Contributer’s Corny Conversation

This anecdote comes to us from Brooklyn-based, DB Contributer Michael Oman-Reagan:

The other day my boyfriend brought home a bag of Ike & Sam’s Kettlecorn with the hopes it would be a snack we could enjoy together (I’m vegan, he’s not). A quick glance at the ingredients didn’t turn up anything obviously cruelty-inducing; Popcorn, Corn Oil, Sugar, Salt. Of course, I wanted to make sure//” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. that it was made with vegan sugar, so I emailed Ike & Sam’s. I included a link to explain how sugar is sometimes produced using bone char. Sam, himself, replied “I didn’t even know people use bones for sugar and I have to tell you I will be looking into this. Thank you for bringing this to my attention, bones just do not sound appetizing to me either.” Yeah, right? Who needs bones in their popcorn…

So, he contacted the supplier, got the refinery information for me and confirmed that it is on a list of refineries that don’t use bone char. And during our email exchange, I also mentioned vegan wine and he asked “Just out of curiosity, how could wine not be vegan?” so I replied with an explanation about clarifying, eggs and fish guts, etc. He was genuinely interested to learn about how sugar, beer and wine might not be vegan.

The whole exchange really made me realize what an impact we can have as consumers when we take time to contact producers and ask questions. In this case I had a chance to teach a food producer something and he was really receptive, even thanking me “for the lesson.” What a good reminder about the power of personal contact and optimism. So, the next time I wonder about a product – I’m going to give them a call. Maybe I’ll learn something and be able to teach them something too.

Michael Oman-Reagan, Brooklyn

the nature boy, hiking in oregon where I grew up with my manly staff.


Thanks Michael!

If you want to find out more about cruelty-free alcohol, visit Taste Better

Vegan Wine Sampler

Vegan Wine Sampler


3 Responses to Contributer’s Corny Conversation

  1. Great vegan wine sampler! Look forward to trying that…

    East Village Liquor on 1st Ave between St. Marks & 9th is my choice for grabbing a bottle of vegan wine on the way home or on the way out. Sure, there are lots of boutique wine stores in NYC, but this little shop has a special charm. The place caught my eye when I visited during the 2004 elections and the owner was wearing a big political pin; W with a slash through it. I like a business that isn’t afraid to wear their politics on their sleeve.

    It turns out that not only do they have a shelf of organic and vegan wines, but the staff actually know about vegan wine – and the gentleman who helped me just the other day knew (off of the top of his head) which vinyards make vegan wine… that’s impressive.

    Next time I’m in, maybe I’ll test him and see if he knows which insect is used to give the color to Campari. (Damn you Campari, for ruining my Italian cocktail fantasies…so much for the sweet life…)


  2. vegoftheweek says:

    I agree that the Taste Better website is a gem for finding your vegan alcohol. While some of the other sites lists brands or companies you may not have heard of or are hard to find, Taste Better actually lists brands you’ll find at the chain grocery stores as well as the organic, natural foods stores.

    Plus, they give detailed descriptions of their “investigations” (got conflicting answers from customer service reps, supplier says everything but the honey version is vegan, etc.) so you can come to a conclusion as to which brand you trust the most to buy. (To be honest, even though I’ve contacted a company and they’ve told me something is suitable, doesn’t mean I always believe them depending on how the person on the other end stated it.)

  3. […] Euphemism for “Burnt Slave Bones in your Food”. Posted by MOR on 14 Apr 2008   >> animal rights, abolishionism, food, vegan, ethics, environmentalism, activism Take a look at the anecdote I contributed about my conversation with a food producer and their sugar refinery on The Discerning Brute. Read it here. […]

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