of checking Barnivore or publicly talking about vegan alcohol! The more people know – that dead animals go into making your booze – the better.
            This article is not only click bait but badly written click bait.

          • Oliver Pereira

            I’m seeing statements like,”If [X], they wouldn’t have made very devoted vegans.” “If [Y] then they aren’t exactly vegan material.” It sounds to me as if you are dismissing everyone who isn’t perfectly vegan and leaving them to continue eating meat and dairy and eggs every day of their lives. If I have understood them correctly, that is the precisely the attitude that the Vegan Bros are trying to highlight – and the destructive consequences that they want to stop. If veganism is seen as a highly selective club that only lets in people who are prime “vegan material” and shuns everyone else, then the majority of the human race will be indefinitely excluded from veganism, and industrial-scale animal slaughter will continue unabated. I don’t know whether the Vegan Bros’ strategy is the right one, but it seems clear that they are trying to change the world, not just maintain an exclusive club.

          • Carlos

            First off, we simply are superior, we don’t need to be dicks about it though.
            Secondly, like others have mentioned, asking your bartender if your beer is vegan is stupid; unless they’re vegan, your bartender almost certainly will have no idea.
            Also as someone else mentioned already, almost all beer is vegan anyway. I’m not aware of any cheap beer that isn’t (aka whatever is in every keg party ever) & except for cow’s milk stout or bee puke beer, I’m not aware of any craft beer that’s not vegan so do what you should be doing anyway, & support your local brewers!

          • CommonSense

            If you make vegan eating not vegan then you won’t make people vegan.

    • Randall Gillespie

      No it’s your standard conmen continuing to make money by faking it.

  • James Dalton

    You and this blog are bullshit. Can’t believe you’ve written this. Isinglass isn’t vegan. And if you guys care more about beer than worrying about what’s in it, you’re not vegan either. Later.

  • William Jones

    The point made here is solid. If we come across as an extremist, people shy away. If we come across as normal, people will come closer. We will draw people in better that way. What this article is saying is don’t come across like an extremist. A war is not won in a day. It takes steps. We didn’t march straight into Germany to take down Hitler. We moved into France and worked our way to him. Same principle here. We win a step at a time.

    Also, he is correct. The fish are not killed for beer. The bladders are used because the fish were killed for other reasons and they found a use for the bladder. If people quit eating fish then they would not use the bladders for beer any longer. The same thing applies to a lot of areas the by products are used. The reason the vast majority of animals are killed is for food. If we quit eating the animals then the small stuff will go away.

    It is the 80/20 rule. 20% of what we do creates 80% of what we accomplish. The numbers are flexible and for this case it is more like a 95/5. 95% (Animal testing, abuse, and accidents will cover the other 5%) of the killing of animals is from eating them (5%). If we focus on the 5% and try to solve that problem then we will be maximizing our resources and accomplished way more than by focusing on areas outside that 5%. Pareto quantified this a long time ago. This is nothing new and it is SOLID. Backed up by science and business. If you want to make a real difference then approach it intelligently and the rewards will be astronomical. As the article said, “So we need to make sure we are focusing on the right things. The animals are counting on us not to fuck shit up for them.”

    • Richard the Big Bunny

      If being a kind, compassionate & CONSISTENT ethical vegan is “extremist”, I’m not sure what to say. And given The Holocaust, I’m not sure your war analogy works (“leaning in” with wishy-washy morals while millions are dying).

      Cows are not killed for leather either — but it’s horrible & certainly not vegan.

      In short, being a vegan with shit & shaky ethics just leads to shit & shaky [wannabe] vegans.

    • We will come across as massive hypocrites if we say we’re vegan then knowingly drink beer thats made using dead animals…

  • ARTHURHOFMANofficial

    ‘When we make vegan eating not really vegan, more people will not take it seriously’ is what you’re basically saying.
    That’s stupid.

  • Richard the Big Bunny

    Outside of dire eat-or-die situations, my ethics aren’t that flexible. I don’t want to be a role model for “vegan when it’s convenient”. One can do vegan outreach & education without endorsing non-vegan foods (or being a preachy vegan asshole, for that matter). Beer with isinglass is about pleasure — optional pleasure — so, no, I’m not going to say “don’t worry about isinglass” (it isn’t vegan) any more than I’d say “unwanted fingering isn’t real rape” (it’s still a violation & rape). Being an example of flexible vegan ethics just leads to flexible wannabe vegans who aren’t vegan at all. Know better — do better — consistency — ethics.

