The Truth About Isinglass – Is Beer Vegan?
I stumbled upon another article from the vegan bros, which claim that Beer Is Vegan.
And it triggered my agreeable self again.
The vegan bros argue that claiming that beer is NOT vegan can deter normal people from going vegan.
See I like these guys, they’re fit, awesome and can be positive role models with their success.
Yet are they truly right? Should we drink beer? And should we drink alcohol altogether? And trust me, you might not like the answers.
See, I have a twisted relationship with alcohol altogether. The first time I was drunk I probably was 13 years old, at my friends place. When I was about 16 or 17 I frequently drank to blackouts. I mean literally, knowing nothing about what you did the night the next day.
I remember vomiting my brain out in Thailand on my 19th birthday in a bathroom that I shared with 12 people. After I was finished and laying half-dead in my bed, I heard a guy stepping into the vomit infested bathroom and yelling “who the fuck did this?” Yeah, fun times.
After about that time I realized that alcohol can be a huge problem.
1. The problem with alcohol
It took me some time, and a couple of tough hangovers, to accept that fact. But since about three years I haven’t drank a single sip of alcohol. So before I want to tell you if beer is vegan, here’s three reasons we need to know about drinking alcohol altogether:
1.1 Social acceptance
On those party nights in my teens I remember driving with a friend of a friend to a bar. He was drunk driving but we really didn’t care back then. It is something that he has done frequently.
1-2 weeks after that incident I got a text message from one of my buddies, saying that the guy got in a severe accident while he was drunk driving again. He was fine. But, he was driving with his little sister – his little sister died in that accident.
See I have a little sister and I could not live with myself if the reason of her death was me making stupid choices. This incident showed me, that what we think is socially acceptable sometimes turns out to be a mentally weak and foolish behaviour.
1.2 Alcohol is used to soften the pain of rejection
After my last relationship ended I remember feeling helpless. I was not going out to parties and I was not drinking. How could I possibly get girls?
After about a year of feeling like I had no control I got in contact with a dating coach – I had him on this channel before. It made me realize that every single thing that we know about girls is wrong.
I didn’t drink alcohol for the last 3 years but honestly, the last 2 years of my life were probably the most sexually active phases I ever had. You do not need alcohol to get laid buddies, all you need is practice and confidence. A little bit of muscles definitely help too.
This got me to the conclusion that:
1.3 Alcohol masks underlying problems
One benefit of alcohol is that it prohibits you from overthinking. Yet it also removes your capacity of learning from your mistakes.
Yet the only way you get better in anything is if you’re learning from your mistakes at all.
I’m not saying that this is always the case, but for most people drinking alcohol is a way to mask a deeper issue that you should indeed be focused on solving. For most people, beer or liquor is a way to stop feeling empty.
2. Don’t put a plaster on an injury that needs surgery
If you still decide to drink beer or alcohol in general after realizing these three points, you need to be aware of “Isinglass”.
Isin what? You might ask.
3. The truth about Isinglass
Isinglass is a substance derived from the dried swim bladders of fish. It is used to accelerate the process of clarification in beer. Beer will clear itself naturally, but Isinglass helps speed the process up. Isinglass combines itself with yeast which helps it settle down on the bottom of the beverage.
Isinglass works like a fishing net, ah the irony, and settles all the yeast and protein molecules that producers don’t want in their beer. Short: Isinglass is a clarifying agent derived from fish bladders.
If you happen to live in Europe the non-vegan clearing method is usually not an issue. Almost all swiss and german beers are brewen in the traditional way and are vegan. Beer in the UK is usually a bigger issue.
Conclusion – The Truth About Isinglass – Is Beer Vegan?
So if we go by the definition of the vegan society, which defines veganism as: “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.”
We have to come to the conclusion that isinglass and some beers indeed, are not always vegan.
I would understand if we claim beer would be vegan if it would be necessary for our survival. But no, it isn’t. Well, at least for most people.
A good way to understand if a substance is vegan, is if we take a look at the hierarchy of needs by maslow.
If the substance is in the lower part of the pyramid and necessary for your survival, let’s say the death of insects by farming crops for humans, then the thing is vegan. If it’s on the higher end and simply a substance for pleasure, like beer or honey, then I must disagree and claim that it is not vegan.
But this doesn’t mean that you should alienate your friends. Don’t be paranoid guys. Most of the beer that you find in bottles, cans or kegs is vegan.
Pro tip: If you’re unsure about a beer brand: Check out barnivore.com. It’s a website that helps you find the best vegan beer.