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Thread: Vegans don't use honey

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    Goddess foxytina_69's Avatar
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    Default Vegans don't use honey

    what are your views on honey?
    Last edited by Korn; Jun 7th, 2007 at 07:20 AM. Reason: This thread consists of threads from various other threads

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    I don't see how someone could abuse honeybees. But I guess they found a way knowing humans?

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    I avoid it. I never really liked it anyway. It makes hunting for good wheat breads a total pain in the arse though. Hehehe...

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    Default Bees and honey

    This is a good article explaining what happens to bees in the industry. The bees are horribly manipulated and do seem to suffer.


    http://www.vegansociety.com/html/ani...ation/bees.php


    I live in Austria - here there are many family owned honey production places - I have visited them, and they don´t seem to be bad for the bees, but there is still the ethical question - are other living things here for us to use for pleasure? There are no products from bees that are necessary for us, or vastly improve our quality of life. Personally, I like maple syrup and molasses more than honey.


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    globesetter

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    Bee barf? Never really cared for it. In bread, if my choice is between bee-puke bread or cow juice bread, I'll go with the barf (and just won't eat any while that loaf is going).

    Maple syrup is much better for a sweetner, IMO. Molasses, I've never tried.

    We need the bees to pollenate things, but eating their vomit is a bit over the line to me.

  6. #6

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    I eat honey, but I'll give it up some day. Right now when I go out to lunch (every week day) their are only a few semi-healthy vegan foods I can buy, and they all contain honey, so I'm stuck for the moment.

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    AR Activist Roxy's Avatar
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    Question

    Here's a question. Would it be more ethical to eat organic honey? There is an organic grocery store near where I live and they sell this really yummy looking 3 bean salad in their deli. Trouble is - the dressing contains organic honey.

    What do people think?

    Roxy

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    Vegan-pagan-homeschooling momma to Khaila (5) and felines Gamma (3) and Mickey (3 mnths) and new foster cat Holly (2)

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    If it were ok to eat someone because he's dumb, a lot of humans would be in trouble (starting with, say, George W. Bush).

    lol!

    poor little squishy honeybees.

  10. #10

    Default Honey

    This may be a stupid question, but I was wondering if I could still be considered a vegan if I consume honey, usually only if it is already in an otherwise vegan cereal or bread. I used to tell people that I was a vegetarian who didn't eat any meat, eggs, drink milk, use refined sugar or use animal-tested products, but they would just stare at me like I was extremely stupid and ask, "So you are a vegan then?". I got tired of explaining when people would offer me a doughnut or a peanut butter sandwhich on buttermilk bread and just said I was vegan when someone asked. I was just wondering if this is somewhat acceptable, because I do feel terribly about saying that I am something that I am not.

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    I myself don't use honey anymore. When I first became a vegan, it didn't cross my mind that much. But, honey is an animal product. Some people write insects off as insiginificant, but I've heard that honey bees are not treated humanely. I think that they sometimes rip off the queen bees wings.

    Honey isn't that hard to avoid. I encourage you to try to avoid it as much as possible, wether you decide that it's acceptable or not.


  12. #12
    Vivisanctor
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    Quote propst89
    This may be a stupid question, but I was wondering if I could still be considered a vegan if I consume honey
    If your goal is to reduce the suffering of animals as much as possible, then you should not eat honey.

    here is a quick, straighforward, and respectful writeup of my position:
    http://www.resanigo.most.org.pl/zwierzeta/honey.html

    it is important to note above all, that bees are exploited by humans whenever we use them for their honey. Humans use different methods of controlling them, in order to increase honey production and decrease problems with them. All of these methods cause a decrease in the well-being of the bee; not to mention that much of the time the best way to deal with them is to kill them.

    Also, the killer bee was a product of man's greed. In an attempt to create a genetic hybrid bee which was capable of creating much more honey than regular honeybees, scientists engineered the killer bee. Obviously they made a grave error, and before they could correct their mistake, some of the bees got out into the wild and you know the rest of the story.

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    I didn't know how terribly bees were treated in this process. Everyone I have asked has assured me that there is no harm in honey and that the bees are treated humanely. I don't know what I expected, but I am extremely greatful for the enlightenment. I shall consume honey no more!

  14. #14
    Vivisanctor
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    Thumbs up Bravo!

    Quote propst89
    I am extremely greatful for the enlightenment.
    You're very welcome! I commend you for cutting honey out of your diet. I feel unbelievably happy that my efforts have made a difference for animals!!


