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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Please let me begin by saying that my questions are present in earnest honesty. I will never ask a question idly nor to be inflammatory; these are questions with which I am concerned and often preoccupied and I post them here because it helps me work out my own path by understanding how others arrived in places similar to where I want to be.<br><br>
I am considering becoming vegan but there are several questions or issues I'd have to resolve prior to adopting the lifestyle and moniker.<br><br>
First, does eating honey preclude one from being a vegan? I understand this tends to be a contentious issue within the vegan community but are there vegans out there who eat honey or is the consensus that eating honey automatically makes one a near-vegan vegetarian? Eating, or rather drinking, honey alleviates my severe seasonal allergies, which prior to my discovery that it does so, were nearly-debilitating even with prescription medication.<br><br>
Second, what is the common rationale in abstaining from eating eggs? I'm having trouble with the rationale as any argument I reason based on the act of eating the egg, itself, seems to contradict other beliefs I have, especially in regard to my beliefs about human reproduction (i.e., "pro-choice" beliefs).
 

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Honey is not vegan. Vegans don't eat honey or use bee products.<br><br>
Eggs are animal products. Vegans avoid using animal products.<br><br>
Animals are not here for us to use; the secretions and such that are theirs are not ours to take.
 

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What Ahisma said.<br><br>
Also I'm not sure if you're aware, but their is a great deal of cruelty in both the egg and honey farming techniques.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>*AHIMSA*</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2901697"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Honey is not vegan. Vegans don't eat honey or use bee products.<br><br>
Eggs are animal products. Vegans avoid using animal products.<br><br>
Animals are not here for us to use; the secretions and such that are theirs are not ours to take.</div>
</div>
<br>
Well, I guess when you put it like that my questions seem really stupid and simple.
 

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Your questions aren't stupid.<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>JoBravo</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2901696"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
First, does eating honey preclude one from being a vegan?</div>
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For some reason, the honey issue tends to break brains. I have no idea why, it's actually simple. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"> Vegans avoid, as far as is possible and practical, animal products. Honey is bee vomit and bee food. It's not mine to take. It belongs to the bees.<br><br>
That said, if you are <b>truly</b> debilitated without honey, and living your life without honey would be impossible/impractical... Then have at it. Eat (drink) honey. And use the word vegan to describe yourself. In that case, it still fits.<br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>JoBravo</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2901696"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Second, what is the common rationale in abstaining from eating eggs?</div>
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Egg-laying hens are <i>brutally</i> mistreated. Their male offspring are killed, they are killed, and they are tortured beforehand. In fact, the egg industry is arguably one of the cruelest industries, above and beyond some of the meat industries, even.<br><br>
Also... Chickens are not vending machines. No animal is. Stealing their stuff just isn't cool.<br><br><br><br>
It's 1:30am. I'm tired and sneezy, so I hope I made a wee bit of sense...
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>JoBravo</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2901696"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Please let me begin by saying that my questions are present in earnest honesty. I will never ask a question idly nor to be inflammatory; these are questions with which I am concerned and often preoccupied and I post them here because it helps me work out my own path by understanding how others arrived in places similar to where I want to be.<br><br>
I am considering becoming vegan but there are several questions or issues I'd have to resolve prior to adopting the lifestyle and moniker.<br><br>
First, does eating honey preclude one from being a vegan? I understand this tends to be a contentious issue within the vegan community but are there vegans out there who eat honey or is the consensus that eating honey automatically makes one a near-vegan vegetarian? Eating, or rather drinking, honey alleviates my severe seasonal allergies, which prior to my discovery that it does so, were nearly-debilitating even with prescription medication.<br><br>
Second, what is the common rationale in abstaining from eating eggs? I'm having trouble with the rationale as any argument I reason based on the act of eating the egg, itself, seems to contradict other beliefs I have, especially in regard to my beliefs about human reproduction (i.e., "pro-choice" beliefs).</div>
</div>
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Honey isn't vegan, so if you keep using it you'll be a strict vegetarian technically. That's not a bad thing to be though <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"><br><br>
And the rationale behind abstaining from eating eggs is all about the treatment of the chickens. Chickens on factory farms are kept in absolutely horrendous and cruel conditions, and when they are "used up" they get slaughtered for meat just like other chickens, so buying eggs still contributes to a lot of death and suffering. Even terms like 'cage free' and 'free range' are generally window dressing and the chickens still aren't kept in good conditions (plus they still kill them in the end.)<br><br>
There are people who keep backyard chickens as pets and eat their eggs and don't slaughter them, that's the most ethical egg option I can see but it still isn't perfect. (Male chicks in hatcheries get destroyed so by buying chicks you're still supporting that, plus how well the chickens are treated is left up to the individual, and with the way people are that's always scary...)<br><br>
Personally I find it WAY easier to just skip the eggs all together than to get mixed up in that moral quagmire. <a href="http://www.farmsanctuary.org/issues/factoryfarming/eggs/" target="_blank">http://www.farmsanctuary.org/issues/...yfarming/eggs/</a><br><br>
Hope that sheds some light on things, any other questions just ask. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>VenomousX</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2901699"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
What Ahisma said.<br><br>
Also I'm not sure if you're aware, but their is a great deal of cruelty in both the egg and honey farming techniques.</div>
</div>
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I haven't read too much about cruelty towards bees. I'm not sure how well I understand the concept. While, I recognize that bees have complicated nervous systems (as so most organisms in the Animal Kingdom). However, I wonder if 'cruelty' is a subjective and relative term that requires a certain amount of self-awareness on behalf of the bees. So-called "higher-organisms" are evidently self-aware enough to experience cruelty and many often cry, become depressed, and attempt escape, if they can. Is there much evidence to support the same is also true of bees?