    • Sara Johnson Dean

      Well said 🙂

    • Alex Fregoso

      I applaud your sentiment, but I don’t think ethics are so well defined by even our greatest scholars that “consistency” in it’s respect amounts to one being better or somehow superior in ethical stance, let alone that someone from the general public would be able to declare so as poignantly.
      For instance, why does your stance change in an eat-or-die scenario? Ethics is of the mind, not of the body.
      If I afforded you the opportunity to influence the entire human race to become vegan, implementing all the strategies and infrastructure involved in making the movement a success, but it required you to eat nothing but raw meat you had to butcher yourself for the rest of your life, would you do it?
      This is obviously an extreme example, but finding out what influence you have personally in the actions you do and don’t take, at all, is an overwhelming feat of staggering proportions and as everyone has a differing opinion on the outcome of their lives… aside from governing what choices you make and learning to become better than you are today, how could you possibly hold you have superiority over anyone else in such a clearly infallible way?

    • Toni V Cameron


  • Jessica Delgado

    Beer is yummy no debate about that

  • Laura Brown

    Nope. Cows who are killed for beef may also turn into leather coats. The coats arent vegan

  • Shane Andrews

    you need to change the name of your ‘brand’ or hey… maybe you could actually be Vegan?
    congrats for continuing being an enemy for the animals for the sake of making yourselves more popular.

  • Estelle

    If someone buys me a vegan bottle of wine, I am beyond grateful but I do believe that the best example you can set as a vegan is to make it look normal, easy and enjoyable. I always tell people how amazing I feel and how I’ve eaten the best meals ever since becoming vegan. I want people to see all the things they can have not feel there’s a never ending list of things they can’t. When everyone in the world is vegan we can then get them to read the small print!

  • DK

    Ah, the Vegan-ish douches are at it again.

  • Josie Rice

    “Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.” This is the definition of veganism from the society that coined the term vegan, just as a refresher because you guys obviously forgot or don’t know. Maybe you should just call yourselves the “Plant-based Bros”! Isn’t it just easier to use the product that doesn’t contain Isinglass? Yeesh…

    • We have a decision to make in everything we do as it relates to animal advocacy.

      1. Do we care more about getting to the result? (less animals suffering, and more people changing their diets)
      2. Or do we care more about the actions we take regardless of the result?

      You argue that we shouldn’t care whether less animals suffer or not. Their are certain actions that are just right even if the actions cause more animals to suffer.

      We advocate that you should only take the actions that help animals and gets the most people to change their diets.

      P.S. The world is very complex. So if we want to help animals, we can’t take a black-and-white view of the world.

      • Josie Rice

        My point was simply that your view on isinglass doesn’t coincide with the true and original definition of veganism as coined by The Vegan Society in 1944. Each and every sentient life is important to that animal. Put humans in the same context as the fish in your post and you might see things differently, no animal would willingly give its life for your beer consumption. If there are other options just use those..it’s an easy fix.

        • I understand what you’re saying. And I think you have a good heart. But having a good heart doesn’t save animals.

          My point is that I don’t care about the original definition of the word “vegan.” My purpose is not to preserve the definition of a word. My purpose is to save animals.

          “Each and every sentient life is important to that animal.” So it’s important to be effective in our advocacy. Sure it’s easy to view everything as black and white. But if we want to help animals as effectively as possible we need to recognize that the world is very complex.


          • Alex Fregoso

            I agree with your views.
            What do you say to changing your name from Vegan Bros to Plant-Based Bros?
            If it solely is for the animals and not for the self-entitlement, should it matter?
            Also, should anyone by this subjective standard reasonably be entitled to identify as a vegan?
            Does a definition really matter at all? I believe it’s a sentiment of ethics that needs an explanation.
            To what arbitrary degree is still seemingly up to the individual to decide.
            The power of veganism really seems to lie in personal choice.
            Maybe Ghandi really did say it best.
            “Be the change you want to see in the world.”
            Veganism is about creating reasonable change.
            Not of others, not of society, not of the world… but of ourselves.

        • Gibran Tocao

          God give them a break, they have a point and I assure you I would rather listen to this guy and follow his route than go “vegan” with your calculations. I’ll prefer eating the fish than listen to purity laws

      • Dale Brown

        Where to start ? Most of my friends are not vegan but that doesn’t mean I compromise my beliefs just to fit in. Veganism was a gradual process for me but I’ve been fully vegan for 25 years and if your vegan you limit everything you do that exploits animals. You can discuss this with people without being preachy, but pretending something is vegan when it’s not is just not helpful to anyone and just leaves yourself open to criticism because your not being honest with yourself and it makes you look hypocritical. You are better off being honest and saying that nobody’s perfect and that you try and limit animal products as much as possible. Hope that didn’t sound to preachy but isinglas is not vegan.
        Take care and good luck with your journey xx

      • Paul Crouch

        Sorry, when did these chaps (whoever they are anyway) become the Vegan ‘Chuckle’ Brothers?

        There is nothing going to confuse people more about veganism than spouting this sort of inconsistent tosh. The movement needs you as much as a small bacon sandwich.

