Today, Brooklyn Paper has a nice report on Bushwick’s Pine Box Rock Shop, whose owners have gone out of their way to make sure all the drinks served under their roof are vegan. “It’s an ethical choice on our part,” co-owner Heather Rush told the paper. “I like the idea that vegan food is normal food.” Which is objectively a very good thing. A small local business succeeding by pursuing its moral convictions! No animals harmed in the making of your drink!
But also, are there that many animals in booze to begin with? Apparently the answer is ‘yes.’
According to the article, different types of alcohol “can contain dairy, fish, and insects,” and, more specifically, “binding” elements such as egg whites or bone meal, which a cursory search of Wikipedia defines as “a mixture of finely and coarsely ground animal bones and slaughter-house waste products.” Horrifying.
Less horrifying but still very gross is the revelation that aside from obvious vegan non-starters like Bailey’s (they make their own in-house version instead), Pine Box Rock Shop avoids things like cheap Schnapps and sloe gin due to their use of carmine, a “beetle extract” commonly used as a coloring element.
So, good for them, I guess, glad it’s working out. But do I really have to be grossed out every time I decide to get weird and order Schnapps from here on out? I already miss the days when I thought I was just treating my body to good, old-fashioned poison.
Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.