The honey + beeswax debate - use it or not - Page 2 - VeggieBoards
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#31 Old 08-01-2012, 02:23 PM
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Organic beeswax I suppose is the bigger issue for me. I don't know much about how that is processed. 
they come from the same place. A hive produces both wax and honey. I used to live at a place with a hive I helped tend. We didn't kill our bees or do some of the crap you see in large commercial hives and it was all organic, but I dunno, it's still pretty shady to steal another animals resources. For those concerned about introducing healthy honeybees to the ecosystem, you could always keep a hive (maybe adopt a colony from someone who can t keep theirs anymore) and then just not take the honey. You'd still probably want to check the health of the hive to make sure they weren't sick or spreading disease. A top bar hive rather than the stacked box hives disturb the bees less.
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#32 Old 08-01-2012, 02:52 PM
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they come from the same place. A hive produces both wax and honey. I used to live at a place with a hive I helped tend. We didn't kill our bees or do some of the crap you see in large commercial hives and it was all organic, but I dunno, it's still pretty shady to steal another animals resources. For those concerned about introducing healthy honeybees to the ecosystem, you could always keep a hive (maybe adopt a colony from someone who can t keep theirs anymore) and then just not take the honey. You'd still probably want to check the health of the hive to make sure they weren't sick or spreading disease. A top bar hive rather than the stacked box hives disturb the bees less.

 

Actually, I meant processed after the fact. Such as people gather it then what, process it, leave it as is?

 

I was looking all over for some sort of info on "ethical" bee keeping info (in fact, I should quit and get to work) but I can't find anything too useful.

 

I read vegan society's page on bees and thought it was a bit annoying being that they pulled out the whole "babies can't eat it" death issue as a health risk without explaining it (sensationalism is annoying). Plus, as if babies are searching the web for vegan info. Geez. Then I looked for something, anything about beeswax certification or collections and came up mostly blank. 

 

I found this one site featuring an interview with an "ethical" beekeeper and he said:

 

 

Quote:
"I would say that in some apiaries bees can be exploited, but when you treat the bees as a worker and not a tool, those mistakes don’t need to happen. A worker bee will generally have a 6-week lifespan, and its only desire is to work from the moment it is born, and basically horde honey. 99% of the time that will result in a vast excess of honey un-consumable by 1 hive. That uneaten excess leads to other problems of bees robbing each other, wax moths laying eggs, hive beetles destroying comb, to mice etc… "

 

Not sure how true all this is, but it was interesting. I also found an article about someone (a vegan) who keeps bees but only to help increase colonies - not to take their goods.

 

Lastly, on the other side of the debate I found an article (also by a vegan) about how many vegan, cruelty-free body care products and cosmetics have a ton of chemicals in them, while many beeswax made products don't. This is actually true I've found, and those chemicals pose a huge risk to both humans and animal populations.

 

Her argument was that if it comes down to beeswax or chemicals it might be better to go with the beeswax. I kind of agree, although, there are vegan body care goods without chemicals or beeswax so.... 

 

All in all, I guess for now I won't be eating honey. 

 

I need to research the beeswax issue more. There's soy wax too which is an awesome replacement (I love organic soy wax) BUT it's insanely hard to find organic soy wax products and conventional soy is packed with so many pesticides that it should be illegal and banned IMO.

 

So I'm still researching beeswax but honey is out I guess. I don't really need it. 


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#33 Old 08-01-2012, 03:04 PM
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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've always had the thought in my mind that if I ever live on some land, I'd throw up a bunch of bee houses, plant tons of flowers bees love all around them, and then let 'em do their thing.


Somewhat related, there are studies about what can help with bee conservation: http://www.conservationevidence.com/search.php?ss=10&sp=8&terms=bee%20conservation&synopsis_id%5B%5D=1&sp=8&ip=6&number=10#interventions

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#34 Old 08-01-2012, 03:07 PM
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I'm much less concerned about the wellbeing of insects than of animals.
Insects are animals. tongue3.gif

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#35 Old 08-01-2012, 03:11 PM
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Insects are animals. tongue3.gif


Wow, I can't believe I didn't catch that when I agreed! blush.gif

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#36 Old 08-01-2012, 03:13 PM
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The only processing we did on beeswax was to heat it up until it was liquid and strain it. For products like salves and lip balms and stuff that's more "spreadable" its usually just heated and mixed with a plant based oil.