    • Randall Gillespie


  • Lisa Mair

    I think you guys make a great point about not appearing all neurotic and turning people off. We should be focusing on the big issues, not the side issues that will go away on their own. We should reinforce the idea that veganism is simple, joyful, fun and normal.

    • amaximus167

      Veganism is about not using animals, it doesn’t matter if it is steak or isinglass, they are all the same big issue. We can still avoid isinglass and make veganism look simple, joyful, fun and normal.

  • Shell

    Wow, just wow. The kind of “thinking” in this article is so backwards. Isinglass is ok because the animal is already dead? So, I should eat gelatin and wear leather because those are by-products from animals killed for food? Yeah, that makes sense. Totally vegan. I mean, I can understand the point about not seeming so extremist that it turns other people off, but it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do what fits your own morals! And if checking beer is such a big step for those who are considering veganism, they can be “veganish” (to start) at least!

  • Tessa Barlin

    I’ve actually become a lot more lenient with my veganism and it’s because of the very point you guys bring up. Being vegan is not about purity, and the only way to make other people interested in it is to make being vegan look fucking cool. So I’m not going to order things if I specifically know they aren’t vegan, but I’m not going to go and ask about every little ingredient in everything on the menu. I had a get together with a bunch of other vegans a few weeks ago and I must say, it was probably the most boring night of my life. Because they had nothing else interesting to speak about besides being vegan, and they all took themselves so seriously. It’s like, come on man, chill the fuck out and lighten up! We seriously need more cool vegans to give the movement a good name. Because it appears vegans are their own worst nightmare, and you can even see that in the comments on this blog post. Rant over. Keep it up guys <3

  • dms61757

    You fuckers aren’t vegan or even close to it…Douchebags trying to get attention…No wonder you’re in the vegan hall of shame

    • Randall Gillespie

      This is true and unfortunately they have made a killing off it.

  • dms61757

    You’re Plant based…Vegan is about the non use of animals. It’s an ethical stance, a social justice issue Not what you believe about eating a byproduct of their suffering…….Wow!!!!!

    • Randall Gillespie

      that’s why their new name is: #notsoveganfuckboys

  • Kimberley Hodgdon Landsman

    It’s not vegan
    You’re not vegan.

    Stop using the word “vegan” if you are this clueless .

    • Randall Gillespie

      ah ha ha!! We started a new campaign for them: #notsoveganfuckboys

  • CoeyCoey

    Oh good. I was beginning to wonder if my eating cow brains was vegan. Since most cows die from eating their flesh, then if we stop eating their flesh, but keep eating their brains, the cows come out ahead.

  • Sara Johnson Dean

    I’m usually on your side, but not this time guys. If someone has a choice, why not make the better choice?

  • Kim Benson-Custard

    Hey Guys, I feel the same as I always do about this kind of stuff. If it’s not vegan, I’m not going to touch it. Why? Cause that’s gross, and if someone asks me why I’m not touching/eating something, I’m going to tell them. If they think something is difficult, they are focusing on that because they want excuses. (i.e. “exercising is hard, so I’m going to be lazy and stay on the couch”) Should we work to just get people moving? Sure that will help, but the road will be longer… I didn’t go vegan because someone made it sound easy. It was fucking hard at first! I like to tell people, just because something is difficult, doesn’t mean it’s not the right thing to do… (I.e. again “It’s easier for me to stand by the rest of my friends and laugh while another kid is being picked on, I would hate to stand out and make people notice me.” I’m thinking this kid should just go stand up for the little guy despite the risks…) All in all, I stand by what I said, as sloppily as I said it. Yes, I agree that we shouldn’t go out of our way to be pretentious and give vegans a bad name, but it’s also those vegans who ask questions that elicit change. Every time a vegan questions POLITELY if something is vegan, it puts a bug into business’s ears to say “hmm, maybe there is a demand for that…” In addition, I will admit, I hate cross contamination in every way. If meat was cooked there or animal by-products are present, someone might as well have sneezed on the grill, GROSS, GROSS, GROSS! Thank you, that is all, for now… (I love the ellipsis!)

  • Gabriel Figueroa

    Carpe Vegan promoted this idea long before you guys did. They missed the mark and so did you. Veganism is not about diluting an ethical principle so much that you end up with multitudes of pseudo-vegans who only avoid those things that they perceive as being “easy” to avoid. Over the long run, it will not only diminish what vegan means and confuse the hell out of people, but it will actually result in more people not being vegan. Why? Because people will eventually start to see this type of pseudo-veganism for the bullshit that it is. And, those people who supposedly wouldn’t be vegan because it’s so hard to do a little research on their smart phone are going to cave at every little roadblock. I’ve seen time and time again in my time as a vegan (since 1990). The people who stick with veganism are the ones who take it seriously and are okay with the occasional small inconveniences. None of these things are that difficult, and trying to make it seem that they are is a great disservice to vegan ethics and ultimately the animals. If you think that isinglass does not lead to animal exploitation just like ever other animal product, then you have no understanding of the animal slaughter industry.

