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Thread: Vegans don't use honey

  1. #151
    Zero
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    Quote Korn View Post
    We need food, and any diet that requires more resources than eating plants 'directly' (eg. food having been eaten by an animal already, which someone then eats) is wasting resources unnecessarily.
    Indeed, we live in a very volatile world, some form of life is always destroying another kind in order to live, whether they eat flesh or not.

    Minimizing the death to other species is really the best you can do, but at least we can say we are doing that as far as it is possible for us rather than just saying "Screw it! Lets just kill anything and everything then".

  2. #152

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    MissBettie wrote: "as far as it is possible "

    Well, I suppose that's the final unresolved point for me. I'm not doing it as far as possible. As far as possible would require me to opt out of modern society and give up most of what I have, including car, use of electricity, and so on.

    So I guess that's the ethical dilemma I will never resolve.

    I actively choose to maintain my lifestyle, and that choice no doubt costs animal pain and life relative to what would be the case if I went, "as far as possible".

  3. #153
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    Default Re: Honey

    well then go live in the boondocks. Of course you will have to run around naked cause some how your clothing caused some pain....

    I'm sorry you are so stressed out by this...But you have to lighten up a little...obviously you didn't pet the puppy like I said too...
    "i'm rejecting my reflection, cause i hate the way it judges me."

  4. #154

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    MissBettie - I apologize for intruding into your forum here. I sense a barely disguised aggression in your posts.

    I certainly did not come here to either foment aggression or receive it.

    That's the second time you have made a flip comment.

    I think I see what your issue is.

    I think the deal is that you don't like what I'm writing about my own personal struggle because it forces you to consider your own situation.

    It seems that you desperately want to believe that you have done all that you can to reduce animal suffering and/or death.

    I flatly suggest that you have not done all that you can, and that it's bothering you that I'm pointing out that, if all we do is eat and live like a vegan as that word is generally defined, but otherwise live a modern lifestyle, then we have chosen not to further reduce animal suffering and/or death.

    It's not a question of "lightening up" as you put it. I view that flip response as being no more applicable to my thoughts as it would be for a guy eating a hamburger telling you to "lighten up".

    I guess what it comes down to for me, and what you seem to be reacting aggressively to, is that our impact on animals is a spectrum.

    Veganism falls on the spectrum closer to the "no impact" side of the spectrum, but it by no means either at the no impact point, or even close to it.

    Further, and this is the key point Miss Bettie, and I specifically direct it at you -

    If what you have done is become a vegan but you have otherwise maintained a modern lifestyle, with cars, travel, high energy use, and so on, then you have made the active choice to not move yourself further toward the "no impact" side of the spectrum.

    Like it or not, when you drive a car or use a computer, which you most certainly do not have to do, you bear some responsibility for the animal pain and deaths that occur as collateral damage to the oil industry.

    I am not stressed out.

    I do have an unresolvable issue. But I'm not lying to myself by thinking that "I have done all that I can do."

    If you engage in modern society, you have made the conscious choice to exchange animal suffering/death for your standard of living.

    And that's my last post.

    Peace.

  5. #155
    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Quote ASB View Post
    So I guess that's the ethical dilemma I will never resolve.

    I actively choose to maintain my lifestyle, and that choice no doubt costs animal pain and life relative to what would be the case if I went, "as far as possible".
    You are right, but IMO the problem isn't ethical, because you already have answered the question about which solution would be the best from an ethical point of view. Part of the dilemma is that you know the best solution, and go actively go for another solution (like many of us do).

    It's also more 'complicated' than that: if every environment/animal/nature friendly person would leave the 'civilized' world and live in and bamboo huts and not communicate with the modern world in any way (in order not to use cars, electricity and so on), would the planet as a whole really benefit from this?

    We make choices all the time, and instead of getting stuck with the perfect/non-perfect dilemma, most of us can make choices that represent a major change just by being vegans... because making some harm (eg. to the environment) isn't valid reason to make more harm. I may harm the environment by having created a forum that makes people spend time in front of the computer than they otherwise have done, use more electricity than they otherwise have done, and I'm not all all doing everything can do avoid the modern world. I'm actually not planning to either, because I don't think the solution to the problem is to permanently isolate people with a vision about a better, less cruel, more animal friendly and natural world small groups on the countryside. The consequence of such a philosophy would be that there would be no 'green' parties, no eco-movement, no literature about how to improve the world, because printing requires electricity.

