Are you trying to find out if his choice is the most environmentally friendly one? I'm not really sure that it's the right question for this thread, but...while veganism is usually the most environmentally friendly diet, it may not always be. Veganism is also about not exploiting nonhuman bodies and their products for food, eliminating them as an acceptable source of food (much the way human flesh is generally not seen as a source of food), and that makes its own statement that many vegans are concerned with. Which is also why some don't embrace freeganism.
If we were all concerned with the most environmentally friendly food source to the exclusion of other concerns, we might eat stillborn babies as a source of protein rather than soy beans, but vegans don't do that either (nor does anyone else).
"If you want to know where you would have stood on slavery before the civil war, don't look at where you stand on slavery today, look at where you stand on animal rights." - Paul Watson.
Every animal you eat
was running for her life
Sap is taken from either the blue agave or wild agave similar to maple.
Direct Impact of Honey >
Bee food (honey) is stolen from hives and replaced with sugar water.
Queens are killed every several years to increase production.
But this is about environmental impacts correct? OK. Which I'm guessing you mean by claiming that semi's that transport agave nectar to northern regions end up killing bugs along the way - more so then a local honey producer.
Each year, more than 272,727 kg (600,000 lb.) of bees and approximately 400,000 queens are shipped from the West.
Even your local producers have to acquire their bees and queens from somewhere, which is most likely from the south west region - the same region that agave nectar is sourced. And then they have to ship produced honey out and around. So now not only are shipping casualties the same - but the honey itself still causes the ethical harm to the bees.
Some colonies are killed in the fall, and the equipment is stored; then the hives are restocked in the spring with packages of bees and a queen purchased from southern beekeepers. Other colonies are wrapped with insulation and tar paper for winter protection. Some are left with ample stores of honey and pollen in locations protected from wind and exposed to warming sunlight. Still others have most of the honey removed, and the hives are reduced to two-story brood nests that are trucked to the South, where they are allowed to build up and be divided to form new colonies. These are then returned to the North in the spring. Midsummer shade is beneficial. Migratory beekeeping is increasing as beekeepers move their colonies from one location to another to take advantage of the various nectar flows.
Some hives are just killed in winter - awaiting more to be shipped yet again in the spring, others are re-shipped to the south during winter, and back north during spring. So either way - there is mass transportation going on with honey production.
With such similar transportation impacts, we are left comparing impacts to the lifeforms involved. One injures and sometimes kills plants, and the other injures and sometimes kills bees. An animal that has shown minor signs of sentience, and may feel pain, may suffer.
The negative impacts of honey are greater then the negative impacts of agave nectar.
Environmental, Health, Ethics - Veganism wins again.
"and I stand
upon a mountain
made of weak and useless men"
Same here. I don't really like sweetening things.
light agave is just a plain sugary flavor = so is this really any better than much more efficiently grown sugar or raw sugar?
Honey is more sustainable and aids farmers, with a good variety of tastes from simple clover to orange blossum to buckwheat. It's ayurvedic and compatable with ahimsa. Obviously the categories used in veganism can sometimes miss the point of veganism depending upon the person (see also "is semen vegan?" type questions).
save the agave for tequila
Some crops require a farmer to rent the services of pollinating bee colonies, I have not seen a comparable claim of sustainability from the agave industry.
The Agave doesn't even produce it's own fructose. It produces Inulin (which the plant uses to store energy) which is converted with enzymes (un-naturally by the farmers process) to fructose. It is not good for you.
If you want honey support your local bee keeper and buy your honey from him/her. Local honey contains about 1/3 fructose and 2/3 glucose plus traces from the local plants in the area. Getting small doses of local plants in your honey can help with allergies plus it taste is just amazing.