  • Karina Klinkevičiūtė

    Every penny counts. People, who are in an animal food business, make more money from selling other animal products, like isinglass, gelatine, leather, feathers and other things like that. So, while buying any of these, we support this cruel business.

  • Brittany

    Strongly disagree. I won’t compromise my ethics so that other people feel more comfortable about my choices.

  • velala

    I couldn’t agree more! When I first went vegan, I had the same experience. I would be stressed out at parties hiding in the corner with my smartphone scouring barnivore to see what alcohol was vegan approved. When I would turn down drinks and make some comment about fish bladders, my friends would be like, “wow, that sounds really hard, I could never be vegan.” Then they would ask, “What about this beer, is it OK?” To which my response was usually, “I don’t know, it’s not listed on this website.” Then one day after I emailed a new local brewery to ask whether they used isinglass in their beer and never heard back by the time I hand plans to go there with friends, I said “Fuck it!” I realized that limiting myself to isinglass-free alcohol was only making my life feel and appear ten times more difficult that it ever should be. I realized that my choices are focused on making a difference for animals and by avoiding isinglass the added beneficial effect was negligible at best. In reality, by showing up to breweries and parties and using the time I would be researching about my beverage choice to have fun and socialize and show people how amazing life can be as a vegan, I accomplished so much more for the animals. So now when people ask me, “Is alcohol vegan?” I say “Yes!” Thank you for this post! You guys are amazing!

    • Oliver Pereira

      I don’t think it’s good to lie, though. If you tell someone that all alcoholic drinks are vegan, and then they say, “Great, I’m going vegan!” and then they go vegan, and drink something made using isinglass, and then they find out afterwards that they’ve just drunk something made using dead fish, they might end up feeling pretty sick. And resentful towards you.

      If you can’t find a familiar brand of alcohol for sale when you are out, what’s stopping you from saying, “No, thanks. I’m sticking with fruit juice tonight”? What’s hard about that?

    • amaximus167

      yeah, I am not concerned with how hard my choices are to make. I am concerned with not causing suffering to animals. So please, stop telling people and animal product is Vegan. Thanks.

  • DK

    I hate these “convenient vegans”….

  • Jennylee Mckenzie

    That is the largest, smelliest pile of rationalization to drink alcohol that I have ever heard and I’ve known many serious alcoholics. The sad part is, some people will be encouraged to rationalize similarly. Not vegan.

  • Cris

    In reply to several comments- unfortunately we live in an imperfect world and animal by-products are in most everything, even things such as car tires! Does this mean that driving a car so you can get to work isn’t vegan? No. The definition of veganism specifically says “as far as is possible and practicable”. Animals are not killed for car tires, or isinglass- it is just a byproduct of the meat industry. When animals are no longer killed for consumption the by-products will disappear. A line needs to be drawn somewhere and isinglass seems to be a reasonable one, since the animals are not killed specifically to make this product (unlike leather where many cows, dogs, and cats ARE killed to make it specifically). Eating a diet that excludes meat, dairy, and eggs will save far more animals than obsessing over by-products that will disappear as less people eat meat and the by-products become more expensive/nonexisitent.

  • A.L

    Ummm no. Just no… We don’t have to drink fish ingredients in order to save fish. Not going to happen.

  • Brittany

    This is a worthy conversation about the lines we draw. I care about being effective as a consumer in the effort to make less profitable this shitty, illogical system. Since you’ve decided avoiding isinglass is a neutral, even annoying action, can you explain why? Who profits off of the sale of Isinglass? Is there any chance this income does, in fact, affect the fish industry? Maybe not, but I’m not interested in opinions…I want estimates on the numbers.

  • Pamela

    Just so you guys know, Guinness just announced that they’re building a new filtration system that will eliminate the need for isinglass. They wouldn’t be doing this if it wasn’t for pressure from vegans. Therefore, your claim that not drinking beer with isinglass is equivalent to clubbing a million fish to death with a baseball bat simply isn’t true. In fact, the opposite is true. We’re creating change in the world. We’re showing companies that going vegan friendly is profitable.

  • Jenn

    I used to think this way too. If I eat the part of the cow other people don’t like so much, then I’m not encouraging the slaughter of more cows, I’m just making sure less of it goes to waste, right? But then I realized the following. By-products still cost money. They are a source of income and purchasing them increases the financial value of the animal’s carcass, making the slaughter of said animal more profitable and increasing the incentive to slaughter more animals. It’s the same thing with fish bladders.

    Not all beers use animal products in their fining process. Why not just research which beers are vegan-friendly and drink those? There are usually quite a few options available.

