Why Vegans Don’t eat Honey (and why you shouldn’t either)
Posted in: Vegan Living
It is important to first recognize what veganism is actually about. The point of being a vegan is to not partake in the unnecessary use/abuse of animals(and sometimes insects) for our[human] benefits. This includes, but is not limited to: not eating animals or animals products, not using products that test on animals, and not wearing animal skins of any kind.
So now that we know what veganism is, let’s talk about the bees…
Honeybees are essentially irreplaceable in nature. They are responsible for pollination of countless flowers and plants; from broccoli to apples and strawberries to almonds. In fact, bees are solely responsible for up to 70% of all fruits, vegetables, and nuts we consume! They do this by transferring the pollen from male plants to female plants which allows them to bloom. So what would happen if all the bees died out? Many experts argue that if the bees die out, so do the humans. They are a vital part of the ecosystem and we can not survive without them, and neither can most of the crops.
Recently the number of bees have declined. Once again experts argue that mites/viruses, climate change, and pesticides are to blame. The number of bees have dropped by 1/3rd since 2006. We have to do something about it before the bees are totally gone.
When we think about bees all we think about is the honey! But how many of us actually know what honey is. Honey is… BEE VOMIT. You heard it right. Honeybees swallow and regurgitate the nectar they collect from pollination over 50 times, and that regurgitation is what we call honey. These bees use the honey to insulate their hives as well as feed themselves and their young during the winter. What we humans do is take advantage of this process. We order queen bees and make hives artificially. When the queen arrives humans often rip off her wings so she cannot leave. With the queen still there the hive is less likely to collapse.
We then go in with giant suits and smoke out the bees and put them to sleep via gassing (otherwise they would sting us to death, they don’t want people to steal their honey). Once they are asleep, or have vacated the hive, we take the honey they spent months making for ourselves. We don’t pay the bees for their honey and they receive no benefit from us… textbook exploitation. If that wasn’t bad enough, we replace the honey with sugar water, normally corn syrup. High fructose corn syrup is not the ideal food for honey bees which causes their colonies to collapse and further lowers the bee population since most do not survive throughout the winter, due in most part because of their sugar syrup diet.
So, why don’t vegans eat honey? Vegans do not want to exploit bees and contribute to their extinction just so we can eat the food they made in which they need to survive. I think the real question is, why do non-vegans eat honey? Not to mention there are awesome products you can use instead of honey: Agave nectar, stevia, truvia, Coconut nectar, yacoon root nectar, bee free honee (made from apples), maple syrup, and many more.
Be compassionate. Take the blinders off. Go vegan.
-The 15th Dalai Llama (Leon)