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Do you think vegans can have honey?

  • Yes

    Votes: 2 33.3%
  • No

    Votes: 4 66.7%
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Happy Veggie
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Hello!
So I'm very confused about Honey. I read that it is vegan then another article that it isn't and I am very confused. I don't see why Honey is not vegan as I don't really count insects as animals and they don't get killed to make it but I just want your thoughts on it! :D
 

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Impeach the gangster
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The honey industry is quite brutal to the bees. The Queen bees are arbitrarily killed, if they are judged to be too small. The bees are fed a cheap, artificial sugar-water, which leaves them in a weakened condition. They become subject to parasites, disease, and infection, and must be artificially medicated- dusted en masse with medicinal powder- antibiotics- which they ingest and absorb through their skin and through their eyes. Uncountable billions of bees die in the production of commercial honey. It is not a nice trade.
 
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Just because "theoretically" bees don't have to be harmed, the reality is they often are, it's like wool, sheep don't "have" to be harmed, but they are- it's the norm not the exception

There isn't any good reason to eat honey. The health benefits are far overrated by fad food and health industries. It's made for bees, quite specifically
 

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Vegan since 1991
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Hello!
So I'm very confused about Honey. I read that it is vegan then another article that it isn't and I am very confused. I don't see why Honey is not vegan as I don't really count insects as animals and they don't get killed to make it but I just want your thoughts on it! :D
Sorghum syrup and maple syrup are supposed to be good



 
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Veganism has a definition, a philosophy and a goal. Vegans try to behave in a way that is consistent with those things. Since honey is an animal product it is not considered vegan.

Also whether you agree with this or not, it doesn't matter how the animal is treated. the dairy cows and laying chickens could lead wonderful lives. but milk and eggs aren't vegan. So its consistent that it doesn't matter how the bees are treated as well.

The honey is stolen from the bees. For many vegans that is all, they need to know. It's exploitation of an animal.

Another fact that vegans consider is that honey is not necessary or essential to the human diet. There ARE other sweeteners.

Also, there is harm done to bees by beekeepers. Some beekeepers are small businesses and like small farms do take good care of their bees. They still steal the honey. Clipping of wings, replacing (killing) the queen... these are just some of the practices that vegans see as a cruel

Also, the big commercial beekeeping companies transport their hives in semis. and the transportation of the bees puts them under a lot of stress and millions of them die during the trips.

Regardless, honey is still a gray area for vegans. There are so many vegans that think its OK to eat honey they have a label: Begans. (Bee-gans, get it?)

the two big controversies among vegans stem from two things. one is the issue of insects. Granted they are animals but they have brains the size of a ballpoint pen tip. On the other hand, they do exhibit complex and social behavior. So where do you draw the line?

the other issue is that commercial beekeeping results in the fertilization of most fruit and nut trees. Something like 100 crops are dependent on commercial beekeeping fertilizing the crops.

So If beekeeping isn't vegan - then neither are fruits and nuts. Vegans eat the crops that are pollinated by these bees. There is really no way to avoid them. Some vegans think that if crops are a byproduct of bee exploitation, and vegans eat crops, then why not honey, too?

In general, honey bees are better cared for then commercial bees.

The (pure ) vegan argument is that the vegan doctrine states animal suffering should be "reasonably avoided" as opposed to "avoided at any cost." And it's more than possible to avoid purchasing honey. It would be almost impossible to avoid all the foods that are pollinated by bees.

Another issue that complicates the issue is that allowing honey consumption puts a vegan on a slippery slope. If one animal product is ok, then maybe two are, too. or three. If insects are fair game, then what about bivalves like clams? and it its little brains that are being used for a distinction, then maybe lobsters are OK too.

if you have to draw the line somewhere, the easiest place for that line is at the distinction between plants and animals. And insects are animals.

To further complicate the whole thing. Right now we are in the middle of a huge bee die-off. no one is sure of what has caused Colony Collapse Disorder(CCD). But many experts suspect it might have to do with pesticides and fungicides, that the commercial bees are exposed to when they fertilize crops. It's possible that the CCD is human-caused.
-- another possible reason to support organic farming.

The honey bees used for honey production are generally better-taken care of than the commercial bees that pollinate our crops. You can buy organic honey (and Free Trade honey, too). So you could argue that buying honey is helping to preserve and protect bees.

vegans are mostly intelligent thinking people. Each vegan is more than qualified to make up their own mind.

