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The honey + beeswax debate - use it or not

post #1 of 113
Thread Starter 

I just read Main Street Vegan and the author brought up the whole honey debate, which honestly, I didn't think was a debate at all but after reading the book, I looked it up and the vegan honey debate is everywhere. 

 

It's very confusing and both sides of the debate (use bee products vs. don't) make good points.

 

I know I need to make my own decision, but I'm, interested in where everyone here stands when it comes to honey and beeswax?

 

Oh, and until I make a decision, I'm just avoiding bee products anyhow. 

~ Jennifer

 

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post #2 of 113

I usually avoid bee products, but I won't make a big deal out of it if I accidentally eat/use some. I just found out that there was honey in my favorite cereal (hidden in the dried banana-chips furious.gif). I will continue to eat the cereal until it is gone, but I won't be buying it anymore. Hopefully, I'll be able to find another brand that is 100% vegan... Though with the limited selection we have over here, it is unlikely. I'll just live without it!

post #3 of 113

I don't agree with consuming it. The bees made it, it is theirs. I also hear many of the bees get killed in the farming of the honey.

 

With so many awesome vegan sweeteners, what would be the point of using honey? Just for a little in your tea ?(I had someone try to defend themselves to me about being a vegan and eating honey because they simply wanted it in their tea o_o) One can easily do without honey, so I see no need to exploit the bees and use something from them that wasn't meant for us and that which we don't need.

 

If you have the time, you can read this that explains why honey isn't vegan.

 

http://vegetus.org/honey/honey.htm
 

"Why should man expect his prayer for mercy to be heard by What is above him when he shows no mercy to what is under him?" ~Pierre Troubetzkoy
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post #4 of 113

How did the early vegan community feel about insects? Were they always included in the no harm to animals ideology. Me? I'm much less concerned about the wellbeing of insects than of animals. I eat honey and will use byproducts, and while I am reducing the amount of eggs and dairy we use, I can't see myself ever not eating honey for ethical reasons.

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post #5 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by 'IckenNoodleSoup View Post

How did the early vegan community feel about insects? Were they always included in the no harm to animals ideology. Me? I'm much less concerned about the wellbeing of insects than of animals. I eat honey and will use byproducts, and while I am reducing the amount of eggs and dairy we use, I can't see myself ever not eating honey for ethical reasons.


Why couldn't you see yourself not eating it? It doesn't matter how a community overall felt about something. You shouldn't conform to that notion just because it may have been in the majority. It's much more exhilarating to actually think for yourself about what is ethically right or wrong, and hopefully doing as best you could from trying to put yourself in a bee's standpoint. :)

 

I love insects. I wouldn't dare harm one. I don't consider them any less sentient than a cow or human. I would always save my fellow humans and animals first, but likewise I wouldn't harm critters unless I needed to. I remember stomping on bees as I was younger. I enjoyed it too. Now I couldn't dare to such a thing to these beautiful beings of life. I'm a little "ashamed" of myself for what I did in the past, but I'm glad I was able to change as a person and start appreciating all life, and not just those who I could connect more with. <3


Edited by 4everaspirit - 8/1/12 at 9:29am
"Why should man expect his prayer for mercy to be heard by What is above him when he shows no mercy to what is under him?" ~Pierre Troubetzkoy
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"Why should man expect his prayer for mercy to be heard by What is above him when he shows no mercy to what is under him?" ~Pierre Troubetzkoy
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post #6 of 113

agave tastes better. I don't eat honey bees are killed in the process. Also maple syrup tastes even better then those both ;) but i don't use maple syrup.

post #7 of 113
Thread Starter 

One of my issues is that, from what I can tell, agave is always highly processed, much like HFC while honey (quality honey) is not. 

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post #8 of 113

That may be, but I'd rather eat something processed than something that was forcibly taken from a living creature, harming said creature in the process. Then again, I tend not to worry overly much if my food is processed or not... 

post #9 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennifer C View Post

One of my issues is that, from what I can tell, agave is always highly processed, much like HFC while honey (quality honey) is not. 