    Quote propst89
    Everyone I have asked has assured me that there is no harm in honey and that the bees are treated humanely. I don't know what I expected, but I am extremely greatful for the enlightenment. I shall consume honey no more!
    The word humane is useless at this point. Even the veal farmers use the term humane; while they sit there and purposely create an iron deficiency and atrophied muscles. BUT THEY ASSURE US THAT THE ANIMALS ARE TREATED HUMANELY!!!

    What a disgusting species we are.

    -----

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    For practical purposes I would have called myself a vegan but if anyone saw u eating a honey-containing product I would explain to them the true complicated issue. However I have always disliked honey greatly so that is no issue! I can detect honey in the lsightest amounts in things becos of the nasty taste!

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    As an aside, if you want to use something to replace honey in cooking/baking, I'd recommend hunting down agave nectar, a sweetner derived from cactus. The brand I use used to have a regular and a dark version, which was great as a substitution for molasses, but now the dark kind has vanished off the shelves around here for the past 6 months...
    But agave nectar is thick and syrupy like honey and even has a similar taste, albeit much more mild. But it's just enough to come through in cakes and cookies.
    "I intend to live forever. So far, so good."

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    Quote foxytina_69
    If it were ok to eat someone because he's dumb, a lot of humans would be in trouble (starting with, say, George W. Bush).

    lol!

    poor little squishy honeybees
    .
    lol! i got stung by my first one a month ago anyway...i ate a spoonful of honey as a kid and it made me want to throw up, so now i have an aversion to it. it really has nothing to do with the bees. i WANTED to give up eating meat as i truly felt bad for the animals. then i had to learn that seafood were animals that hurt too (this, i am still struggling with as i miss sushi). bees, they are currently last on the list for "living things that don't need to be exploited for your satisfaction." i'm working on it (being more educated on the subject) but at the moment, i'm not pressuring myself to be perfect otherwise i might just give up on what i'm working on (staying vegan).

  18. #18

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    I didn't see this thread initially. Honey is an animal product and is therefore not vegan. Bees are harmed in the process; they are exploited. Aren't most of us against exploitation by greedy bastards?

    Besides, eating honey isn't necessary for enjoyment of food. I can make so much great vegan food. Who needs honey?
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    Honey tastes delicious, especially on margarine laden white bread. The fact that it comes from the exploitation (and often, wanton murder) of bees leaves a bad afertaste in my mouth that even a spoon full of honey can't take away.

    The link posted by tricia is what finally convinced me. I still have some doubts about certain aspects of the issue, but I'd rather err on the side of being respectful to my fellow earth-inhabitants.
    No Gods, No Masters.

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    Quote Artichoke47
    I didn't see this thread initially. Honey is an animal product and is therefore not vegan. Bees are harmed in the process; they are exploited. Aren't most of us against exploitation by greedy bastards?

    Besides, eating honey isn't necessary for enjoyment of food. I can make so much great vegan food. Who needs honey?

    Can I get an "AMEN!!!" ? Honey is made by insects. (animals) It is not a vegetable, fruit, seed, nut or grain. It is an animal product, therefore it is not Vegan. Vegans don't eat animal products. If you eat honey or cheese or pigs feet or whatever other non-vegan product you choose to eat, you are not Vegan. Period. It is a black and white issue, really. Honey is not Vegan.

  21. #21

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    That restaurant, Soul Vegetarian, was claiming to be vegan when they serve honey in their desserts and BBQ sauce. I guess they finally decided to actually BE vegan and now certain ones aren't using honey; I'm guessing that enough people were annoyed with their lie.
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    I've always disliked honey. It's "sicky" sweet. I prefer maple syrup....yummmmmm. Honey is an animal product, therefore, it isn't vegan. It's as simple as that.

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    Quote cowpie
    Honey is an animal product, therefore, it isn't vegan. It's as simple as that.
    Of course. But. I do have two reservations. The first (which has, to some degree, already been addressed by other threads) is, if a hive is deserted by the bees (of their own accord, or due to non-human caused influences), is any remaining honey "fair game"? There is an issue here of taking food from other animals that would otherwise eat the excess honey, and so disturbing the ecological balance, but in the absence of other honey eating animals, would eating "deserted" honey by ethically sound?

    My second reservation really regards the treatment of bees versus the treatment of the hive as a whole. It seems that a hive is an organism much like a body, with the (fairly significant) difference that the cells/organs of this organism are able to wander quite far from the main organism without ceasing to be a part of it. Bees will sacrifice members of their own hive for the good of the hive as a whole. So is the killing of a single bee on par with scraping some living skin off a person's arm, or with the killing of that person?

