Why Isinglass Is Vegan
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.
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!
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