Ever been in that situation where you're out on the town, or at an event, and someone offers you something to eat or drink that just makes your stomach churn? Being a vegan is a lot like that on most days, one of the most vivid memories I have of such a day is when I was offered a glass of wine at an event, and upon first taste, my taste buds were flooded in a symphony of rancid funk.
That complex sweet garbage nastiness flavor I usually associated with animal fat, butter, sour cream, and most cheeses; accompanied by a fishy musk that infiltrated my sinuses like some anti-histamine created by Gorton's Fisheries was all I could taste!
'What in the hell is wrong with this wine and the person who served it to me?' was my initial thoughts, and then my paranoid delusional side instantly pointed the finger towards someone spiking this wine with animal products.
Out came the Wi-Fi internet ready device of my choice, and before I could finish writing this sentence, the answer was before my unbelieving eyes on Google.
A good number of beers and wines have anything from pork products, to dried blood, to milk and eggs, and yes even fish involved in their production. Not a believer in all things biblical, but if this isn't a sign that the end is near, I don't know what is. Why in wine and beer, and what have I ever done to deserve such cruelty?
As I researched the reasons behind this insanity, the vegan dream killer known as history reared its ugly head once again. The use of animal products in beer and wine goes back thousands of years, when people used everything they could salvage from a slaughtered animal in their daily lives. They use such things as bone charcoal, pig's hooves, egg whites, caseins, and fish bladders, not to gross you out, but to refine the "impurities" in your beer and wine, like yeast, natural grape skins and stems.
I guess if you're going to live like a caveman, you'll also be drinking like one. For the rest of my vegan buddies and anyone else interested in experiencing beers and wines from the 21st century, Barnivore.com, is a great place to check up on your next drink. There you can check out your spirit of choice, and make sure it is vegan, and avoid that rancid fish flavored slim created from the fish bladders used to filter your wine, in order to make it taste "better".