You don't need to use agave xD That was just one example. If you want to use other sweeteners feel free. Stevia, though it's not a goo sweetner rocks and is 2x sweeter than sugar.

"Why should man expect his prayer for mercy to be heard by What is above him when he shows no mercy to what is under him?" ~Pierre Troubetzkoy
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post #10 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by sigen92 View Post

That may be, but I'd rather eat something processed than something that was forcibly taken from a living creature, harming said creature in the process. Then again, I tend not to worry overly much if my food is processed or not... 


+1...I think I probably eat too much processed food. It's just so comforting.  :(

"Why should man expect his prayer for mercy to be heard by What is above him when he shows no mercy to what is under him?" ~Pierre Troubetzkoy
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post #11 of 113
Thread Starter 

I don't think our bodies are made to digest large doses of fructose in highly processed foods or processed foods in general. Plus, from all I can find out most agave is processed with high temps (defeating the whole "it's raw" argument) and caustic acids, among other stuff.

 

I could care less if agave is raw or not, because I'm not a raw foodie, but any food companies who market their products incorrectly enrages me to no ends, so I tend to avoid companies like that. I have special issues with agave because many green bloggers I know are touting it as the new black in health food, due to how it's been marketed, when really it's not much different than HFC. 

 

That said, if I come down on the side of no honey, I'll just stick with certified organic sugar only, as it's about 50% less processed and refined than other sweeteners. I don't use many sweeteners anyhow, but in the past I used organic honey in ice pops and baking. 

 

Organic beeswax I suppose is the bigger issue for me. I don't know much about how that is processed. 

~ Jennifer

 

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post #12 of 113
I have always wondered why we don't support some sort of bee-keeping. The bee numbers are drastically down with the rampant use of pesticides, and we need bees to pollinate plants - don't we? Can't bee-keeping be done ethically, without harming bees?
Edited by Poppy - 8/1/12 at 11:20am
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post #13 of 113

^ I think it can be done without harming the bees.

 

Eating/ using honey isn't vegan as it is an animal product. I have been vegan for nearly six years and I didn't really miss honey until recently I had a craving so I used a vegan replacement made from fruit. I just read the label and it is made from apples, grapes and carob but I assume it is processed.

post #14 of 113
I've been using agave for a few years now. We've even put it in baklava, and it tasted great. lick.gif
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post #15 of 113

This might be of some interest. Bee Free Honee. Made from apple, sugar and lemon juice.

 

http://www.beefreehonee.com/
 

"Why should man expect his prayer for mercy to be heard by What is above him when he shows no mercy to what is under him?" ~Pierre Troubetzkoy
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post #16 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pixie View Post

 

 

Eating/ using honey isn't vegan as it is an animal product.

*nods*

 

If you want to use a health(ier) sweetener, find something with fiber in it, like date paste.

post #17 of 113
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Poppy View Post

I have always wondered why we don't support some sort of bee-keeping. The bee numbers are drastically down with the rampant use of pesticides, and we need bees to pollinate plants - don't we? Can't bee-keeping be done ethically, without harming bees?

I think that some 1/3 of food on the planet is pollinated by bees. And the pesticide issue is huge. But really that means we should just stop using pesticides. I've heard that ethical bee keeping may help keep their numbers up, but one, I'm not sure if that's entirely true and two, I'm not sure you'd have to take the honey simply to keep bees. 

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post #18 of 113
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4everaspirit View Post

This might be of some interest. Bee Free Honee. Made from apple, sugar and lemon juice.

 

http://www.beefreehonee.com/
 

I saw this before. I was going to call them and see how they process. It's not organic though so most likely I wouldn't use it. Apples are the most polluted (with pesticides) produce item in the USA. 

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post #19 of 113
Thread Starter 

Let me ask everyone this. If someone eats honey or knowingly uses beeswax, do you personally think they're vegan or just strict vegetarian? 

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post #20 of 113

I don't consume it out of sheer respect for bees. They are fascinating creatures and they put a lot of effort into their product. I'm not a pirate.