  • Giselle Correia

    Isinglass comes from fish bladder.
    Fish are animals.
    Therefore, isinglass is not vegan.
    It is that black and white.
    It’s not difficult to do a small amount of research for the sake of animals.
    Stop telling people that food and drinks made from animal parts or insect vomit are vegan.
    And if it is too much of an inconvenience for someone to do 60 seconds of research on a product, chances are they will cave in quickly.
    This is about awareness, action, and compassion for animals.
    It’s not about our own convenience.
    Please stop diluting ethics.

  • Vegan Patriot

    Ugh, okay first of all you can obviously use Barnivore if you want. The point the Bros are making is that the people sitting and standing next to you at the bar, and your friends who accompanied you to the bar hear you asking a bartender if their beers use isinglass. You sound like a nut! The Bros want to promote veganism by example, so don’t be an example of a weirdo. If you feel better memorizing a list of common beers likely to find at the bar that you know are safe, that’s cool. But asking the bartender is dumb and makes you look nuts and not cool because the bartender is very unlikely to know, and who the hell goes to a beer bar without doing their research if they’re freaked out about isinglass? You probably don’t even know what Isinglass is for, and if you go to a serious place where all of the employees are Cicerone trained and the patrons are homebrewers you’re asking to drown in a conversation of beer nerddom with strangers where YOU will be the weird one.

    Most all beers are vegan. Brewers don’t WANT to use isinglass but some do. The goal is a beer with great clarity and some reasonable stability. If you drank beer and didn’t eat fish, commercial fisherman are not going to harvest fish just for isinglass production. Instead brewers will use something else such as carrageenan-based kettle fining additions, polyclar, bentonite, plate filtering, centrifugal fining is even becoming popular. In the US isinglass isn’t as common as gelatin which is cheaper and doesn’t smell gross but even still, brewing is a big business and research with innovation is constantly happening. New finings like Biofine which is inexpensive and amazingly versatile, and Brewer’s Clarex which removes chill haze like magic and has the added benefit of reducing gluten in beers to levels so low that they are safe for most people with gluten sensitivities. Why is this important? Because these innovations are not only vegan and produce a better product but are only made possible because we drink beer! A brewer doesn’t make decisions on what finings to use because you went with a Coors instead of a San Diego craft beer over their unsure fining use. Drinking more beer, especially craft beer which is spurring innovation does a much more effective job of making more beer vegan and less of a market for fish parts.

    • Randall Gillespie


  • Hari Iyer

    by the same logic, leather is vegan. Which, by and large, I agree with.

    If leather wasn’t used, it would be burned or sit in a landfill. Cows are killed for meat. leather is left over. what would you do with it? It’s fucked up that we raise cows for milk and meat, but honestly, what are you going to do with the leftover skin?

    synthetics would be produced at a higher rate to meet fabric demand if all the leather was burned off. What’s worse for the environment?

    • Judith Lautner

      Leather is a large part of the animal industry. It is not a minor byproduct.

      • amaximus167

        But no one would kill cows just for the leather. The meat and leather industry work hand in hand. So yes, it a way it is a byproduct.

  • Robert James George

    A simple test for you. Is it of animal origin? If yes, then not vegan.
    It’s that easy

  • Paul Ruffy

    These guys wanna learn how to speak for the animals instead of trying to fit in. The truth speaks for itself.

  • Shae Dunsmore

    I just don’t understand. How do fish die if I don’t have a beer? Your logic is so…Well, it just doesn’t exist. There was no logic in what just happened there.

    Isinglass is a fish’s swim bladder. They need that to, you know, swim. If you actually tried to put the fish back without that it would die anyway.

    Also, if you really love beer, you should know that the process of clarifying beer (in which isinglass is used) actually removes a lot of the taste as well. It is acknowledged by many craft breweries that it ruins the beer. Beers don’t need to be clear. If you want a really good beer, you need to get yourself a nice, flavorful, cloudy beer. And you should campaign for breweries to start making traditional cloudy beers because they taste awesome.

  • Jules Madjar

    You’re entitled to your opinion but don’t call yourselves Vegan Bros and write crap like this; this is a load of codswallop. There’s many slack vegans who turn a blind eye at alcohol but they don’t write this kind of fishy tripe. Isinglass isn’t vegan; and big up respect to vegans who boycott alcohols that use it, the boycott of these should be encouraged not criticised, if you are of the opinion that its ok to be slack when it comes to alcohol ok fair enough; but then don’t slag off people who do. Change your name to ‘Pair of Fishy Wierdos’ or something but don’t start calling yourselves ‘Vegan Bros’ and write stuff like this lol

