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Is honey vegan?

  • I am a vegan and I believe honey is vegan

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  • I am a vegetarian and I believe honey is vegan

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  • I am a vegetarian and I believe honey is NOT vegan

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  • I do not know

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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just wanted to know what people thought.

Personally I think honey is not vegan because vegans do not eat the by-products of animals. But a discussion on myspace has got me thinking about what other people thought about this.

EDIT:-

someone later in the forum suggested this website:-

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

you may find it interesting and could change your mind before you vote.
 

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I wasn't sure about this one before but i neevr liked honey much anyway. The ingredients are vegan (apart from I guess bits of bees might come off in it?) but the process by which it is made is not vegan.
 

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I voted "vegan / honey not vegan" for the same reasons already mentioned.

However, I would not want to say someone is not or no longer vegan just because s/he occasionally eats something that has honey in it (provided that this is the only non-vegan food they consume). I guess the
will probably be after me for saying so


Anyways, I think the honey (and "miniscule amounts of animal-derived ingredients") discussion, just like the "who is the purest vegan" debate (or holier-than-thou-attitude of some vegans), is a bit counteractive to veganism...
 

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Ive never been sure, my boyfriend is vegan and he says its not because hundreds of bees are killed when the honey is taken from them and it is a byproduct.

Personally i have recently gone vegan and i wouldnt eat honey.

F x
 

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good question I am interested to see the results. I was just discussing this with some friends last night (non-veg*ns who are really interested and ask a lot of questions) and they were really surprised by my assessment that most veg*s would consider my occasional consumption of breads with honey in them as disqualifying me from calling myself 'vegan' ... i'd love to hear what others think.
 

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I don't think it's vegan, and I don't eat it. But I eat white flour/sugar and call myself vegan, so what do I know?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by 'BlackTears[x View Post

;1529423]Ive never been sure, my boyfriend is vegan and he says its not because hundreds of bees are killed when the honey is taken from them and it is a byproduct.
Bees are often accidentally killed by beekeepers, but grain/vegetable farmers purposefully kill bugs by the truckload. The exclusion of honey by many vegans just seems like something done for the sake of completeness than any serious ethical or health reason. I could care less if some people don't eat honey, more power to them. But vegans who go around chastising other vegans for occasionally eating foods with honey in them, act like it's no different from gobbling down veal cutlets smeared with foie gras, and rant about "bee enslavement"...ugh. This sort of black-and-white additude is one of the main reasons why so many people think all vegans are nutjobs.

Anyway, whether or not honey is officially vegan matters not to me, I just know that it doesn't weigh on my conscience (or my colon) the way that meat, milk, and eggs do. But I just call myself a vegetarian and I tend to go more by the "vegan, schmegan!" philosophy than anything else.
 

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Dreaded Candiru, I could not disagree more. The exclusion of honey does not seem trivial at all to me, but deeply rooted in strong ethical concerns. I really admire the vegans who took the time to educate me on the issue, whether they seemed black-and-white fanatics or not.
 

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I think Candiru must've been reading Vegan Outreach propoganda
Anywho, insects killed in production of plant foods are regretable, but unavoidable since we human beings have to eat something and plant products usually end up producing (often unintended) animal deaths. However, honey is not a necessary part of the human diet and thus avoiding the harm done to bees through its production is quite simple...just don't eat honey. Click on the link Fromper put up to see just how harmful honey (and other bee products) are and why it is NOT vegan.
 

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Originally Posted by Medesha View Post

Dreaded Candiru, I could not disagree more. The exclusion of honey does not seem trivial at all to me, but deeply rooted in strong ethical concerns.
I can understand how it's not trivial to some people, but it is to me. I suppose I'm a "speciesist", but I do consider some animals to be more equal than others. There's a big difference between, say, killing and eating an animal that has the intelligence of a three-year old child, and "stealing" from an insect with an extremely tiny brain that has a short lifespan, no sense of individuality or self-preservation, and that still gets fed afterwards anyway. I'm sorry, but I think the notion that honey is "exploiting" bees is excessive anthropomorphism, and honey kills fewers bugs than growing most plant-based foods.

