12.30.2009

Vegans and Honey

I’ll start by saying that this has been the hardest week for me yet. I had a lot of temptations put in front of me, and I did not always make decisions that I agreed with or that I am proud of. With that said, I am re-committing myself to the vegan lifestyle. I’m trying not to be such an “absolutist” about it, but it is hard when your mind and heart are telling you one thing, yet it seems that your tastebuds and your drunken palette are telling you another thing! But that’s what we’re here for…..to support each other….and to not judge each other. So, hey, to a better week next week, a better year next year, and a better decade next decade…….and that will all be starting on Saturday!

Last week I mentioned that I’d discuss the honey and veganism topic. I’ll start by giving a definition of veganism. The Merriam Webster dictionary defines veganism as “a strict vegetarian who consumes no animal food or dairy products; also : one who abstains from using animal products (as leather)”. Honey would obviously categorize as an animal product because it comes directly from bees. The vegans who do not consume honey have various reasons. Here are a couple quick and dry reasons for why vegans do not consume honey.

For one, some vegans argue that even the use of animal products is exploitative. They believe that if we are taking the bodily fluid of an animal for our use, then we are exploiting and using them. Secondly, some vegans do not consume honey because they believe that bees are harmed in the process of getting their honey to our table. This quote came from an article on the PETA website: “Beekeeping is big business, to be sure: 15 to 30 percent of all food crops depend on bees for pollination. Like all factory farming, beekeeping has morphed into an industrial process which puts profits ahead of animal concerns. Commercial beekeepers truck some 2.4 million hives all over the country to track seasonal crops. These journeys clobber the bees with physiological stress, pesticides, diseases, and related disorders.”

So, what are your thoughts? Does consuming honey bother you? Will you stop eating honey yourself? I still have honey in my pantry, but I do not think I will buy any more once it is gone. It doesn’t sit well with me that the bees could actually be harmed in the “factory farming” industrial process. And is it really necessary? Though I will say that I don’t have that cut and dry feeling that I did with not wanting to eat meat any more. Also, there are such good alternatives to honey, that I don’t think that you can really miss honey. Between agave nectar and maple syrup, you’re pretty much covered.

A safe and happy new year to everyone!

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