Honey, Not A Sweet Story

Honey, Not A Sweet Story

To eat or not to eat Honey? That is the question. The question that so many Vegans ask themselves, and few know how to answer. Especially if you're new to Veganism. 

Why wouldn't honey be Vegan? It's not a dead animal or exactly derived from an animal... so what's the problem? That may be true, but the first thing we need to understand about Veganism is that it goes way beyond what we are putting into our bodies.

Veganism is a Philosophy that rejects the commodity status of animals. They are here with us, not for us. Meaning we shouldn't use or abuse any species for our own gain or benefit, and that includes bees.

There are a few reasons why many people do not consider honey a Vegan food. The first is that it is produced from the labor of bees.

Bee’s work hard, long days, pollinating hundreds of flowers to create their sweet honey, and bring it back to the hive for house bees to chew on and complete the honey making process. This is not an easy task for small worker bees, so for us to then take and use their honey for our own consumption and wants is just wrong. It would be like you working an 8 hour day, 5 days a week and at the end of the month someone else gets your paycheck.

Imagine how angry and hurt you would be. It’s just unfair.

Furthermore, honey is produced by bees for bees. Many people are under the impression that bees don't do anything with the honey they make, but that isn't true. It is consumed by the colonies as food for energy and it provides important nutrients throughout the cold winter months. Very simply, when we take honey from a hive, we are taking away food from an animal.

Now I know what you're thinking, beekeepers take care of their colonies and replace the honey they take with a sugar substitute. Well the sad truth is that this is an unethical practice.

The substitute lacks essential micronutrients that honey would provide to the bees, damaging their health.

Beekeepers also engage in selective breeding which narrows the gene pool and increases susceptibility to diseases and mass die offs. Selective breeding also means that different species of bees are moved around from hive to hive, creating an even larger risk of infections. So overall beekeeping is not doing anything positive for the quality of life or health to bees, and in some cases queen bees are even mistreated by having their wings clipped. This is to prevent them from flying off and creating new colognes elsewhere. 

So Vegans are against cruelty to animals, no matter how small, or what species they are. Bees are certainly being abused and mistreated when we take away their food, leaving them to starve, or to eat a health damaging substitute instead. Their queens are being physically harmed, and entire colonies are at high risk of contracting diseases and dying off. 

It's no wonder bees are at risk of extinction. But you can help to stop it by opting for a different sweetener. Molasses, maple syrup, date syrup, golden syrup, agave nectar. Whatever you choose it will still have all the sweetness but 0% cruelty.

Article written by Vegan writer "World Kind"

Links for reference :

  1. https://www.vegansociety.com/go-vegan/why-go-vegan/honey-industry
  2. https://vegan.com/food/honey/


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