  • Justin

    Excellent article. I’ve been saying this for years. Now I don’t want to put money in the hands of people who exploit animals but I find that most people who are complete purists haven’t usually been vegan very long. It would be far better for animals if average people reduced their meat consumption dramatically then if u convert a person to Veganism here & there. The truth is unless u have been vegan for atleast 6 or 7 years, u have no idea how well u are doing on this diet. I started breaking out in hives. All my bloodwork was good, no meds worked. Found out there is an enzyme in the gut diamine oxidase that breaks down histamine. They sell it, it’s made from pork kidney. Took it, hives went away. Am I not vegan anymore. I don’t really care. I’m not in a club. I know it’s easy to get b12 on a vegan diet, but my wife got a little laxed, B12 takes time to deplete, became 12 deficient – which really fux u up btw. I don’t want to contribute to factory farming – my neighbors have some chickens, they look pretty happy. I may start to eat their eggs once a week or something idk. I try to think pragmatically about what is actually contributing to animal suffering & what is just ur ego. But if u been vegan 18 months after eating animals for 25 years, the truth is ur cells are still made up of animal protein & fat, u might want to give it a sec. before u declare ur sainthood and nutritional expertise sacrosanct.

  • Missy Victoria

    This is ludicrous. But, so are vegans. Slim bodies.. and slim minds. Fat from red meat is brain-food. Rejecting the commodity status of animals is unnatural. Humans are carnivores.. God put animals on the Earth for consumption, depending on the animals. Fish and foul, as well. And veggies, grains, etc. Humans out-rank animals. Many have no problem w aborting a human-being yet, “abuse” an animal and they come un-glued. 99% are Hillary supporters.. and claim to be all about womens rights and support the LGBT community.. which, I as a conservative do as well. However, Hillary receives donations from countries in the Middle East who treat woman like pure crap and will kill gay folks for being gay. Am I the only one who sees the blatant hypocrisy here? Now, go enjoy yourselves some yummy GMO’s… but, no Guinness for you vegans. lol

    • Judith Lautner

      Humans are not carnivores. Look it up.

      • Missy Victoria

        Humans ARE carnivores. Look it up.

        • Howard Bacaaazeo

          Judith is technically correct: probably would have been more accurate to say that “humans are omnivores (who happen to be carnivorous)”

          • Missy Victoria

            Its a given that humans are designed in such a way that we eat vegetables. But, MY POINT is that we are designed to partake of meat. So, technically I AM CORRECT.. NOT Judith. Whats the matter w you? She said “humans are NOT carnivores.. look it up.” And shes technically right? I’m calling BS.

  • Melanie Wilson

    Using Barnivore, there are actually a shit ton of great beers that do not use isinglass, so it’s really not that fucking hard to be vegan and avoid drinking beer with any animal products in it. How the hell is wanting to avoid certain things in your food and drink the same as “making a stink about it”?

    • amaximus167

      it isn’t the same, they just want to drink beer and not be bothered about ethics while doing it.

  • Kimberley Hodgdon Landsman

    I got three paragraphs into your POS article before vomiting. Youre not vegan.youre olat-based. If you have even 1/4 a brain/heart… olease fix your wording today. Your choice of spreading meanings to vegan terminology is actual harmful to the vegan/animal rights movement. Yet, youre a working asset to welfarism and plantbased ideology. So get it right. Ckwan up your idiotic false harmful articke and understanding of what vegan is and either call yoursekf plantbased and sign up for the nonrevolutionary welfarist movement (the supports using animals) or actually GO VEGAN.

  • Dean Baker

    Dudes, take this article down, it is off track and sending the wrong message. Are you vegan or not?

    • Randall Gillespie

      their new name is #notsoveganfuckboys

  • Shad Ronayne

    I’m returning your merchandise and buying vegan beer I found on barnivore

  • Sheena

    Why the fuck do bro males infiltrate predominately women led movements and make everything about their fucking “macho” bravao. Can we not have anymore brocialists, you lessen everything.

  • Neil Inscore

    So by this logic, if a pig is killed for bacon, the ribs are a byproduct and vegans can go ahead and eat them.

    • No, because pigs are killed for bacon and ribs.

      • Meme Team

        Just like fish are killed for fish meat and isinglass.

        • Esailija

          No, if people only wanted ribs but not meat nothing would change, they would still kill pigs for ribs and maybe use the meat as dog food. However, if people stopped wanting fish meat then fish wouldn’t be killed for isinglass because it’s economically absurd.

          • amaximus167

            Leather isn’t Vegan and it is most often a bi-product.

  • Meme Team

    The problem with your logic is that the ability of fish companies to sell isinglass as a byproduct increases their profitability and allows them to sell fish meat at a lower price to consumers. This both increases the incentive for the company to harvest more fish, and makes fish meat more attractive to consumers thereby raising demand. Thus more fish will be killed.

    You can’t separate byproducts from meat when it comes to what you choose to consume if your goal is to reduce these industrial practices. Buying these byproducts directly contributes to what you say you oppose. Just because byproducts aren’t the primary reason that the animals are killed doesn’t mean that they don’t still contribute to the practice of killing animals.

  • President Burp

    Do NOT mention this website that makes it easy to select beers that are vegan. This makes veganry look too difficult, somehow.