    I think it's good that that there's a slightly 'vague' part of the definition of 'vegan'. 'As much as practical and possible' is vague, and rarely means what it says, but if we make that into a dilemma instead of an invitation to let people adjust their lifestyles according to what they're capable of, we create a problem out of something which isn't.

    In spite of this slightly 'vague' part, it's clear that vegans don't eat meat, eggs, dairy products, honey etc., and that we avoid other animal products as much as possible, but realistically, this has never implied that we shouldn't continue to live in the society we do, or that we should everything we possible can which possibly has been in touch with something that has harmed an animal.

    A vegan who is taking a taxi and sitting on a leather seat is still a vegan, and IMO, the best way to kill veganism is to convert it into some kind of obsessive perfectionism.

  6. #156
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    I thought vegan didn't just mean "as far as possible", but also "as far as practical". It is possible, but not practical, for you to go live in the bush and eat only fruit from trees and bushes, and not walk on the dirt (since ants and other insects live in the dirt and you won't want to step on them), and not wear any clothes (because animals were killed in the harvesting of cotton for clothes), etc. etc. You can only avoid animal exploitation as far as is practical for you, and that line is different for everyone. A vegan is someone who does as much as they honestly can to be vegan. People who eat honey are not doing as much as they can; anyone can live without honey. But there are other things that it is not practical to avoid eating, like fruit, vegetables and grains. Someone who eats only fruit, vegetables and grains is doing all they can practically do to avoid animal products; someone who eats fruit, vegetables, grains and honey is not.

    As an example: I try to recycle as much as I can, whenever I can. But I work in an office that deals with classified documents, and we can't recycle these papers for security reasons. We have to shred them and burn them. I try as much as possible not to print classified documents, but sometimes that's not practical, and I have to print them. I don't feel too bad about this, because other than this one case where I have to throw away paper, I do all I can to recycle everything else the rest of the time. It's the same with animals incidentally killed by crop harvesting. Yes, some insects/mice will die, but other than that, you are avoiding animal products as much as practically possible the rest of the time, so you are doing as much as you can.

    Edit: I just noticed your last post. You think that if a person "chooses a modern lifestyle", they are still having an impact on animals. That's true. There is no way to have ZERO impact on the animals and the environment, period.

    But if you choose to greatly reduce your impact, you are doing far more than people who choose to do nothing to reduce their impact. Would you rather recycle NONE of your paper than only recycle half of it??? Half is better than none.
    "Man can do as he wills, but not will as he wills" - Arthur Schopenhauer

  7. #157
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    Default Re: Honey

    Again I didn't mean anything bad by anything I said.

    I respect what you are saying and I am sorry that you are not satisfied with what you have done toward the cause. I just wanted to let you know that it is okay and that you are doing a great job...Thats all I was saying...I was just trying to make you feel better...
    "i'm rejecting my reflection, cause i hate the way it judges me."

  8. #158
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    Quote ellaminnowpea View Post
    Aww Bettie and Roxy, always the peace-keepers
    I guess I'm not really a peace-keeper after all, I guess I just never realized how awful I was before...
    "i'm rejecting my reflection, cause i hate the way it judges me."

  9. #159
    Zero
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    Quote missbettie View Post
    I guess I'm not really a peace-keeper after all, I guess I just never realized how awful I was before...
    Don't beat yourself up about it missbettie, I think ASB is just having a difficult time in the ethical dilemas we face as vegans, I am sure (and I hope) talking about it here will help him with it.

    I did offer a solution but he didn't even make mention of it, perhaps he needs to go away and figure out a solution that he feels is right .

    Anyway ASB if you are still reading these posts on here, good luck with everything.