If I'm willing to pull out the pesticide against an ant infestation in my kitchen (which I did the other day), then why should I worry so much about a few bees being killed in honey harvesting?

The exclusion of honey strikes me as more of a symbolic boycott of animal products than an ethical decision. And yes, I've read that Vegetus article before.
 

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I have no issue with your views on the subject; I totally understand where you're coming from. I admit I took offense at what I assumed was a judgement against non-honey-eating vegans -- i.e. that because it didn't matter to you, it shouldn't matter to them, and anyone who does feel ethical concerns over honey is being self-important and trivial.

I still don't eat honey, and I do feel sorry for the bees. My own singular opinion.
 

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Honey: made by bees

Bee: Animal (er.. insect)

Vegan: does not eat any animal product

Therefore: Vegan does not eat honey

like something youd get in a logic test in school

doesnt seem too hard to figure out to me!
 

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If it was just a matter of stealing from the bees, then you might have an argument there, Dreaded Candiru. But most major honey companies routinely kill whole swarms of bees once they've produced their honey, because it's easier for the beekeepers to replace them the following season than to keep them alive until then. That's why there's no doubt in my mind that honey isn't vegan.

I agree that I have a hard time feeling sorry for insects, so I don't really care. But I also rarely ate honey in my life, so avoiding it now that I'm a "near vegan" vegetarian is an easy enough thing to do. I think the only time since I've gone veg that I've even considered buying a product with honey in it was when I had a craving for cinnamon grahams, so I bought the cheaper generic supermarket brand without honey instead of Honey Maid brand.

--Fromper

 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Medesha View Post

I have no issue with your views on the subject; I totally understand where you're coming from. I admit I took offense at what I assumed was a judgement against non-honey-eating vegans -- i.e. that because it didn't matter to you, it shouldn't matter to them, and anyone who does feel ethical concerns over honey is being self-important and trivial.
Not at all.


You don't eat honey and that's cool, I just think it's unnecessary for vegans to call other people unvegan just because they eat honey occasionally.

Anyway, I don't call myself vegan (although some people I know refer to me as such), I just call myself a vegetarian, which is a more inclusive term, and specify that I don't eat meat, milk, or eggs. I already have to explain myself as it is, since a lot people think that "vegetarian" includes fish, chicken, turkey, gelatin, and meat broth.
 

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I don't feel strongly about honey, and I wouldn't personally be angry or offended if someone who was otherwise vegan, but ate honey, called themselves "vegan". On the other hand, I don't consume honey because it is one of the easier products to avoid and I figure if I'm going to describe myself as "vegan" I might as well use the word properly out of respect for people who do feel strongly about this issue, and in order not to be confusing.

By definition, honey is not vegan.

And like Jen said...this has been debated time and time again.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreaded Candiru View Post

I already have to explain myself as it is, since a lot people think that "vegetarian" includes fish, chicken, turkey, gelatin, and meat broth.
Indeed. Or, for that matter, anything that isn't actively struggling on your plate.

I had a dream last night that I read a magazine article about a large vegetarian retreat. The article talked about how most dishes featured shrimp, clams, or scallops, and then went into detail about how "vegetarians don't consider these creatures ethically significant due to their simple biology." Then the article said that for those who needed something more solid, the retreat also offered salmon dishes!

I tell you, I woke up hopping mad. What a way to start the day.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Medesha View Post

Indeed. Or, for that matter, anything that isn't actively struggling on your plate.
I dunno, most "ikizukuri" is fish or octopus, and we all know that vegetarians love seafood.


(I think I'll stay out of honey discussions in the future and agree to disagree. I've been reading the archive on this board, and most arguments on this subject are very heated, to say the least.)
 
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