    • amaximus167

      Hahahaha, right? Using the internet to quickly determine if a beer is Vegan makes ordering beer look really hard to my friends that are reading every tasting note of a new beer on Beer Advocate…

  • Thomas Johnson

    You know what I find hilarious? Everyone putting them down says they are advocating eating an animal to get beer, but fish aren’t animals. They want purity, but aren’t even clear about their own classifications. It may not be vegan, but it ain’t an animal either

    • amaximus167

      Uhhh, fish are definitely animals. They sure as hell aren’t plants or fungi. Are you going to make up a new class of life to put fish in?

  • Lisha Raghani

    then like that what about gelatin..they don’t kill cows and pigs specifically for gelatin. same thing for whey, its a by-product also. so is calf rennet ? Where do we draw the line then?

  • Hous Bin Pharteen

    My avatar is not vegan. Have a nice day.

  • Randall Gillespie

    You guys pulled this shit with honey too and neither are vegan. Fucking fakes

  • Timothy Maxwell

    Isinglass is still an animal’s body part that is in demand by brewers. As someone adhering to vegan principals, you should understand that consuming non vegan beer funds the continued practice of using isinglass in brewing. By demanding vegan beer one is part of the positive change away from animal product based brewing. Support vegan breweries.

  • Ebru Gurgur

    How can you be serious? If you’re a vegan for the animals, it’s not hard to learn ahead which beers are vegan, and stick to them. You don’t NEED beer, but they need their lives.

  • Expert

    Are you serious? Veganism means no animal products what so ever. No exploitation of animals! And who are you to decide that it’s okay for vegans to drink beer that used isinglass. Then that means everyone should drink milk so that non-vegans find it easy to become vegan. You people have onve again failed, previously with honey.

  • Sigler Jorge

    Who named you the new dictator of what is ethical or morally wrong? Products containing or using animal parts is morally wrong anf inexcusable regarding.diluting it for others only does a diservice to the legitimacy of the entire movement…. And legitimacy is the strongest tool of veganism

  • Elroy

    So for you to drink non-vegan beer helps save more animals, how is that? I understand the not telling non-vegans or newbie vegans about it because it could discourage them but for a long time or devoted vegan that just isnt the case (yourselves and most people reading your blog included). New vegans can make this discovery on their own and decide how far they want to go, your article helps no one.

  • Bradley Heero Lynes

    I do understand the sentiment as it’s the same with the honey video. Try convincing people who already don’t care about one life that is viewed as more precious in society to care about another.

    The issue I have with this statement though is that alcohol is extremely plentiful in vegan types and using a website is an extension of a person in 2017. The larger thing that should be done is should be emailing these companies that do use animal ingredients and suggesting synthetics as realistically they are cheaper and they probably provide grants to the companies for being eco friendly and not depleting fish reservoirs.

    People did this with Guinness and now we have Guinness by the end of the year that won’t be filtered with isinglass. That’s a win and the right way to go about this problem.

    I get that people see it as difficult but the line needs to be drawn and explained or people will not even understand it in the first place.

    Otherwise I typically enjoy your videos and responses and believe doing it for the greater good as opposed to personal purity is the best method but pick the right battles.

    If it’s grilled in the same grill but it’s a veggie option and it’s directly funding other veggie options for expansion with profit reports, support that. Again, alcohol is plentiful and these companies should have moved on from these practices already, especially wine makers…

  • You blokes are not even vegetarian ffs.

  • Christophe Patrick Horner

    Let’s hear about the (Vegans Bros.) and how you also condone eating honey and foods made with honey, horseback riding, things made with eggs, things made with milk and the list goes on and on, We are Non-human Animal Rights Activist- Vegans, who live are life’s while giving our life to END this non-human animal holocaust and we don’t sugarcoat(bone-char) VEGANISM.
    Veganism: a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as possible and practical, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing, or any other purpose. In dietary terms, it refers to the practice of dispensing with all animal products, including meat, fish, poultry, eggs, animal milks, honey, and their derivatives.
    Unlike the word “vegetarian”, the word “vegan” specifically implies moral concern for animals. Therefore the word vegan extends to more than just diet. Vegans don’t wear leather, fur, wool or silk and are against zoos, circuses, rodeos, animal testing and any other industry that exploits or abuses animals. Let’s not forget about bivalves because these guys think it’s fine to eat clams and oysters etc. I think even plant-based is too nice of a word for you guys. Good luck with the book and peace love and vegan jelly beans. (Jelly Beans are made with gelatin and I’m sure you eat that mess also.) ~ CPH @ #VEGANSUNITED (We don’t want bigger cages we won’t stop until we have EMPTY cages!) ~c

  • Jessica Lindsay

    Hmmmm….. Ignoring information about food that is inconvenient to you, just so you can keep eating/drinking it. Doesn’t that sound a lot like the logic vegans accuse meat eaters of using?
    No offence, but you don’t get to say you’re better than anyone else if you do the same shit that everyone else does. And if you’re pointedly ignoring the presence of non-vegan beers, you ARE doing exactly the same thing.