    I do realise that these are fairly hypothetical questions, but I'm really fascinated with the "why" of veganism (beyond the simple "for the animals"). And no matter what the answers to these questions might be, I'm still not going to eating honey.
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    Forget the "ethics" surrounding this hypothetical "abandoned" bee hive. I don't want to eat bee vomit, horsesh*t, pigs feet or cow pus. Eating eggs that were "abandoned" by the chicken doesn't change the fact that consuming them is analogous to giving a cow or other animal a bl*w job. Period.

    So, would I eat the "abandoned" honey? No, and not only because I think it's wrong to take from the creatures, but because I find even the thought of the act repugnant on a physical level as well.

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    Come on now. Just because the bees live communally doesn't mean they aren't individuals. A human soldier is an individual but he or she is expected to give his or her live if ordered to do so. Can we get some love for the bees? I just got stung the other day but I don't hold a grudge.

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    Ok. Just thinking out loud. The description at http://www.vegetus.org/honey/honey.htm just paints this awesome picture of what is essentially one single multi-beeed organism. The way they work together makes the best human efforts at collaboration seem quite pathetic and worthless...

    CC - I don't quite see the animal bl*w job analogy, but still... I'm sure I appreciate the image (or not, as the case may be).
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    Well, Mysh, eggs that chcikens lay are the product of the human equivalent of a menstrual cycle (ovulation, sloughing off of an unfertilized egg etc.) Does that make the cow semen analogy a bit more clear? It takes sperm and an egg to produce life etc. ? Perhaps if I had said eating eggs would be like sucking on a tampon it would make more sense to you...either way, it is all disgusting. The idea of eating any animal secretion or product is revolting.

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    Jo Stepaniak's Stand on Honey and Veganism and her answer to the following question:

    Is Honey Vegan?


    I do not consume dairy, eggs, meat, gelatin, etc. However, I would not call myself a vegan. See, I still eat honey. What I would like to know is what cruelty is being forced upon honeybees. Why do vegans not consume honey? I made my decision to not support any industry that exploits animals. In what way are honeybees being exploited? Couldn't one say that eating honey is better than eating sugar because sugarcane workers often suffer from exploitive and abusive working conditions?



    Regardless of how careful we are, it is impossible to live a totally harm-free life. All animate sentient beings inflict some form of injury or death to others simply by their existence. Humans displace or destroy large and small life forms whenever we erect buildings, plant seeds, dig crops, burn wood, fly airplanes, drive cars, operate factories, walk on grass, or bat our eyes. This is simply an aspect of being alive.

    The difference between vegans and nonvegans, however, is the element of intent. Vegans consciously strive to do no harm to any sentient life, including insects. This does not mean that vegans do not hurt others inadvertently, but that it is never their aim to do so.

    Honey is made from sucrose-rich flower nectar that is collected by honeybees and then regurgitated back and forth among them until it is partially digested. After the final regurgitation, the bees fan the substance with their wings until it is cool and thick. This mixture, which we call honey (which is essentially bee vomit), is then stored in the cells of the bees' hive and used as their sole source of nutrition in cold weather and other times when alternative food sources are not available. During the collection of flower nectar, the bees also pollinate plants. This is part of the natural process of life and is necessary and unavoidable. Even though humans inadvertently benefit, the bees do not pollinate plants in order to serve human needs; it is simply a secondary aspect of their nectar collecting. The honey that bees produce is stored in their hives for their own purposes. When humans remove honey from the hive, they take something that is not rightfully theirs.

    To collect honey, beekeepers must temporarily remove a number of the bees from their home. During the course of bee management and honey collection, even the most careful beekeeper cannot avoid inadvertently injuring, squashing, or otherwise killing some of the bees. Other commodities may be taken from the hive as well, including beeswax, honeycomb, pollen, propolis, and royal jelly.

    Bees are not harmed by the process of pollination -- it is something they would do whether or not humans were involved or reaped any profit. If one were to stretch the point, using honey could, in a broad sense, be considered analogous to dairying. Furthermore, there is no reason to take honey from bees other than to sell it. Utilizing bees to pollinate crops in no way necessitates ravaging their hive.

    Although the issue of honey is not deemed the most pressing concern of many vegans, honey is nevertheless considered an animal product. Because there are numerous alternatives to honey, from a vegan perspective there is no justifiable rationale for using it. Furthermore, the vegan position on honey is definitive. Honey was prohibited for use by vegans according to the 1944 manifesto of the British Vegan Society (veganism's founding organization), a position consistent with the requirement for full (vegan) membership in the American Vegan Society since its inception in 1960.

