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Fabulous
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello!
So I've only been vegan for like 2 weeks but and I was eating a vegan chewy apple bar thingy and it had honey it. And I was wondering if it's okay for vegans to have honey because I don't see anything wrong with it but what does everyone else think?
 

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Bandit
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544 Posts
Most certified vegan products (look for the V) don't contain honey, including snack bars or energy bars. Of course everyone makes a mistake occasionally and it's no big deal, but just try to get Larabars, Luna or That's It bars if you don't like reading labels.

If you can make sure to check labels or remember the right flavors, many Clif bars and Kind bars are vegan. However some contain honey.

There are people who are vegan who eat honey, or who normally avoid it but don't take it as seriously as milk, eggs and gelatin.

Some vegans only avoid eating products from animals who are cordates/deuterostomes, i.e. fish, birds, mammals. Insects don't have brains, they have basal ganglia, and there are people who do not prioritize them as sentient creatures.

However, organisms as primitive as flatworms have exhibited ability to learn (not like we learn or how pigs or cats or dogs learn, but have some awareness and memory) and so it really can't be meaningfully argued that an insect can't suffer. If I saw someone needlessly tormenting an insect I would probably think less of that person, even if I know they're not as conscious as a fish or a rabbit.

Another important point is that there are types of bee farming which exists that actually promotes disease because of bee keepers who don't know what they're doing, which affects entire ecosystems not just bees, since bees are a keystone species. It also is pretty disturbing when farmers take bees honey and replace it with sugar water or corn syrup water which robs bees of their necessary nutrition.

So it's probably best to avoid honey.
 

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Fabulous
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28 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Most certified vegan products (look for the V) don't contain honey, including snack bars or energy bars. Of course everyone makes a mistake occasionally and it's no big deal, but just try to get Larabars, Luna or That's It bars if you don't like reading labels.

If you can make sure to check labels or remember the right flavors, many Clif bars and Kind bars are vegan. However some contain honey.

There are people who are vegan who eat honey, or who normally avoid it but don't take it as seriously as milk, eggs and gelatin.

Some vegans only avoid eating products from animals who are cordates/deuterostomes, i.e. fish, birds, mammals. Insects don't have brains, they have basal ganglia, and there are people who do not prioritize them as sentient creatures.

However, organisms as primitive as flatworms have exhibited ability to learn (not like we learn or how pigs or cats or dogs learn, but have some awareness and memory) and so it really can't be meaningfully argued that an insect can't suffer. If I saw someone needlessly tormenting an insect I would probably think less of that person, even if I know they're not as conscious as a fish or a rabbit.

Another important point is that there are types of bee farming which exists that actually promotes disease because of bee keepers who don't know what they're doing, which affects entire ecosystems not just bees, since bees are a keystone species. It also is pretty disturbing when farmers take bees honey and replace it with sugar water or corn syrup water which robs bees of their necessary nutrition.

So it's probably best to avoid honey.
Ohhh I also thought of honey as something vegans could still have because I don't really count insects as animals or suffering since they don't really have brains or feeling do they? Is it still okay for me to say I'm vegan even if these chewy bars have a bit of honey in them?? In general I hate honey but I payed for these so I still have to finish them :p
 

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Bandit
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544 Posts
Ohhh I also thought of honey as something vegans could still have because I don't really count insects as animals or suffering since they don't really have brains or feeling do they? Is it still okay for me to say I'm vegan even if these chewy bars have a bit of honey in them?? In general I hate honey but I payed for these so I still have to finish them :p
Yes it is OK to say you are vegan if you accidentally bought snack bars, or granola bars with honey. As I mentioned, some people who consider themselves for ethical reasons only extend that to fish, birds and mammals. Some will still eat honey or negligible amounts of food coloring made from insects.

However, from the official position of "vegan certified" no animal product can be included, so products with that label are always completely vegan (though they admit that every vegan product does not carry this label, and there is the concept of "accidentally vegan" groceries). So many vegans refrain from eating honey or insect based dyes.

If you have only been vegan for two weeks and are very young, I recommend you focus at first on planning a healthy diet that excludes meat, milk, eggs and gelatin before you worry about insects or your old leather coat you can't afford to give away.

That being said, later on, you can make more of an effort to exclude things like honey. Until then, if you purchase honey, try to find out if it's ethically sourced, as even vegetarians and flexitarians are mindful of our honey bee problem, which is partially derived from unethical or ignorant bee keepers, as well as Monsanto GMO pesticides.
 

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Bandit
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544 Posts
On a related note, Peta2 exists for young adults in high school or college (and actually has helpful tips for people in their 20s or 30s since it appears to be geared towards millenials, even though I'm older than you I really like a lot of Peta2 resources - you can even sign up for text messages and receive free activism stickers and other materials).

They have a great amount of information on things like vegan snack foods, eating out, "accidentally vegan" and ways to transition for new vegans.

Here's a list of vegan snacks at 7-11:

https://www.peta2.com/vegan-life/vegan-7-11/
 

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Honey Is Not Vegan!

If vegans should have honey or not has been a debate among people forever but the answer is so simple! By definition, honey is not vegan!