 

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On the subject of eggs, there is a wealth of documented footage displaying the cruelty inherent to the egg industry:<br><br><a href="http:" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1dOauM9LNTc</a><br><br>
It's not necessarily the act of eating eggs which is cruel. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Choosing to pay people to mass produce eggs means forcing them to continue to streamline the production process, at the expense of living creatures' wellbeing. As our bodies don't need eggs to survive or be healthy, and the images in the video above are neither uncommon in the egg industry nor do they represent our positive potential as human beings, I chose to eliminate them from my diet.<br><br><br>
Even if you decide not to give up honey right away or go fully vegan, I hope the evidence above convinces you that eating eggs, especially mass produced ones, is not morally consistent with the values and goals of a vegetarian lifestyle.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>JoBravo</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2901705"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I haven't read too much about cruelty towards bees. I'm not sure how well I understand the concept. While, I recognize that bees have complicated nervous systems (as so most organisms in the Animal Kingdom). However, I wonder if 'cruelty' is a subjective and relative term that requires a certain amount of self-awareness on behalf of the bees. So-called "higher-organisms" are evidently self-aware enough to experience cruelty and many often cry, become depressed, and attempt escape, if they can. Is there much evidence to support the same is also true of bees?</div>
</div>
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Here's a nice overview about honey and the treatment of bees: <a href="http://www.vegetus.org/honey/honey.htm" target="_blank">http://www.vegetus.org/honey/honey.htm</a><br><br>
There is plenty of evidence to show that bees have their own kind of intelligence and can feel pain, but even if there were no evidence at all I would still want to give them the benefit of a doubt because we keep discovering new things can suffer that people previously assumed couldn't feel anything. Example: <a href="http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29915025/ns/technology_and_science-science/t/lobsters-crabs-feel-pain-study-shows/" target="_blank">http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29915025...n-study-shows/</a><br><br>
Humans tend to assume that the more different a creature is the less worthy of consideration it is, but more and more science is showing these 'alien' seeming animals have a lot more sensitivity than we thought.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>JoBravo</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2901705"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I haven't read too much about cruelty towards bees. I'm not sure how well I understand the concept. While, I recognize that bees have complicated nervous systems (as so most organisms in the Animal Kingdom). However, I wonder if 'cruelty' is a subjective and relative term that requires a certain amount of self-awareness on behalf of the bees. So-called "higher-organisms" are evidently self-aware enough to experience cruelty and many often cry, become depressed, and attempt escape, if they can. Is there much evidence to support the same is also true of bees?</div>
</div>
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I'm not saying they suffer or don't during their lives, I'm talking about how they're all killed off after the honey season is over in colder areas. Also the bees work really hard to make that honey for themselves to eat, and then people just come along and steal their work.<br><br>
There's more points mentioned here: <a href="http://www.veganpeace.com/animal_cruelty/honey.htm" target="_blank">http://www.veganpeace.com/animal_cruelty/honey.htm</a><br><br>
Edit: Bah, just read werewolf girl's link - it's a lot more in-depth! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/tongue3.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":p">
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Semicharmed</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2901701"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Your questions aren't stupid.</div>
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Thanks! I'm always afraid my questions are going to be misinterpreted.<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Semicharmed</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2901701"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
For some reason, the honey issue tends to break brains. I have no idea why, it's actually simple. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"> Vegans avoid, as far as is possible and practical, animal products. Honey is bee vomit and bee food. It's not mine to take. It belongs to the bees.<br><br>
That said, if you are <b>truly</b> debilitated without honey, and living your life without honey would be impossible/impractical... Then have at it. Eat (drink) honey. And use the word vegan to describe yourself. In that case, it still fits.</div>
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This what where it breaks down for me. Not that I'm concerned about whether other vegans think I'm 'vegan-enough' but I prefer to use language that is as concise as possible. If eating honey will lead to more arguments than is worth my time, then I'd rather just call myself a strict-vegetarian, so I'm trying to gage what the temperature is in the community when people identify themselves as 'vegans who eat honey'. It sounds like I'd be safer just describing myself as a strict-vegetarian.<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Semicharmed</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2901701"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Egg-laying hens are <i>brutally</i> mistreated. Their male offspring are killed, they are killed, and they are tortured beforehand. In fact, the egg industry is arguably one of the cruelest industries, above and beyond some of the meat industries, even.<br><br>