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    Quote Yoggy View Post
    I thought vegan didn't just mean "as far as possible", but also "as far as practical". It is possible, but not practical, for you to go live in the bush and eat only fruit from trees and bushes, and not walk on the dirt (since ants and other insects live in the dirt and you won't want to step on them), and not wear any clothes (because animals were killed in the harvesting of cotton for clothes), etc. etc. You can only avoid animal exploitation as far as is practical for you, and that line is different for everyone. A vegan is someone who does as much as they honestly can to be vegan. People who eat honey are not doing as much as they can; anyone can live without honey. But there are other things that it is not practical to avoid eating, like fruit, vegetables and grains. Someone who eats only fruit, vegetables and grains is doing all they can practically do to avoid animal products; someone who eats fruit, vegetables, grains and honey is not.

    As an example: I try to recycle as much as I can, whenever I can. But I work in an office that deals with classified documents, and we can't recycle these papers for security reasons. We have to shred them and burn them. I try as much as possible not to print classified documents, but sometimes that's not practical, and I have to print them. I don't feel too bad about this, because other than this one case where I have to throw away paper, I do all I can to recycle everything else the rest of the time. It's the same with animals incidentally killed by crop harvesting. Yes, some insects/mice will die, but other than that, you are avoiding animal products as much as practically possible the rest of the time, so you are doing as much as you can.

    Edit: I just noticed your last post. You think that if a person "chooses a modern lifestyle", they are still having an impact on animals. That's true. There is no way to have ZERO impact on the animals and the environment, period.

    But if you choose to greatly reduce your impact, you are doing far more than people who choose to do nothing to reduce their impact. Would you rather recycle NONE of your paper than only recycle half of it??? Half is better than none.
    Touche Yoggy....very well said and I could not agree more.
    mmmmmmm...cupcakes

  11. #161
    missbettie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Honey

    I can't imagine a Vegan restaurant using honey! The word Vegan has a very strong definition. The one in my town doesn't thank god, I am still weary eating at restaurants though...I know it says Vegan in the title but I am so untrusting when it comes to my food!

    Thank you Zero.
    "i'm rejecting my reflection, cause i hate the way it judges me."

  12. #162
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    veganism is about doing the BEST that YOU can, each and every day. Your best will change from day to day, depending on your state of mind, mental and physical health, the knowledged you posses, and a number of other factors.

    veganism is not about perfection; perfectionism does not exist.

    we are all on the same side here...

  13. #163

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    Quote MillieAnne View Post
    I think that many people would argue this particular item into the ground if they could. There are two vegan restaurants around me that use honey which even the owner of one has admit she is battling the idea morally.
    Not a vegan restaurant.
    Quote MillieAnne View Post
    If you choose to be vegan but eat honey then more power to ya!
    Not possible. Honey is not vegan.
    It really is that simple.
    ..but what would they do with all the cows?..

  14. #164
    Mahk
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    +1 The organization that coined the term gets to define it, and no one else.

  15. #165
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    .....umm, why has no one pointed out that you can't survive without grains, fruit and vegetables, but you can survive without honey?

    Plus, the majority of bee keepers kill ALL the bees every year, and replace them because it's cheaper than keeping them alive through the winter.

    Plus, they are being used for their product, paralleling dairy cows more than meat cows, making the point of their deaths null by a vegan standpoint.

    I find it a simple issue. Exploitation. Murdering is not exploitation, it is just unethical, and something that should be avoided as much as practical. Raising animals for one's own pureposes is exploitation.

  16. #166
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    Quote snivelingchild View Post
    .....umm, why has no one pointed out that you can't survive without grains, fruit and vegetables, but you can survive without honey?
    I sort of mentioned it. I said,

    "But there are other things that it is not practical to avoid eating, like fruit, vegetables and grains. Someone who eats only fruit, vegetables and grains is doing all they can practically do to avoid animal products; someone who eats fruit, vegetables, grains and honey is not."

    Wow, I didn't know that most beekeepers kill all their bees. That makes an even more compelling argument.
    "Man can do as he wills, but not will as he wills" - Arthur Schopenhauer

  17. #167
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    I sit in front of my computer corrected.

  18. #168
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    Quote missbettie View Post
    I can't imagine a Vegan restaurant using honey! The word Vegan has a very strong definition. The one in my town doesn't thank god, I am still weary eating at restaurants though...I know it says Vegan in the title but I am so untrusting when it comes to my food!

