Friday, February 8, 2008

Beaver Butt Juice

I am often surprised when I'm having a conversation with someone about being vegan and despite starting with lots of questions for me, we quickly get to a point where they ask me to stop telling them the truth about what they eat. When I realized what was really happening in the meat and animal byproduct industry, I was horrified. I was disgusted. I was flaming pissed. I was eating that stuff! Why didn't I know sooner? Why doesn't everyone know?

Gelatin is a great example. Mmmm ... who doesn't love jello? Harmless, wiggledy jiggledy jello. It's fun. It's colorful. Adored by kids everywhere. They even give it to you in the hospital when you are at your most vulnerable. What could be wrong with it?

How 'bout the fact that gelatin is manufactured from the boiled hooves, bones, and skins of animals, for starters. That's just wrong. Do you think kids (or anyone for that matter) would be so excited about eating jello if they knew it was really manufactured from some demented witch's brew of slaughter house dregs? Yum! Appetizing, right? Who comes up with this stuff, anyway?

So, imagine my shock at myself when I read about castoreum and actually said to myself, I don't want to know about this! This has got to be one of the fowlest, most urp-evoking ingredient known to man. Worse than gelatin. Worse than German porn, even. Two Girls, One Beaver ... coming to YouTube soon!

Castoreum is the extract from beaver anal glands and is used extensively in perfumes and ... brace yourself ... sometimes in food.

But wait, it gets even better. Because it is derived from a natural source (uh ... that would be the ass of a beaver in case you weren't paying attention ... you know ... where the beaver shit comes out), under the Code of Federal Regulations it can be listed as "natural" flavor. Grab something out of your cabinet right now and read the ingredients. Do you see "natural flavorings" listed? I thought I smelled beaver ass on your breath.

But why? Well, according to the Nov/Dec 2007 issue of VegNews Magazine, castoreum "gives a smooth, round finish to raspberry flavors in a handful of baked goods, condiments, and candies." Ugh! It's in candy? Not exactly what the kids had in mind when they said, "Trick or treat!"

Again I find myself asking ... who comes up with this stuff? I have this odd vision of someone walking down the street with a basket of raspberries while another person approaches, beaver in tow. They bump into one another and shazzam!

"Hey ... you got raspberry on my beaver ass!"

"Hey, you got beaver ass in my raspberries!"

"Wait, that tastes pretty damn good!"

Is that how this happens?

Seriously cats and kittens, who wants to eat this stuff? Back off the prepackaged foods. Grow your own. Make your own. Go vegan. The beavers will thank you.

12 comments:

Anchored Away said...

I know I got "lalalalalala" with fingers plugging ears when it occurred to me how big a lifestyle change I'd have to make with this knowledge.

Sucks, dude. Sucks.

But changes are being made now, and I'm getting converts, too. ;)

We'll earn our toasters one way or another.

Marni said...

Dude, eff the toaster. I've got my sights set on the matching set of pink solar panels. Hawtness.

But seriously, 'tis better to know and go without than to suck the ass of the beaver. Right?

war3rd said...

While I fully support your right to dine as you choose, I also have no problems with the source of my food, and fully enjoy gelatin, etc. While we have a culture that kills animals for food, we should at least be using all of the animals rather than trowing parts away. Also, I eat muscle and organ tissue, what's wrong with castoreum? It's sanitary, at east we're not licking the beaver's ass.

Rallying against things that others enjoy will get you nowhere, a fact my vegan brother learned years ago. He no longer points out how "gross" everything is. It got him nowhere. He now lives his life the way he believes, and lets others live their lives the way they believe is right. You could learn a lesson from that.

Kararyu said...

You know what? I agree entirely with war3rd. People are different, choose their own different ways and truths, that's called diversity. Some of us are vegan, while others help beavers' asses keeping their jobs. I long quit trying making up everyone else's mind about animal products. Whose sake's for? The animals'? The one single animal which welfare and well-being concerns me now is... MYSELF! That's why I do not eat any animal or industrial products. They're unsafe for human consumption. And the more hormone-and-antibiotics-filled unhealthy total-confinement-herd madcows people eat, the better, the faster they die, the less income concentration and thus more job opportunities and money in my pocket, and the less humans breathing my oxygen. Not to mention what a relief it is for me being vegan, when I stumble upon this kind of topic. And a nice replacement for jello is Kanten, a Japanese jelly extracted from algae.

Anonymous said...

FINE PRINT: i'm not attempting to defend the actions of the food industry against the public or defend the way animals are treated in 'factory farms.'

boiled hooves/skin? it's all separated out sterilized protein. your ancestors used to eat animal entrails, intact. beaver ass? people get off on licking assholes. there is trace amount of animal/human shit in any food you eat. stop being such a pussy op.

Kararyu said...

Okay, I may be a pussy op, but I don't have to do what you tell me. Keep getting off licking ass and leave those who are disgusted to do so alone. So valiant he posted as anonymous.

gracewithink said...

Ya know, I read this awhile ago, and just looked it back up to share with a friend... and I realized when I came here today that I'd never looked at the comments before. I realize they're all old but, wow.

Just... wow. I'm curious why they even felt the need to comment, other than to make themselves feel important. Keep up the good fight, chica. I, for one, avoid the ass of the beaver.

dirtyduck said...

i cant understand why people eat jello, and lots of times they will still eat it (or something with gelatin in it) after i have told them. i am so with you, i wish i had known sooner, but for some people, it just doesnt seem to matter?!

expandingcircle said...

This post made my day. Thank you!

Vegan Poet said...

Thanks for the laugh amongst the madness of it all!

Anonymous said...

I can not believe you people think it is ok to eat beaver ass! Would you eat your own ass? I think not... And have you ever thought about how they obtain this beaver juice? How painful and abusive it may be for the animal? ... Oh thats right! Its not you, so who cares?! I hope you come back a beaver and get your ass squeezed every day of your life! : )

Emma said...

Was reading a list of distusting food items(RODALE),and beaver anal gland juice was one mentioned. Looking for products that use it I came across your post.Thanks for the morning laugh.

Me, I would rather know to avoid certain things.Human hair,ground bugs,and now anal gland secretions among the many. I like teasing my kids about the cow bone desserts.

Yeah we can eat it,but I think listing the REAL ingredients on the labels is the only right thing to do,so some can avoid it.So lame that companies and the government don't force ensure this.Can't wait to tell my kids about the ole' beaver.