    Sweeteners are not necessary for human health. There are virtually no essential nutrients (in fact, there are hardly any nutrients at all) in sweeteners, so our use of them is purely for personal pleasure. Although the labor force is typically exploited on sugar plantations, even humans with minimal choices have far more options than the honeybees. Humans can live quite well without sugar or honey. As a rule, extensive use of sweeteners is found only in affluent societies. If vegans want to indulge in sweets, there are many substitutes available: organic, unbleached cane sugar (somewhat kinder to the environment, but not necessarily better for the workers); beet sugar; maple sugar; maple syrup; concentrated fruit syrups; rice syrup; barley malt; and sorghum syrup, among others. We do not need to choose between exploiting humans or bees in order to satisfy our sweet tooth. Concerned vegans can avoid harming either by eliminating sweets from their diet or by choosing compassionate alternatives.

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    CC - ok, now I get the disgusting part. I would thank you for clarifying, but I'm feeling a little nauseous. At least you've helped me never to look longingly at another egg again!
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    Has anyone ever tried Agave Necter? VeganEssentials sells it as a honey substitute. Though after reading how bees make honey, any craving I had for it is gone. I used to eat honey a lot. Whenever I had a sore throat, I would eat a spoonful of honey for a quick soother. Now, that seems gross. Anyhow, back to the agave necter question...

  31. #31
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    Agave (especially Raw Agave) is awesome! It is low on the GI and so helps keep blood sugar levels more even than other sweeteners.

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    In newspaper today

    Question: How do bees make honey?
    Answer: Bees have 2 stomachs - one for normal purposes, the other, honey stomach, for storing nectar. When a bee returns to the hive, it vomits up the nectar and feeds it to the other bees. They chew it and then spit it into the honeycombs. Enjoy your honey.

    Nice being Vegan isn't it

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    Hehe, I never liked honey, especially after learning about them in elementary (bee barf....eew). But now that I'm vegan, I don't miss it. But it does annoy me though when products contain honey. I saw these yummy looking frozen vegetable pot pies. I read the ingredients and at the very end, they had honey. Like do you REALLY need honey in a pot pie?

    Argh.

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    that does sound kind of ridiculous. honey in a pot pie lol.
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    Exactly. What's the benefit of having honey in a pot pie? For a glazing agent? I should email them and ask.

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    Yes it is annoying that they put this bee vomit into so many 'vegetarian' products these days, not to mention bread.
    Eve

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    I've tried that agave stuff. It's very good. Much better than insect regurgitations, that's for sure.

    It's even pretty good in tea and I don't even like sweetened teas.

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    does anyone think that the ethos and treatment of a loving beekeeper has any bearing on the issue? i have a friend of a friend who lives in deepest norfolk, and has two hives in his orchard. he is a caring and compassionate man who does things carefully and with integrity. no, he is not vegan or veggie but cares for his bees in a personal way which would not happen in a industrial process. he practises non-intervention and sometimes gets honey and sometimes not.

    now i am not advocating the eating of the stuff but like organic farming is it better for a caring person to be doing this job for those who arent dietry-concious? does every little step count towards showing compassion and pulling away from intensive processes in production?? for vegans it would be all or nothing, but what about those whose first step to thinking about the choices of food and the why's of those choices? can it be a small step to opening peoples eyes to these matters?

    what do you all think

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    Quote PinkFluffyCloud
    I couldn't despise anyone who does this sort of thing with genuine compassion, but my argument against it would be WHY?????????????

    We don't need Honey, it is not our resource to take.

    i guess he likes to eat it, it is a 'natural' product (to the bees) and he likes to give away any extra to neighbours.....i dont know

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    Quote cedarblue
    does anyone think that the ethos and treatment of a loving beekeeper has any bearing on the issue? i have a friend of a friend who lives in deepest norfolk, and has two hives in his orchard. he is a caring and compassionate man who does things carefully and with integrity. no, he is not vegan or veggie but cares for his bees in a personal way which would not happen in a industrial process. he practises non-intervention and sometimes gets honey and sometimes not.

    what do you all think
    I think it can start with small steps not everyone takes a giant leap into Veganism.

    There are quite a few beekeepers that use bees for pollination of crops rather than honey production.