 

Also, when I'm cooking I much prefer agave nectar.

 

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post #21 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennifer C View Post

Let me ask everyone this. If someone eats honey or knowingly uses beeswax, do you personally think they're vegan or just strict vegetarian? 


Hmmmm, I don't like to be so specific in putting labels on people because I know I'm not a perfect vegan myself. But generally I think they are. I don't think they would go around telling people they are a "beegan" xD and I wouldn't blame them. I suppose as long as they know vegans generally don't eat honey and when people ask why they eat honey, they at least let others know that vegans generally don't do so but they do (for some reason o.o) The best I can do is persuade them to sway away from the honey :)

"Why should man expect his prayer for mercy to be heard by What is above him when he shows no mercy to what is under him?" ~Pierre Troubetzkoy
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post #22 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennifer C View Post

Let me ask everyone this. If someone eats honey or knowingly uses beeswax, do you personally think they're vegan or just strict vegetarian? 

not a vegan.

post #23 of 113

Bees make honey to be their food for the winter...we take it and then give them corn syrup.

 

That would be like someone spending all summer in the kitchen canning lots of goodies with fresh fruits and veggies so they'd have good food for winter, then I come in and say, "Wow that looks really good, I think I'll take it all and leave you a bag of rice and beans."

 

Wouldn't be fair, would it?

post #24 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kari View Post

Bees make honey to be their food for the winter...we take it and then give them corn syrup.

 

That would be like someone spending all summer in the kitchen canning lots of goodies with fresh fruits and veggies so they'd have good food for winter, then I come in and say, "Wow that looks really good, I think I'll take it all and leave you a bag of rice and beans."

 

Wouldn't be fair, would it?


+1 I forgot that they do give them corn syrup instead. Yeah, that's not cool. :/

"Why should man expect his prayer for mercy to be heard by What is above him when he shows no mercy to what is under him?" ~Pierre Troubetzkoy
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post #25 of 113

it's also not a matter of opinion either :/

post #26 of 113
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Originally Posted by jessickah View Post

it's also not a matter of opinion either :/


Well, I have an opinion on your matter of opinion saying that it's not a matter of opinion!! o.O JK  ^_^

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post #27 of 113

When I went vegan the decision was super easy because I despise honey. The smell of it makes me a bit queasy. I do check to make sure there isn't any honey in any of my food, and I try to keep the beeswax out of my products, I don't buy lip chap or anything with it in it. I slipped up a few weeks ago, and forgot to read the ingredients in a sunscreen stick I was buying because I was in a hurry. It has beeswax in it, but I'm just going to use it until it's gone. Normally I would just give it to my mom, but she already has the same one. As far as ethical bee keeping goes, I think that's probably a good idea, since they re on the decline. It's like when they breed some animals that are going instinct and then reintroduce them to the wild.

post #28 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennifer C View Post

Let me ask everyone this. If someone eats honey or knowingly uses beeswax, do you personally think they're vegan or just strict vegetarian? 


Technically not a vegan, although if those are the only animal products someone uses I wouldn't take issue with them calling theirself "vegan" in certain contexts. The problem with the term "strict vegetarian" is I believe very few people know what it means. I prefer "near vegan", personally.


Edited by cornsail - 8/1/12 at 2:01pm

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post #29 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by 'IckenNoodleSoup View Post

I'm much less concerned about the wellbeing of insects than of animals.

So am I. But I still have some degree of concern for insects. I don't eat honey, but I'd much rather see someone eat honey than pork or eggs, for example, which are absolutely horrendous.

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post #30 of 113
Thread Starter 

I'm still trying to figure out if beeswax is ever collected ethically or what. I used to make lip gloss and such with beeswax.

 

Anyhow, while looking for reputable info on how "ethical" beeswax is collected, I found a really useful article about beeswax alternatives for crafting (candles, cosmetics, etc) for vegans. http://craftingagreenworld.com/2012/02/29/vegan-beeswax-alternative/ there are some cool alternatives here. Thought people might like it. 

~ Jennifer

 

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