I've been a naughty vegan, and it's time to mend my ways. Farewell Bogle!
So, this being the Vegan Month of Food and all, what better time than now to talk about drinking vegan? It kind of makes sense--I'm normally obsessed with food, so Vegan MoFo's focus on food isn't really a change of pace for me. What is a change of pace is getting in touch with this gigantic community. I feel like I've had my head in the sand for years.
And I've been resting on my laurels. My vegan sire (you know, that person or those people who helped you become vegan) was pretty hardcore, so I learned a pretty hardline brand of veganism--one that encompassed not just food, but drink. It turns out a few beers and most wines aren't vegan. Who would've thunk it? When this was brought to my attention, I pretty much ditched wine en masse. Over the years, though, I've gotten soft like Rocky in Rocky III. And it took Vegan MoFo, like a gentle Mr. T as Clubber Lane, to help me snap out of it.
It worked for Amy and me how it works for a lot of folks, I'd imagine:
We used to bring our own wine to events that demanded--demanded I say!--wine. To folks who don't understand your choices, this can often seem a bit snooty. So then we would just try to stick to beer. I think it was ultimately the art scene that undid us. Not every gallery is as cool as, say, Three Walls, and serves PBR from a garbage can filled with ice. Most serve wine. Now, the obvious answer here is to not drink. Well, the second most obvious answer, the first clearly being a flask filled with Wild Turkey. I can't even remember the first time I just said "screw it" and drank wine that I wasn't certain about. But that's how it starts--"we don't know that this wine isn't vegan". So much for ethics.
After a while, this becomes "we don't care if this wine isn't vegan". And pretty soon, you find yourself buying wines that you've recently enjoyed, without even checking your list. Well, I checked the list a few nights ago for our current favorite, Bogle, which is decidedly NOT vegan. So this isn't even freegan. Oh, the shame.
That being said, I certainly acknowledge that veganism has a few lines that are a little blurry--questions of second-hand leather, honey, good products from bad companies, etc. But wine often has egg whites, gelatin, or both. Not so blurry.
As part of surfing vegan blogs during the MoFo action, I stumbled upon Barnivore. And I felt shame, dear readers, true shame. In the words of Johnny Cash using the words of Sting, I hung my head, I hung my head.
Now is the time to recommit to drinking vegan. Are you with me? Well...maybe you were already there.
Strangely, I've become increasingly committed over the last several years to buying local. So part of this new commitment involves contacting local wineries about their wines and using this info to help keep Barnivore up-to-date. I'll be compiling a list of vegan Michigan wines (and encourage other folks to do the same for their areas). Additionally, I intend to keep a "wine diary" of sorts, with some thoughts on which vegan wines are good and which should be avoided.
Which is all an awful lot of work for someone who prefers whiskey. Consider this my Vegan MoFo confession. What's yours?
P.S. Anyone have any recommendations? We're especially keen on red zinfandel right now.
P.P.S. I made a printable list of vegan wines from Barnivore--you can print it two-sided and fold it, to have with you at all wine-buying/drinking occasions.