Veganism and Honey?
October 14, 2007 4:27am CST
A question to all vegans: do you eat honey/food that contains honey. why/why not. I have read that it is generally not a vegan practise, and I was (and am) extremely interested in the reasoning behind this, having thought that honey was a fairly naturally supplied substance, essentially derived from plants and then deposited by the bees (in laymen's terms). I'd really like some light shed on this, if anyone knows. =D Thank you. Mal * I am in no way intending to insult any vegans in any way, just innocent curiosity.
14 Nov 07
As I understand it, the various philosophies/reasons are: Some vegans avoid honey and other bee products because many of the producers of these products do not treat the bees very well, injuring or killing them when harvesting the honey, for instance, or killing the entire colony each winter to avoid the costs/efforts involved in overwintering them. Others fear that the bees will be deprived of their products to the point that they will not have enough left over for their own needs. Still others object to the use of bee products because the bees do not voluntarily 'donate' their products for the use of humans. I personally remain undecided on this issue. I don't feel right about using honey from companies that kill/injure the bees who produce it, and have currently been avoiding it, but I have recently learned that there are some companies that sell 'ethically harvested' honey and bee pollen - they claim to only gather some of what the bees produce, and leave enough for the bees' own needs. They offer to send full details of the harvesting practises to anyone who is interested, so I intend to look further into that before I make my final decision :). If you're interested, there's a longer, more in-depth article on the various reasons that some vegans avoid honey at www.vegetus.org/honey/honey.htm.
• United States
4 Nov 07
This is a good question. I am not sure the official answer. I will ask all the vegans I know and see their opinions. I believe I have seen many eat it. I would expect that organic honey would be ok. This would mean that there is not additives. Also, honey can be taken with no harm to bees, and I do not think it to be the same as milk, eggs, or butter, that contains ingredients physically taken from the inside of an animal. Again, I am no expert. I would say it is just a matter of opinion. There are people out there that won't walk on grass because of the bugs, so how you feel is your own opinion. Consider it like a religion, a minor difference will not change your belief.
• United States
20 Oct 07
It's really a toss up. Some vegans consider it to be okay to eat while others consider it a no-no. I, myself, try to stay away from honey as much as possible, more so because I'm not a fan of it, but if I can't find a certain food without it (such as bread), I will eat it.
• Delhi, India
15 Oct 07
I understand that those who are pure vegetarians, consider honey as a non-veg item (we in India, do not consider it as a non-vet item). For them, even milk is also not considered as a vegetarian item. I think in case of honey, you are just snatching away food of honey-bees from them. Though, basically it is derived from plants and flowers yet some internal/other substances are added by bees, before it becomes honey. Therefore, it is considered as a non-veg item.