Confused about lanolin and honey? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 05-16-2014, 04:18 AM
Join Date: May 2014
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Confused about lanolin and honey?

I've been a vegan for about a week but I was vegetarian for about a year before that so I'm fairly new to veganism. Im hoping some can shine a light on the usage of lanolin and honey and why vegans avoid them. To my knowledge lanolin is harvested from the sheep by sheering the wool off, not by killing or harming it so why are vegans supposed to that?? I also don't know the process of harvesting honey so can some one please shed some light on that too, thanks!
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#2 Old 05-16-2014, 05:28 AM
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Hi Timmy,

Welcome to VB

To a lot of people, veganism is not just about obvious forms of animal cruelty, it's about exploitation as well. That means many people who self-identify as 'vegan' (myself included) do not wish to support using animals for any products.

I know from reading recent posts that there are several VBers with much more knowledge of the honey process than I have, so I would rather wait and let them see your post so they can give you more accurate information on that.

Some people prefer to follow a plant based diet but still use the word vegan. There are frequent debates here about that.

Either way, I'm happy you're eating vegan and hope you enjoy the change. Please don't worry too much right now, there is a lot to take in! There is lots of support and recipe information to be found here.
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#3 Old 05-16-2014, 10:19 AM
Not such a Beginner ;)
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Lanolin is from sheep, honey from bees. Vegans try to avoid using animal products as much as is practical and possible. There are easy substitutions for these and other products. See the Honey Thread for a very long-winded discussion on this topic...
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#4 Old 05-16-2014, 10:36 AM
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The honey debate is... complicated. Like LedBoots said, there is a honey thread that goes into depth on the issue, I would recommend checking it out.

One issue with lanolin and wool, besides the animal exploitation issue, is that just because the sheep aren't killed doesn't mean they are treated well. Mulesing is a common practice with wrinkled merino sheep in which sections of skin are cut off (typically without anesthetic). Proponents of mulesing claim that the scar tissue is less likely to be infected by blowflies, but there are waay more ethical ways to prevent blowfly infestation, including not raising huge numbers of wrinkly skin merino sheep for wool production in the first place. If you are sensitive to pictures of animal suffering, be careful if you do a web search for mulesing because the pictures are awful.
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#5 Old 05-16-2014, 12:58 PM
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A great explanation of lanolin can be found here:

The wool/sheep agricultural industry is very cruel to sheep, buying lanolin products supports it.

"You will always be fond of me. I represent to you all the sins you never had the courage to commit.”
Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray
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