Tiger wine illegal (but available) in China

While it is still possible to buy tiger wine in China just by asking for it, it will probably not be possible for long, BBC reports. Tiger bone wine has been popular in China for centuries and, recently, it has become popular with tourists trying to sample something “authentically Chinese.”

It is supposed to be a health tonic to treat conditions from arthritis and rheumatism to impotence. (How could you not cure impotence with anything that has the name Tiger in it!)

Here is the problem with tiger wine. It is made from tiger carcasses soaked in rice wine. Although, officially, they are made from tigers “killed by other big cats,” pretty much everyone assumes that the tiger population has been decreasing partly because of the popularity of tiger wine. Experts believe that there are just 2,500 breeding tigers left in the wild (compared with about 100,000 at the start of the 20th century). The rest (about 5000) of them are held in “tiger farms.”

Do you feel bad yet? Good. When in China, stick with beer.