    Gee, it would suck for veganism as a movement if a meat eater happened to stumble upon this article – given that they’re CONSTANTLY told this logic is wrong and idiotic. Wonder how they’d react if they found out it’s apparently not a case of “what’s good for the goose is good for the gander”… I’m just saying, hypocrisy doesn’t bode well for your chances of convincing people to join up.

    • Vegan Patriot

      “No offence, but you don’t get to say you’re better than anyone else if you do the same shit that everyone else does.” – Jessica Lindsay

      This is what they are really talking about. This quote from what you just said above, this elitist attitude that give the impression that our vegan club is too exclusive for anyone to join in.

      Obviously isinglass isn’t vegan, but going out with friends and asking a bartender if a beer has isinglass in it, or making your friends wait to put your drink orders in because you have to search barnivore first doesn’t show the best side of veganism.

      Everywhere we go, we are embassadors to the vegan community and you sound like you murder fun.

      • amaximus167

        That is not at all what she said and you know it. They straight up say it’s Vegan in the article. It isn’t. These guys are too worried about their appearance and drinking what ever beer they want. All you have to do is some damned research before you go out drinking. Know what you can and can’t drink and then order that. Wow! Problem solved. The chance of you walking into a bar and not being able to drink any of the beers is very slim since most beers don’t use isinglass. Also, so many people are stuck on their phones these days that it’s not weird at all to be on your phone looking up beers you want to drink. I mean, all of my non-Vegan friends are on Beer Advocate and what not researching whether they want to try a beer, why cant we? I think too many people are using this ‘make it appear easier,’ line to justify wanting to not care about isinglass. If you want to drink it, go ahead. Just don’t call it Vegan. Cause it isn’t. And having a wishy-washy stance also looks bad.

        • Vegan Patriot

          I quoted her directly, and if you read and watch the Vegan Bros discuss this issue I think they make a pretty good case. Isinglass is a byproduct, not a cause of commercial fishing. Because of the growth in craft beer there are better options than isinglass now. Brewers don’t particularly want to use it, they just want clear, stable beer without filtering out the flavor.

          As vegans we should set a good example. I’m not against you researching all the beer you want, I’m simply giving commentary on how we appear to everyone else. I have seen and been out with other vegans when they question a bartender about isinglass. It really does look crazy, and mostly vegans don’t even know what isinglass is for. Gelatin is used in place of isinglass also. Some breweries change their clarifying agent as the brewery sees fit. Sometimes the brewery changes the brewer and they have their own preferred method of clarifying the beer.

          If the Vegan Bros get people to give up meat, dairy and eggs but they drink beer indiscriminately, then all of us should applaud that instead of telling them what they are allowed to call themselves and not invite them to our potlucks.

  • Benjamin Victor

    Are you guys fucking serious? This isn’t even a point of contention. Veganism isn’t about what looks good and what doesn’t. It’s about not using animals. By this logic we can scoff down gelatin because the cows aren’t killed for their spines. We can also wear leather and suede.
    Change the name of your fucking website.

  • Tarane Sanei

    Give these guys a break. i get their point although they could have said it a better way. i understand if you people wouldn’t want to drink a beer processed with Isinglass and you are totally right. that’s what veganism is about. but don’t be a pain in the non-vegans’ ass and don’t discourage them. i think the best way is to know the vegan and non-vegan beer brands and simply ask for them and if someone wants to be vegan take it easy on them. tell them they can have the beer and the honey and it’s alright to take it slow. in my country a vegan society started out with a campaign “no meat Mondays” and we really encourage people to just not eat animals for one day a week. of course it’s not as good as being a vegan. but it’s at least something. it means less animals die on Mondays and people can discover vegan foods and understand that it’s just as delicious.
    Face it. not everyone is empathetic enough to make a connection with the suffering animals and not everyone has the willpower to embrace this lifestyle. but for those of us who care, we should do everything we can to save those animals.

    • amaximus167

      Not giving them a break on calling an animal product vegan. Sorry. There is no grey area there, it just simply isn’t. I don’t care if they drink it, but don’t call it vegan.

  • Annoying Site

    You sell “Vodka is Vegan” shirts yet you write a post about shutting up about how most beer is not vegan. By your own logic you should also… let’s see how you put it… not “be a piece of shit” and beg the question of whether or not beer is vegan by selling merchandise that says “Vodka is Vegan.” This site smells like a douche city full of misogynistic trolls.

    • Vegan Patriot

      Most beer is vegan. The rest of what you said makes little sense but keep reading Naomi Wolf and hating men. Sounds like an exciting hobby. I’m sure you are really good at knitting ugly, horned pink beanies.