I still have a ton of beeswax left. I'm really not sure how I feel about using it for something but I wouldn't want to just throw it away. I am thinking maybe making some salves and such and selling them and using the profits towards something animal rights based.
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#37 Old 08-01-2012, 03:31 PM
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If you use another living thing without need it's wrong. As omnivores with the capabilities of farming, storing, and transporting goods year round, we never need animal products. We wouldn't need them even for medical reasons if vegans could turn the profit making drug companies around (etc...)

 

Why use things from animals? Esp. honey and beeswax! I admit, I don't like honey. I do love maple syrup, and agave! 

Beeswax? Maybe I'm missing something, but it certainly seems like we have enough plant wax alternatives. Lip balm is better!

 

Honey is not vegan, and while I don't freak out if I have something with it, I'd never have it intentionally.


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#38 Old 08-01-2012, 03:49 PM
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I think beeswax is way better than the plant wax on the market and honey was always my favorite sweetener. But I gave them up because it's not in line with my ethics and that means more to me.

I think about this a lot and it's true a lot of this comes down to personal taste, but sometimes the non vegan version of something is better/more desireable for people but that doesn't mean you have to use it if you believe its wrong. I think its ok to sacrifice what you want for what you believe in. That's why I find it difficult to understand when people are like "well I can't go vegan unless there's a passable vegan version of ________". Even if there's not that's doesn't change what goes into producing the non vegan version, which is the exploitation of animals.
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#39 Old 08-01-2012, 03:53 PM
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I still have a ton of beeswax left. I'm really not sure how I feel about using it for something but I wouldn't want to just throw it away. I am thinking maybe making some salves and such and selling them and using the profits towards something animal rights based.

I think that is a good idea. I have read some vegans have donated their old fur coats and wool items to animal shelters.

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#40 Old 08-01-2012, 04:05 PM
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Why use things from animals? Esp. honey and beeswax! I admit, I don't like honey. I do love maple syrup, and agave! 

Beeswax? Maybe I'm missing something, but it certainly seems like we have enough plant wax alternatives. Lip balm is better!

 

There are alternatives, but a vast majority of the body care products containing wax, on the market today, contain mineral waxes derived from various processes of crude oil refining (non-renewable) or ceresin wax also often made from a blend of petroleum, petrolatum again obtained from petroleum. You've got overly processed waxes plus lots of chemicals. Many beeswax products are not overly processed or packed with chemicals. Go to the natural waxes as an alternative (say most plant based), and you've got to deal with pesticide issues in most cases. 

 

If we're talking about animal rights, in my opinion we also have to consider the harm we're doing to the planet - to drill for oil, to pollute water and soil with pesticides and chemicals,  and more, all is harmful for everyone. Beeswax, and organic honey are both actually less harmful (in my opinion) for people and animals than almost all other cosmetic ingredients out there. 

 

That said, there are other options. As I noted above, we could use organic soy wax more in this country, but the pesticide kings like to mess that up. We need better chemical and pesticide laws in order to create better, ethical products that harm no one across the board, but we're just super bad at chemical reform in this country. It's depressing. 

 

PS I almost forgot but in the case of soy candles, you have to use chemicals or the wax won't harden enough - which leaves beeswax or crude oil candles (that I know of) this is where the issue gets really sticky. Chemicals - oil - bees? Sigh. 