Also... Chickens are not vending machines. No animal is. Stealing their stuff just isn't cool.<br><br><br><br>
It's 1:30am. I'm tired and sneezy, so I hope I made a wee bit of sense...</div>
</div>
<br>
So, vegans don't abstain from eggs on behalf of the egg, itself, but the chickens?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Werewolf Girl</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2901702"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Honey isn't vegan, so if you keep using it you'll be a strict vegetarian technically. That's not a bad thing to be though <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"><br><br>
And the rationale behind abstaining from eating eggs is all about the treatment of the chickens. Chickens on factory farms are kept in absolutely horrendous and cruel conditions, and when they are "used up" they get slaughtered for meat just like other chickens, so buying eggs still contributes to a lot of death and suffering. Even terms like 'cage free' and 'free range' are generally window dressing and the chickens still aren't kept in good conditions (plus they still kill them in the end.)<br><br>
There are people who keep backyard chickens as pets and eat their eggs and don't slaughter them, that's the most ethical egg option I can see but it still isn't perfect. (Male chicks in hatcheries get destroyed so by buying chicks you're still supporting that, plus how well the chickens are treated is left up to the individual, and with the way people are that's always scary...)<br><br>
Personally I find it WAY easier to just skip the eggs all together than to get mixed up in that moral quagmire. <a href="http://www.farmsanctuary.org/issues/factoryfarming/eggs/" target="_blank">http://www.farmsanctuary.org/issues/...yfarming/eggs/</a><br><br>
Hope that sheds some light on things, any other questions just ask. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"></div>
</div>
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This is what I was missing. I had always thought vegans abstained from eggs because of the act of eating the egg, itself, was offensive. Now I understand abstinence from consuming eggs is a secondary by-product of vegans ideologies regarding the treatment and life of chickens.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Josh James xVx</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2901707"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
On the subject of eggs, there is a wealth of documented footage displaying the cruelty inherent to the egg industry:<br><br><a href="http:" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1dOauM9LNTc</a><br><br>
It's not necessarily the act of eating eggs which is cruel. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Choosing to pay people to mass produce eggs means forcing them to continue to streamline the production process, at the expense of living creatures' wellbeing. As our bodies don't need eggs to survive or be healthy, and the images in the video above are neither uncommon in the egg industry nor do they represent our positive potential as human beings, I chose to eliminate them from my diet.<br><br><br>
Even if you decide not to give up honey right away or go fully vegan, I hope the evidence above convinces you that eating eggs, especially mass produced ones, is not morally consistent with the values and goals of a vegetarian lifestyle.</div>
</div>
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I didn't mean to imply that I want to defend eating eggs. In fact, I have already decided to abstain from eggs for the very reasons you detailed, especially the inhumane treatment of chickens and make chicks.<br><br>
My questions regarding the eggs was more an inquiry into the common rationale other had for abstaining.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Werewolf Girl</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2901712"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Here's a nice overview about honey and the treatment of bees: <a href="http://www.vegetus.org/honey/honey.htm" target="_blank">http://www.vegetus.org/honey/honey.htm</a><br><br>
There is plenty of evidence to show that bees have their own kind of intelligence and can feel pain, but even if there were no evidence at all I would still want to give them the benefit of a doubt because we keep discovering new things can suffer that people previously assumed couldn't feel anything. Example: <a href="http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29915025/ns/technology_and_science-science/t/lobsters-crabs-feel-pain-study-shows/" target="_blank">http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29915025...n-study-shows/</a><br><br>
Humans tend to assume that the more different a creature is the less worthy of consideration it is, but more and more science is showing these 'alien' seeming animals have a lot more sensitivity than we thought.</div>
</div>
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My question isn't one of whether or not they feel pain. As I said, I concede that they do. I'm just not sure how much pain bees are in throughout the course of their lives. Other domesticated (read: enslaved) animals suffer on a daily basis because their freedom is restricted, they are mistreated, actively abused, and are poorly cared for. I'm not sure how the experience of bees or insects, in general, compares. Like I said, I do believe they feel pain; that much, I believe is undeniable. I don't know whether there is enough evidence to say that they suffer or are tortured; I think the suffer or be tortured requires constant or continuous pain and a certain amount of self-awareness.<br><br>
Despite their effort, the bees don't seem all that much put out by honey harvesting.<br><br>
By the way, thank you for the link! Much food for thought. Some of it seems rather radical (e.g., "Honeybees are bad for the environment") so it'll take me a while to digest it and all it sources! Busy work!
