To avoid consuming animal products, many people simply look at the ingredients to determine whether certain foods meet their dietary restrictions or not. But I’ve come to the realization that many things are not as apparent as they seem, and it’s not as easy as just reading a food label. Although any step toward veganism is a positive one, there are still a lot of ways in which many vegans may still be ‘supporting’ animal agriculture without even knowing it. It’s important to become informed in order to make these conscious decisions for yourself.
While most alcohol is vegan, there are still quite a number of beers, liquors, and wines that do not fall under the vegan category. It turns out that animal-derived ingredients may be used in the production of these alcoholic beverages. These ingredients include gelatin, egg whites, fish bladder, and casein (just to name a few). Unfortunately, nutritional labeling is not a requirement for alcoholic beverages so there’s no way of knowing what’s vegan or not simply by just looking at the bottle. So, you have to do a little bit of research before your next alcohol purchase.
I discovered a really great site that every vegan/vegetarian needs to check out. It’s called Barnivore. It is a database of about 22,000 products, in which you can search whether an alcohol product is vegan or not. They’ve done all the hard work by researching and organizing this together for the vegan community, which is pretty awesome. So even if you’re not ready to give up your favorite alcoholic beverages, at least now you are informed!