    Thank you Zero.
    There is a vegan restaurant in my city, and they were using honey in the chai tea that they serve.

    Many vegans complained about the use of honey, explaining that it really wasn't necessary.

    Now they use brown sugar instead

  19. #169
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    Quote snivelingchild
    I sit in front of my computer corrected.
    Well, my comment was hidden in an extremely long post
    "Man can do as he wills, but not will as he wills" - Arthur Schopenhauer

  20. #170
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    Quote Roxy View Post
    There is a vegan restaurant in my city, and they were using honey in the chai tea that they serve.

    Many vegans complained about the use of honey, explaining that it really wasn't necessary.

    Now they use brown sugar instead
    That's great! It makes me want to write to Amy's and ask them to stop using honey in their Veggie Loaf frozen dinner. During my brief stint as a vegetarian, before going vegan, I ate them a lot, and it is good! And honey is the only non-vegan ingredient!
    "Man can do as he wills, but not will as he wills" - Arthur Schopenhauer

  21. #171
    LetThemMooInPeace
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    I would think of it as cruelty against honeybee's, it would be much better if we all used other type's of liquid sweetener;or thats as far as i see it. It would be extremely easier if humans did not have such an uncontrollable. Maple syrup would be the best for my taste

  22. #172
    Zero
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    This argument just goes around in circles, however the point that it always comes back to is that honey is an animal product and therefore not vegan and can easily be removed from one's diet or replaced with a substitute.

  23. #173
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    Default Re: Honey

    however the point that it always comes back to is that honey is an animal product and therefore not vegan
    Hi Zero,
    since vegans are not against using animal products because they are against animal products, but because we think using animal products involve harming and/or killing animals, it's IMO better to explain why we actually are against using honey than to just claim something that may be interpreted as some kind of blind dogmatism.

    If someone would ask me if it was 'unvegan' to collect dung from wild elephants and use it as a fertilizer, I would answer that since it doesn't involve any harm to the animal, it wouldn't be unethical and therefore not unvegan.

    The word vegan is used in slightly different ways depending on what we talk about: in terms of food, animal products are always unvegan in any meal, but in terms of actions, 'vegan' always depend on the ethical aspect. If you'd find a bone from a dead moose, and make some jewelry out of it, you wouldn't harm the animal by doing it, so I don't think any vegans would consider it an 'unvegan' thing to do. If you for some reason would put a powder made out of crushed bones from the same animal into a soup, it wouldn't be a vegan soup.

    But as you say, honey isn't something we need. Lots of non-vegans don't use honey, and since there are so many natural sweeteners around, avoiding honey shouldn't be difficult at all.

  24. #174
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    Korn,

    Indeed there are many definitions of vegan and ethics can be subjective.

    I agree with what you are saying, I just feel like this conversation has become quite circular. A great many good points have been covered here however we seem to keep coming back to the same conclusion, which reinforces why many of us choose not to use it.

    I agree with you on fertilizer, especially in the respect that the animal really has no use for it and it's not harming the animal to use it, so I wouldn't call it unvegan either.

    I am glad to have had the oppertunity to read so many viewpoints within this thread.

  25. #175
    littlewinker
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    You can't call something vegan if it has honey in it, it's against the food standards agency or whatever it is regulations. It's ILLEGAL in England and probably throughout the UK.

    Honey bees aren't left enough honey to survive, as it's cheaper.

    i think all living things have the right to life as far as possible and just because something is smal like a bee it doesn't make their life worth any less.

  26. #176
    heat13
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    I didn't know that the beekeepers killed their bees either!

    It does seem ridiculous to use honey when it can easily be replaced by something like maple syrup or agave or cane sugar that comes from a plant. I switched to agave syrup months ago before I even became vegan. I acutally like it much better than honey Now I like it even more!

  27. #177
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    Quote littlewinker View Post
    You can't call something vegan if it has honey in it, it's against the food standards agency or whatever it is regulations. It's ILLEGAL in England and probably throughout the UK.
    Unfortunately I don't think it's actually illegal (yet) but it goes against the FSA guidance: http://www.food.gov.uk/foodindustry/...iguidancenotes

  28. #178
    littlewinker
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    It would be against trading standards I think

  29. #179
    Abe Froman Risker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Honey

    Yup, there's no legal definition of veg*n but to falsely claim a product is would be against the law.