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#41 Old 08-01-2012, 04:05 PM
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There are some old fur coats in the house from my aunt who died a few years ago and they really upset me but I didn't know what to do with them, but I ended up fostering a few litters of abandoned kittens and ended up cutting up the coats and wrapping them around a heating pads so the kittens could feel like they were with their mama. I felt a lot better about it afterwards. Also used it on some orphaned ducklings.
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#42 Old 08-01-2012, 04:08 PM
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There are some old fur coats in the house from my aunt who died a few years ago and they really upset me but I didn't know what to do with them, but I ended up fostering a few litters of abandoned kittens and ended up cutting up the coats and wrapping them around a heating pads so the kittens could feel like they were with their mama. I felt a lot better about it afterwards. Also used it on some orphaned ducklings.

 

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#43 Old 08-01-2012, 04:19 PM
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I just realized that organic Fair Trade unrefined shea butter or cocoa butter could be the best options as an alternative in body care/cosmetics. I think you can buy both semi-easily and then you'd have no chemicals, no pesticides and no bee harm! 


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#44 Old 08-01-2012, 04:36 PM
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I switched to fair trade shea butter for my balms and salves. I really like it! Texturally its different but I thought about it and it doesn't t really matter. I haven't tried it yet for solid perfumes but we'll see.

I like figuring out how to best adapt things to be vegan and I always have to remind myself that you don't have to replicate the original product. It can be evocative of the non vegan version but have its own unique qualities.
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#45 Old 08-01-2012, 04:40 PM
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How did the early vegan community feel about insects?

 

According to Donald Watson (in interviews before his death), some felt honey should be considered vegan, others felt it should not. The decision was made to exclude it from the definition of 'vegan' when the Vegan Society was officially organized. We also know decisions made by the Vegan Society with ":democratic processes". I conclude therefore that they voted on it. I haven't been able to find anything about this vote though (how many took each position? which position did Watson take?), including whether there was in fact a vote.


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#46 Old 08-01-2012, 05:41 PM
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I switched to fair trade shea butter for my balms and salves. I really like it! Texturally its different but I thought about it and it doesn't t really matter. I haven't tried it yet for solid perfumes but we'll see.
I like figuring out how to best adapt things to be vegan and I always have to remind myself that you don't have to replicate the original product. It can be evocative of the non vegan version but have its own unique qualities.

 

Evergreen Candleworks Soy Lotion Bars - https://www.veggieboards.com/products/evergreen-candleworks-silky-soy-moisture-bar are the absolutely the best thing ever and they use shea butter. It's like a solid perfume bar so I think it would work if you tried that at home. The company that makes the bars above aren't certified organic, which is a slight con, but I've talked to their owner and she notes they do use organic soy. 

 

It is interesting trying to figure out how to adapt your life to vegan. It's a little hard because I already had a long list of non-eco-stuff I wouldn't use though, so now it's a little much, but, at the very least it works the brain. 


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#47 Old 08-01-2012, 05:42 PM
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I find it ironic that the new admin of VB has started up another version of the ill-fated honey thread, in the vegan forum. When I attempted to find others who eat vegan except for insect products in the vegetarian forum, several rabid vegans refused to let it bee.

I have no reason to believe that insects are sentient, and I do not think honey making significantly harms bees, if they are perchance capable of some degree of suffering.
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#48 Old 08-01-2012, 05:47 PM
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#49 Old 08-01-2012, 06:29 PM
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I find it ironic that the new admin of VB has started up another version of the ill-fated honey thread, in the vegan forum. When I attempted to find others who eat vegan except for insect products in the vegetarian forum, several rabid vegans refused to let it bee.
I have no reason to believe that insects are sentient, and I do not think honey making significantly harms bees, if they are perchance capable of some degree of suffering.

 

Being vegetarian, not vegan for most of my life, honey and more significant to me, beeswax, didn't play into my not eating meat mindset. It wasn't something I thought much about. 

 

I looked at some of the "beeswax" threads around here, but most merged right into the eating honey issue and then got totally insane. Honey, I can live without, but I am curious about the debate. Beeswax, when considering many of the alternatives is a harder question for me to figure out. You don't ingest beeswax (well, unless you eat lip gloss) and I had no clue where this fell on the whole, "Let's not harm animals and their habitat" debate. 