    I know a few beekeepers that are as you described. I met my first beekeeper at the age of 5. He was extremely knowledgeable and knew so much about alternative healing. He was a very pleasant man. I am getting bees this coming spring from a neighbor’s friend. I am not going to disturb them after I set up their home in the woods. I am trying to think of a place to place them. I want it to be as natural as possible. I have been chatting a lot with one local beekeeper and he will be visiting in the spring. He mentioned a few people purchase them only for pollination.

    They will be wonderful for the garden and they will have many tasty varieties of flowers and a few fruit trees to feast on. We will be helping each other. Bees have always fascinated me. I would watch them for hours lighting on the flowers when I was a child. I still do that now.

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    Default vomit?

    HOLD IT! Bee vomit? Honey is bee vomit? This I did not know. I haven't given up honey yet, but after reading about the suffering I am now giving it up...starting....NOW! Okay but seriously...is it really bee vomit?
    A good man takes care of his animals, but wicked men are cruel to theirs.
    - Proverbs 12:10

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    Default Re: vomit?

    yeah it's definitely bee vomit

  43. #43
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    Default Re: honey

    yes, they regurgitate the necter into the bee hive as food for the young bees to eat.

    So eating it you are robbing the young bees of their food, like calfs are robbed of their mums milk.!!

    Also I believe, bee keepers kill of the access queens that are born.

    Bees are beautiful little creatures that are quite intelligent, if they find a good source of necter they go back to the hive and do a 'dance' which is telling the other bees where the necter is from.

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    Default Re: honey

    At work the first thing people ask me is what I don't eat. When I tell them and they hear the word honey, they ask me why. I always get the greatest pleasure seeing their faces when I tell them that honey is 'bees vomit'. Cheers me up no end.

  45. #45
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    Quote Aurora
    At work the first thing people ask me is what I don't eat. When I tell them and they hear the word honey, they ask me why. I always get the greatest pleasure seeing their faces when I tell them that honey is 'bees vomit'. Cheers me up no end.
    I say that, too. Then they say, "eeeeew that is gross". Okay, then why are you still consuming it?

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    Default Re: honey

    I told my friend yesterday what it is and she said that she isn't going to use it anymore, and shes not a veggie at all! She has pretty much stopped eating meat because of everything I've told her, but shes doing it because shes grossed ou, notbecause she cares. I wish that she cared about the animals, then I could get her on our side.
    A good man takes care of his animals, but wicked men are cruel to theirs.
    - Proverbs 12:10

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    Default Re: honey

    I gave up honey when I became vegan. Unlike dairy though I have lapsed a couple of times. Once with a bowl of crunchy nut cornflakes and once with an entire box of branflakes . I won't do it again.

    Oh, for ex crunchy nut cornflake fans, have you tried maple frosted cornflakes by Whole Earth? Yum.

    My non-vegetarian friends think that not having milk is weird, but when I said I didn't have honey either they were in hysterics. I tried to explain about cruelty to bees but they laughed even more. Some people just don't think it is wrong to kill insects

  48. #48
    VeganJohn
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    I too have been laughed at about my abstinence from honey, although I just tell them that it is still a form of factory farming and the bes often get sprayed with smoke to alter their behaviour in order to ensure honey production and killed when their hives are burned etc.

    Insects still have brains and nerve endings and are intelligent creatures!

    I have to admit I can't ABIDE wasps, although I would never kill one

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    Default Re: honey

    Quote Banana
    I am going to admit that on occassions I consume honey. I don't personally use it, but if I am in a situation where there is not a lot of choice, and the food is vegan otherwise, I have eaten it. I guess it is a part of veganism that I am yet to mature in.
    That reminds me of what Tails said in another thread, about being wrongly criticised by friends for using soap dispensers in public restrooms. Really, how many lives will you save by letting your hands stay dirty? I think that sometimes we choose the vegan option only for our own benefit, so that we feel better (like in throwing out leather products, etc), even though it won't make a difference to anybody (animal or otherwise) but ourselves. If the most vegan-friendly food present had a little honey in it, and there was not a lot of choice, then starving yourself wouldn't have helped matters. It may have even made you feel like you're punishing yourself, which might undermine your convictions and threaten your resolve to remain vegan.

    Bravo for admitting it Banana, even if it means setting yourself up to be flamed
    "Man can do as he wills, but not will as he wills" - Arthur Schopenhauer

  50. #50
    vegan pizza! thecatspajamas1's Avatar
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    Default Re: honey

    When I first went vegan, I still would have foods that had honey as an ingredient. Now, I've cut out honey so that I can be fully vegan.

    It's not difficult to give up, you only have to check cereal type things and salad dressings and some teas, really. It's not good for you anyway, gives you cavities.

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