  30. #180
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    Sadly I think it's quite difficult for trading standards to take action at present, except perhaps in blatant cases like something with lumps of meat in something marked vegetarian.

    This http://www.vegne.co.uk/DG/phpBB3/vie....php?f=16&t=34 suggests that it would only be if the product carried the Vegetarian or Vegan Society symbol that they would have much power (hence the petition for a legal definition).

  31. #181
    littlewinker
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    poor lickle bees, they're so cute

    i thinkpeople who still eat honey after reading the vegan society page are not thinking of bees as individuals, just "bees" as a whole. remember we're all animals!

    you've got to think "how would i feel if i was that bee who had a part of my body chopped off, and was left in painful temperatures and imprisoned all my life and not allowed to do what i naturally need to do to fulfil my life"

    it's equivalent to natural human things that ould fee terrible if taken away from us.

  32. #182
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    I cried when I read about the cruelty to bees. I'm a hardcore vegan, but I never really knew the truth about honey...my heart is officially broken.
    Sing with your head up, with your eyes closed. Not because you love the song, because you love to sing.

  33. #183
    Dylan Mulenburg
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    I know others have said this, but the more people who say is makes it that much stronger of a message: Bees raised for honey ARE killed. And even bee farmers who don't kill them smoke them out of their hives to steal their honey. It is robbing the bees of what THEY made. How would you like to get smoked out of your house and have your kitchen robbed?

  34. #184
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    "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

    I wouldn't want someone to steal all my food and leave me with sugar water, break the walls of my house and kill my relatives in the process.

    The honey belongs to the bees, it doesn't belong to me. Just like a chicken's eggs belong to the chicken and a cow's milk belongs to her/her calf.

  35. #185
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    Honeybees transported just like cows and chickens and pigs:

    http://www.thestar.com/News/Canada/article/451642
    Check out the Toronto Vegetarian Podcast at veg.ca/tvp !

  36. #186

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    Just bringing this over from the 'Hello forum witches and pagans' thread.

    Quote BlackCats View Post
    (It's strange I keep reading on forums lately that some vegans make an exception for honey.)
    I don't know when the policy changed but for many years the Vegan Society left it up to the individual's conscience as to whether they consumed honey or not, so at one time, by the Vegan Society's own definition, you could eat honey and still be vegan. Perhaps some people still go by this old definition.

  37. #187
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    Quote green woman View Post
    I don't know when the policy changed but for many years the Vegan Society left it up to the individual's conscience as to whether they consumed honey or not, so at one time, by the Vegan Society's own definition, you could eat honey and still be vegan. Perhaps some people still go by this old definition.
    Really, I didn't know that. I can see how vegans had mixed messages then. I haven't been vegan for that long but I had never heard of any vegan eating honey until recently. I think it is odd personally, I just see honey as an animal product and I wouldn't have thought there was any room for debate.

  38. #188
    gorillagorilla Gorilla's Avatar
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    Default Re: Honey

    i never heard of the Vegan Society being ambiguous about honey. that sounds very odd to me.

    as i mentioned in another thread you can now buy vegan 'honey'

    http://www.veganstore.co.uk/mm5/merc...egory_Code=002
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  39. #189
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    That's weird, gorilla! Some people must really like honey.

    It also seems odd that otherwise-vegan people would make an exception for honey seeing it's such a dispensable element of the diet. Especially now when the poor old bees are in such trouble - you'd think people would leave them alone in the hope that they'll recover.

  40. #190
    gorillagorilla Gorilla's Avatar
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    it seems odd that honey would be the only execption, would these people use silk or shellac that came from other insects because they don't think insects count?

    i wonder if part of the reason is that honey is seen as a 'natural' sweetener and healthier than sugar so people who are concerned about their health might think it's better to make an exception. that would be a pretty selfish reason though.

    perhaps that's why they made a vegan honey substitute, as a 'healthy' alternative to sugar. i've bought some anyway so i'll let you know if it tastes anything like honey
    'The word gorilla was derived from the Greek word Gorillai (a "tribe of hairy women")'

  41. #191
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    Yes, would be really interested to know what it's like although I noticed they said it tastes like honey or sugar so they're hedging their bets there!