 

I agree with you in that I'm not so sure honey making significantly harms bees, especially after today when I read some interviews with beekeepers who try to keep it ethical. What I'm thinking is that I don't eat much honey anyhow, and it's not some huge pain to give up, so why not?

 

Even so though, if I eat honey or not, I think it makes a bigger impact to not eat meat, dairy and eggs. If my friend said they were vegan and still ate organic honey, I don't really think there would be anything crazy wrong with that considering how many people mindlessly eat burgers every day. In the grand scheme of things, honey is an interesting question, and beeswax is a significant issue for me to consider, but neither, in my opinion can compare to the significance of meat, eggs or dairy.  

 

As to ironically asking questions.... sorry. That wasn't my intent. I read about this in a vegan book, and wondered what was up. I figured some of the folks on here now, who I've already seen on threads might be likely to answer. People who I've seen give decent advice before.

 

If we banned all the questions people have, that have been posted in some way, somewhere before on this forum, it would be a fairly static forum. For example, there'd be no more questions about nutrition, how to feed veggie kids or why eggs are bad ever again. Plus, you'd have to read through some pretty long threads that in some cases got fairly intense just to get an answer to a question. 


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#50 Old 08-01-2012, 06:45 PM
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I have no objection to the question. I just find it somewhat humorous that you would bring up such a contentious issue, seemingly oblivious to the history. I can only imagine you will not be chided by mods and other members for posting un-veganness in the vegan forum since you are the admin.

Whether animal products are consumed as food or used in other ways really has no bearing on the ethical and/or environmental issues.
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#51 Old 08-01-2012, 07:18 PM
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If we banned all the questions people have, that have been posted in some way, somewhere before on this forum, it would be a fairly static forum. For example, there'd be no more questions about nutrition, how to feed veggie kids or why eggs are bad ever again. Plus, you'd have to read through some pretty long threads that in some cases got fairly intense just to get an answer to a question. 


I understand that you are looking for answers Jennifer, and I think it's a good question actually. I don't think anyone has the concrete answers to how life works or how it should be. In most honesty, I would prefer someone be vegan rather than omni, even if they happened to knowingly eat honey. Does that make honey vegan? No, but I agree with you in that I think meat, dairy, and eggs are "more" unethical to consume, but I'm still not promoting honey because I still find it unethical.

 

Since I know you like to be eco friendly, as do I and I completely understand when that sometimes can conflict with vegan values (though I would always choose my veganism in worst case scenarios) I suggest looking for the least processed , healthy, and eco friendly alternatives to honey and beeswax that is vegan. (And I can see you are already doing that :D) I think you are making some great changes for the animals, the environment, and yourself and it's important to note that we will never be perfect, but in so, it's still important to do what we can that we feel is the most ethical in given situations. :) 

 

And yes, honey is not a huge pain to give up, so why not? :)


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#52 Old 08-01-2012, 07:35 PM
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I can only imagine you will not be chided by mods and other members for posting un-veganness in the vegan forum since you are the admin.
Whether animal products are consumed as food or used in other ways really has no bearing on the ethical and/or environmental issues.

I already got called out here for discussing eggs, or rather I should say making semi-excuses for eating them. I seriously hope people wouldn't not call me out because of the admin deal, and thus far I feel like that hasn't happened. As I pointed out in another thread (somewhere around here) the ONLY reason I have admin access is because it helps me do boring site maintenance stuff and help people with back end issues when they need it rather than having to email random folks at Huddler. The admin issue is purely task related, not "in charge" related. For community related issues, I've been asking the mods for input, because their opinions will be better than mine at this point IMO. 

 

Are you saying that eating vs. animal products all work out the same when it comes to ethical and/or eco-issues?

 

I read much of your Beegans thread by the way. It was interesting. I could see where you were going with the idea of rounding up like-minded vegans. It made sense too in the vegetarian area, so it's kind of sucky that it got hijacked. 


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#53 Old 08-01-2012, 07:40 PM
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Since I know you like to be eco friendly, as do I and I completely understand when that sometimes can conflict with vegan values (though I would always choose my veganism in worst case scenarios) I suggest looking for the least processed , healthy, and eco friendly alternatives to honey and beeswax that is vegan. 