The definition is "Veganism is a way of living which excludes all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, the animal kingdom, and includes a reverence for life. It applies to the practice of living on the products of the plant kingdom to the exclusion of flesh, fish, fowl, eggs, honey, animal milk and its derivatives, and encourages the use of alternatives for all commodities derived wholly or in part from animals."

There's no way someone who claims to be vegan (especially if it's for the animals) should eat and use honey. Bee's are animals like pigs or cows and just like with cows their production is exploited. When collecting honey, bees are often killed or have their wings and legs torn off.

Even with the most careful beekeeper things like injuries, squashing, and killing some of the bees is unavoidable. Plus, unfortunately, much like factory farmers, many beekeepers take inhumane steps to reach production quotas. Bees are often drugged and the queen bees wings are often cut off.

On top of all that depending on the area of the beekeeper, they will take to much honey instead of leaving the amount that the bees need to get through winter and replace it with a cheap sugar substitute which isn't good and nutritious for the bees. If the area is too cold the keepers usually consider it too expensive to keep them through winter and destroy the hives with gas or burning them.

As a vegan, you shouldn't be supporting these messed up actions because bees are animals and honey is an animal product that has been mass marketed and mass manufactured for generations.

Plus it's easy to not exploit bees in order to satisfy our sweet tooth. There are so many alternatives and tons of options without honey in them! I feel like honey is one of the easiest non-vegan things to avoid.
 

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Super Moderator
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I'd like to point out that there are products with honey in their name that do not contain honey, and are vegan
Can't think of any, but I have been surprised
 

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Vegan since 1991
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3,667 Posts
There are bee-free honey substitutes. This one looks interesting, although I haven't tried it: https://www.beefreehonee.com/

Agave nectar and brown rice syrup are pretty good. Agave nectar is widely available, and most health food stores have brown rice syrup.

Blackstrap molasses is an interesting sweetener. It has a strong flavor, with some bitterness in addition to the sweetness. Unlike other sweeteners, it is a good source of certain minerals (iron, calcium, and magnesium).

Here is a Wikipedia article on unrefined sweeteners: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_unrefined_sweeteners
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Super Moderator
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Corn syrup is vegan. It is not the same as high fructose corn syrup.
Corn syrup isn't healthy, but neither are other syrups.
 

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Vegan, Mostly WFPB
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I found date syrup at an international foods grocery and it's been the best substitute I've found for honey, besides local maple syrup.
 

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This thread reminded me I have Grapenut cereal and corn syrup to make these snack bars-

Mix between 3/4 and 1 cup peanut buttter, smooth or chunky with
3/4 cup sugar and
3/4 cup corn syrup
microwave one minute, stir, microwave another minute and add
4 cups Grapenuts
mix and press into a wax paper or parchment lined 11x13 pan (or cookie sheet) that's been sprayed with cooking spray, or margarine. I like to place a sheet of wax paper on top and use a rolling pin to press. Score with knife before they harden
 

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unpopular opinion here: it doesn't matter. The food you eat is fertilized by a variety of bees, including honey bees. The honey will still be produced and sold whether you buy it or not because it's a byproduct of crop fertilization. If you want to support companies that treat their bees well or even rescue bee hives by buying their honey that's beneficial. I understand the idea behind honey not being vegan but I think it's a very complex issue that vegans need to think about more than just, "honey comes from an animal, so it's not vegan."
 

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Plant Powered
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439 Posts
As an ethical vegan, my personal decision to avoid honey comes from the inability to know for sure how the beekeeper is treating the bees. Some beekeepers (particularly larger companies who are trying to maximize profit) take ALL the honey and leave none for the bees, substituting sugar water in its place... that is THEIR food that they worked hard for! Additionally, they should be given the winter off, to rest, but often they are made to work year round. Also, some beekeepers clip the queen's wings, to try and prevent swarming, but, a) it is mutilation, plain and simple, b) it doesn't even actually work, and c) this can lead to her being left behind during a swarm, or even attacked and stung to death by worker bees :(

Because the bee population is so endangered, however, and at this point is dependent on humankind to sustain it, I don't necessarily object to ethically minded, private (non-commercial) beekeepers who actually treat their bees like beloved equals. They do exist, and if I were to meet such a person, I may be inclined to support them but until then, I choose not to consume honey or use products which contain it.

This is a good article from a vegan perspective that explains the difference between commercial honey production and private beekeepers.
https://www.elephantjournal.com/2012/01/beekeeping-and-the-ethical-vegan-will-curley/
 

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Hello!
So I've only been vegan for like 2 weeks but and I was eating a vegan chewy apple bar thingy and it had honey it. And I was wondering if it's okay for vegans to have honey because I don't see anything wrong with it but what does everyone else think?
look mate, there's no point cutting out honey for the sake of it. If you think it's fine, then its fine. You're new to veganism and you should let the journey take it's course. The more pressure you put on yourself to change everything so rapidly, the more chance you won't remain vegan. Don't let anyone tell you you're not vegan. Most vegans have eaten some form of an animal product, whether it be by accident or on purpose but will still say they're vegan.

Also don't let these mother effers tear you to shreds. Good work on going vegan! you're saving lives!
 
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