    I suppose it could be the health thing, not that I'm convinced honey is particularly healthy as it's mostly just sugar. It still pops up annoyingly in products that would otherwise be vegan such as cereal bars doesn't it?

  42. #192
    gorillagorilla Gorilla's Avatar
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    it's funny they are a bit cautious about describing it as being just like honey, i expect it probably tastes like sugar syrup or agave or something. i bought it to try in porridge now winter's coming, i usually put unrefined sugar in it.

    it is annoying how much honey is sneaked into things, and as you say i don't know why people think it's healthier than sugar because that's just what it is! people seem to have a problem with the word 'sugar' assuming that it's all bad, but think honey's some magical sweet product with no sugar in it
    'The word gorilla was derived from the Greek word Gorillai (a "tribe of hairy women")'

  43. #193
    Zero
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    Vegan food definition from the Vegan Society:

    Definition of vegan food



    A vegan will not eat any animal products, for example:
    • No meat, fish nor other products that come directly from killing an animal, such as animal fats and gelatine
    • No dairy products such as cows’ milk, cheese and yogurt; nor goats’ milk
    • No eggs nor foods containing eggs such as Quorn
    • No honey



    http://www.vegansociety.com/food/Veg...of_vegan_food/

    They also produce a leaflet about why you shouldn't eat honey, so I honestly can't the vegan society being ambiguous at all.

  44. #194
    Zero
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    Quote Gorilla View Post
    It is annoying how much honey is sneaked into things, and as you say i don't know why people think it's healthier than sugar because that's just what it is! people seem to have a problem with the word 'sugar' assuming that it's all bad, but think honey's some magical sweet product with no sugar in it
    I felt Arnold Ehret's scientific research made sense where he showed that honey is not suitable for humans because it is an unbalanced sugar much like refined sugar.

    Lets face it, the best sugar with always be that which is naturally contained in fruit and vegetables.

  45. #195
    gorillagorilla Gorilla's Avatar
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    Default Re: Honey

    Quote Zero View Post
    I felt Arnold Ehret's scientific research made sense where he showed that honey is not suitable for humans because it is an unbalanced sugar much like refined sugar.
    i don't know that particular piece of research but it makes sense. honey is food for bees, not people!
    'The word gorilla was derived from the Greek word Gorillai (a "tribe of hairy women")'

  46. #196
    baffled harpy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Honey

    The Vegan Sociey is unambivalent about honey now but that doesn't necessarily mean it always was.

    This interview with Donald Watson http://www.vegparadise.com/24carrot610.html says about the formation of the Vegan Society "We also debated for a long time about the case of honey but again decided against it." He doesn't say how long though...

  47. #197
    Abe Froman Risker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Honey

    Just don't try telling someone that occasionally eating honey isn't vegan, it's ok to do it with cheese or eggs but do it with honey and you're 'attacking' them.
    "I don't want to live on this planet any more" - Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth

  48. #198
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    Default Re: Honey

    I think the 'vegans' I mentioned who ate honey did so for health reasons. Although the more I looked into it, I read that some vegans do eat honey and there is a debate about whether it is vegan to do so. I think the logic must be because they are insects not animals? Not a good argument though. Also some bees aren't harmed as such in some honey production but you could argue that sometimes you could get eggs without harming an animal. I read about one person who thought that as humans eat crops due to bee's pollination then it is difficult to get any food without bees so you might as well have other bee products as well.

    The arguments for eating honey seem pretty weak to me. The honey belongs to the bees not us anyway.

    (Also I think honey is nasty, that is the most important point.)

  49. #199
    Abe Froman Risker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Honey

    ^ Bees are animals All insects are.
    "I don't want to live on this planet any more" - Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth

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    Default Re: Honey

    Quote Risker View Post
    ^ Bees are animals All insects are.
    Lol, you don't have to convince me!

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