 

Yeah, I agree. One of my green goals, okay, my one and only green New Year's goal this year was to reduce all the packaging that came into my house by 60% or so (at least). I'm sucking at that this year, so instead of agave or honey or something like, I'm going to stick with mostly organic sugar in bulk. Then I can take my own reusable bulk bag, and there will be zero containers to deal with. Plus, it's cheaper I think.

 

I just need to figure something sticky out for homemade granola bars, but I think I have a plan for this brewing in my head already. 


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#54 Old 08-01-2012, 08:01 PM
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Date paste! I use that for my raw bars and raw pie crusts. It works way better than honey. You can make your own out of pitted dates in the food processor.
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#55 Old 08-01-2012, 08:38 PM
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 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. 

Pinned it!

 

Bottom line, bee pollen and honey are the bees' food - not ours. Plus I've heard that it's routine to kill the queen. So, no I don't eat it and no, I don't think a person who does is vegan. For plain old sugar, I use Florida crystals, but my Mom's diabetic so I want to find alternatives she can eat. I don't like the after taste of Stevia. I was excited about agave at first, but I'm not so sure about it now. I just tried coconut sugar and it is sooo good!  It unrefined and apparently safe for diabetics (even though it's mostly sucrose - hmmm.) You can get it in liquidy (like honey) or granular form. Of course, there are possible issues considering the already escalating demand for coconut products...

 

...but it's sooo good! Now that the sugar cane and pineapple businesses are basically defunct in Hawaii - would it be wrong to convert those fields to Coconut groves? My sweet tooth thinks that would be a splendid idea.

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#56 Old 08-01-2012, 08:39 PM
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Yeah, I agree. One of my green goals, okay, my one and only green New Year's goal this year was to reduce all the packaging that came into my house by 60% or so (at least). I'm sucking at that this year, so instead of agave or honey or something like, I'm going to stick with mostly organic sugar in bulk. Then I can take my own reusable bulk bag, and there will be zero containers to deal with. Plus, it's cheaper I think.

 

I just need to figure something sticky out for homemade granola bars, but I think I have a plan for this brewing in my head already. 

Sounds great! Definitely a good idea. I know I eat a lot of packaged foods, and I know it isn't that eco friendly. I do recycle, but I know that only helps part of the issue. I do care about the environment, but not to the point yet where I will omit many packaged items. My family can barely tolerate that I'm vegan @[email protected] I'm open to the idea of that though in the future. Sounds like a good plan :)


"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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#57 Old 08-01-2012, 10:12 PM
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This was recently brought to my attention, a post on reddit by a beekeeper: http://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/wsx2q/after_midnight_when_everyone_is_already_drunk_we/c5g8v4d

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#58 Old 08-02-2012, 03:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennifer C View Post

Are you saying that eating vs. animal products all work out the same when it comes to ethical and/or eco-issues?

I read much of your Beegans thread by the way. It was interesting. I could see where you were going with the idea of rounding up like-minded vegans. It made sense too in the vegetarian area, so it's kind of sucky that it got hijacked. 

Yes - Whether you eat it or slather it all over yourself or use it to grease your bike chains, what is the difference? Most vegans will be quick to tell you that it is not just about what is ingested, unless you are only concerned about health. You have even posted about this issue in regard to your vegan friend with the cleaning products.

It seems that most of the vegans with such rigid definitions left due to the Huddler debacle, so perhaps things are changing.
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#59 Old 08-02-2012, 05:32 AM
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I don't (and vegans don't) use silk or silk powder, either, nor leather, even though those aren't orally ingested (typically).

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#60 Old 08-02-2012, 06:13 AM
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The only bee products I'll use is beeswax in places where petroleum is typically used. I'd sooner use beeswax than oil.... But I try to avoid it when possible. I don't eat honey, or wear pearls, or silk, etc..  As long as the honey is soured locally from beekeepers who don't transport their bees, I don't have a problem with "vegans" who DO eat honey. 

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