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>JoBravo</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2901724"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Despite their effort, the bees don't seem all that much put out by honey harvesting.</div>
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Putting aside all other arguments for the moment, surely you don't think that allowing the bees to work hard, stealing what they made, and then killing them off is morally the <i>Right</i> thing to do - do you?<br><br>
Treating living beings like machines, to me at least, goes against veganism. Suffer or not, it's wrong. They're not disposable just because they may or may not "lack the capacity" to suffer as you say.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>VenomousX</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2901729"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Putting aside all other arguments for the moment, surely you don't think that allowing the bees to work hard, stealing what they made, and then killing them off is morally the <i>Right</i> thing to do - do you?<br><br>
Treating living beings like machines, to me at least, goes against veganism. Suffer or not, it's wrong. They're not disposable just because they may or may not "lack the capacity" to suffer as you say.</div>
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I agree with you on your last sentiment: treating living creatures capable of feeling pain as if they are not living and incapable of pain is unethical. I'm inclined to agree that honey harvesting is unethical, if only due to the fact that the bees are killed at the end of the season. This is an issue with which I'll have to address in my personal worldview because, as I previously mentioned, honey has been the only thing I have found throughout my entire life that alleviates my severe allergies.<br><br>
My above posts were not necessarily arguing in support of honey but rather exploring the logic behind abstinence. For me, the death of the bee is a very good reason to abstain and it's the only reason needed really, in my opinion. My posts above should only be a reflection of my incredulity towards a component of the abstinence argument that equates honey harvesting with theft and bee-keeping as suffering. But, since, as I said, given the death of the bee, the other arguments are, in my opinion, moot.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>JoBravo</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2901734"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
For me, the death of the bee is a very good reason to abstain and it's the only reason needed really, in my opinion.</div>
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I'm glad to hear you say that. I thought you were implying that, just because you don't believe they can "suffer" that it isn't wrong or cruel -- But I seem to have misinterpreted your meaning.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>VenomousX</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2901738"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I'm glad to hear you say that. I thought you were implying that, just because you don't believe they can "suffer" that it isn't wrong or cruel -- But I seem to have misinterpreted your meaning.</div>
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To clarify: I do think it is wrong. However, I was actually arguing against the use of the word 'cruel' but for semantic reasons--not as a matter of principle.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>JoBravo</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2901720"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
This is what I was missing. I had always thought vegans abstained from eggs because of the act of eating the egg, itself, was offensive. Now I understand abstinence from consuming eggs is a secondary by-product of vegans ideologies regarding the treatment and life of chickens.</div>
</div>
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Vegan....vegetarian.....strict vegetarian....they're just labels. Don't get hung up on them.<br><br>
If you really need honey for your allergies, then have it. And call yourself whatever you will (but do question why you feel the need to put yourself in a box and label yourself <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/tongue3.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":p">) There may be some vegans here who will be appalled at my statement - but then if they needed medicine (that had been tested on animals) and there was no alternative that they knew of, they would take it, or be stupid not to. The line is flexible when it comes to your health.<br><br>
Having said that, now that you know about the cruelty inherent in honey production, I would suggest that you keep on looking for a cruelty-free alternative to it.
 

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There's always the question of what's worse- combatting allergies with medicine tested on animals, meaning that you are paying money towards vivisection, or using honey to combat allergies where bees have been killed... If you need it for health I think there's an equal status of 'necessary evil'- i would never suggest someone forgo necessary medication so it's a personal decision which medication to use if they are all just as bad as the other...<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>angie54321</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2901749"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Vegan....vegetarian.....strict vegetarian....they're just labels. Don't get hung up on them.<br><br>
If you really need honey for your allergies, then have it. And call yourself whatever you will (but do question why you feel the need to put yourself in a box and label yourself <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/tongue3.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":p">) There may be some vegans here who will be appalled at my statement - but then if they needed medicine (that had been tested on animals) and there was no alternative that they knew of, they would take it, or be stupid not to. The line is flexible when it comes to your health.<br><br>
Having said that, now that you know about the cruelty inherent in honey production, I would suggest that you keep on looking for a cruelty-free alternative to it.</div>
</div>
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