I do recommend that if you want to determine where you stand on this issue you take the time to read my links.

Oh, BTW, I have a little jar of honey in my pantry for when I get a sore throat.

http://www.vegetus.org/honey/honey.htm

http://www.slate.com/articles/life/food/2008/07/the_great_vegan_honey_debate.html
http://gentleworld.org/3-reasons-not-to-eat-honey/
 

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Honey is NOT vegan.

The honey is stolen from the bees. For many vegans that is all, they need to know. It's exploitation of an animal.

Regardless, honey is still a gray area for vegans. There are so many vegans that think its OK to eat honey they have a label: Begans. (Bee-gans, get it?)

So If beekeeping isn't vegan - then neither are fruits and nuts. Vegans eat the crops that are pollinated by these bees.

Oh, BTW, I have a little jar of honey in my pantry for when I get a sore throat.
Since you eat honey, I already know you are not vegan.

However, I will say this:

You are correct in that honey is exploitation of an animal. It is stolen from bees. For this reason alone, honey is not vegan.

However, honey is NOT a gray area for vegans. It is a black-and-white issue. Honey is not, was not, and will never be vegan. If you eat honey, you are not a vegan, period.

In addition, to say that fruits and nuts are not vegan is absolutely false.
 
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Since you eat honey, I already know you are not vegan.

However, I will say this:

You are correct in that honey is exploitation of an animal. It is stolen from bees. For this reason alone, honey is not vegan.

However, honey is NOT a gray area for vegans. It is a black-and-white issue. Honey is not, was not, and will never be vegan. If you eat honey, you are not a vegan, period.

In addition, to say that fruits and nuts are not vegan is absolutely false.
Agreed. I don't like to criticise ethically-motivated vegetarians as there are so few of even them in the general population, but it's sometimes surprising how much some try to use every excuse not to give up a certain item or 2 they are fond of and become actual vegans.

Every vegan eats no animal products (barring being lost in wilderness for weeks with no food or transport etc) - simple. Some vegans extend it more or less beyond diet into things like footware, issues over (types of) pet ownership, animal testing and so forth. But diet is the common denominator and theres no debate to be had over it.
 

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Vegan since 1991
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Hello!
So I'm very confused about Honey. I read that it is vegan then another article that it isn't and I am very confused. I don't see why Honey is not vegan as I don't really count insects as animals and they don't get killed to make it but I just want your thoughts on it! :D
Hi gjbz123,

The Vegan Society has published an article on this topic: https://www.vegansociety.com/go-vegan/honey-industry
.
 

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In addition, to say that fruits and nuts are not vegan is absolutely false.
As you know vegans are against animal exploitation.
Did you know that 50% of the crops in America are pollinated by commercial honey bees? These bees have a much more brutal life than the honey bees on a little honey producing farm.

In my post, I included a couple of links. I have read these articles and still believe that honey is a gray area for vegans. Although honey can be easily avoided. Honey represents just a fraction of the exploitation that occurs when we exploit bees to pollinate our crops.

"you can't worry over the ethics of honey production without worrying over the entire beekeeping industry. Honey accounts for only a small percentage of the total honeybee economy in the United States; most comes from the use of rental hives to pollinate fruit and vegetable crops. According to food journalist Rowan Jacobson, whose book Fruitless Fall comes out this September, commercial bees are used in the production of about 100 foods, including almonds, avocados, broccoli, canola, cherries, cucumbers, lettuce, peaches, pears, plums, sunflowers, and tomatoes. Even the clover and alfalfa crops we feed to dairy cows are sometimes pollinated by bees.

Life for these rental bees may be far worse than it is for the ones producing honey. The industrial pollinators face all the same hardships, plus a few more: They spend much of their lives sealed in the back of 18-wheelers, subsisting on a diet of high-fructose corn syrup as they're shipped back and forth across the country. Husbandry and breeding practices have reduced their genetic diversity and left them particularly susceptible to large-scale die-offs."

"In the face of this insectile carnage, vegans fall back on a common-sense dictum that animal suffering should be "reasonably avoided" as opposed to "avoided at any cost."

http://www.slate.com/articles/life/food/2008/07/the_great_vegan_honey_debate.html
 
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