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Honey

Eating honey is not vegan.

Discuss.

I know this has been talked about many a time on VW, but I would like to be involved in the discussion. If you aren't interested in debating if/why/etc. eating honey is not/is vegan, then don't post!

HH, i know, i thought that was so weird that he would actually say things like that!! I am just shocked how little people think of insects, I asked my mom what she consider bees and she said not animals (what else could they be!?). I'm going to print out some stuff from the info site AC posted, and some things from this thread along with other sources and bring it in to him.

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I think that's more of the real reason why some people continue to eat honey after eliminating dairy/eggs/meat; because many people don't includes bees/insects in their idea of "animals." We think furry, feathered, scaled. If bees aren't animals, honey isn't an animal product. People don't give them the same (or even close to) the ethical consideration of vertebrates. That's why people bring up bee intelligence/society when making the case for not eating honey - to show that they are just like us fuzzy creatures.
I could see a honey-vegan buying (genuine) sponge too (the "lowest" animal). But probably not eat seafood (also invertebrates). It's still the same double standard that omnis have (humans vs other animals) but shifted over (vertebrates vs invertebrates) instead of being eliminated entirely.

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*snip*

My issue is that if people mis-use "vegan," then it confuses The Others.  The example I often cite is when I went to a potluck that was supposed to have vegan food and most of the dishes contained honey.  I went hungry and stayed hungry because I couldn't eat anything.

*snip*

sorry to go off topic, but I love the use of 'the others'.  That made me laugh!

ps - I don't eat honey and no it is not vegan.

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It's still the same double standard that omnis have (humans vs other animals) but shifted over (vertebrates vs invertebrates) instead of being eliminated entirely.

Thank you!  Yes.  That's exactly it.  We can debate the pros and cons of honey harvesting as much as we want, but it all boils down to what you said.

I also like hh's comment about size--suppose bees were larger invertebrates.  I doubt many honey-eating veg*ns would eat lobster secretions.  Honey is no different--honey production just happens on a smaller scale.

In general, I believe that it is a personal choice for everyone, and will I respect someone whatever they choose, because we all know that we vegans put a lot more thought into our food than most other people. :)

I think we need to set a higher bar for ourselves.  Just because someone gives a lot of thought to their food choices doesn't mean they have a free pass to perpetuate misconceptions about honey production.  That's irresponsible from a vegan perspective.  And that's not me being disrespectful--I can respect a person's character without respecting all their actions.

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*snip*

My issue is that if people mis-use "vegan," then it confuses The Others

I missed that!  Tee hee!

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I didn't like that movie.

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I think we need to set a higher bar for ourselves.  Just because someone gives a lot of thought to their food choices doesn't mean they have a free pass to perpetuate misconceptions about honey production.  That's irresponsible from a vegan perspective.  And that's not me being disrespectful--I can respect a person's character without respecting all their actions.

This was the comment I had yesterday (but didn't post because it was wrapped in a testier package).

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He told me to bring proof to him that bees are animals (which is easy, because, they are... what are they then, a plant?!?). and i need more to back this up.. Ugh..

Bees absolutely are animals. There is no debating this. So are some things you wouldn't even think of: sponges, sea corals, sea anemones....

Here's a university-based source:

http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/index.html

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There's easily an argument for both sides, but I would say that accepting someone who consumes honey as their only other "creature" (not animal) product as a vegan is a good thing.  It's about the forward momentum of the movement, not about getting lost in all the minutia.

http://www.compassionatespirit.com/is-honey-vegan.htm

A VERY interesting read. 

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I didn't like that movie.

It was great unitl you saw the twist coming. Which was like, right after the credits.

So, yeah. What.

----------------
Now playing: Bad Livers - Cannonball Rag
via FoxyTunes

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Honey has lots of uses as a natural remedy. I would much prefer to use a drop of honey on a scratch or burn instead of a triple antibiotic! anti -bionics can increase candida in your body causing more ailments! I haven't purchased any honey for a while though. It would be nice to find a bees nest filled with honey and then snag just a little, and say thank you to the bees by planting some pollen filled flowers nearby! hehe maybe. Wouldn't hurt the nest of course. If this were possible, would I be considered not vegan amongst the vegan population? If so then I guess I don't have a label for my diet.

Let it be said that I don't like or support inhumane practices toward anything that has a life energy including trees and plants!!

That is the pickle I am in though... I use natural medicines so it's kind of a conflict!

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Honey has lots of uses as a natural remedy. I would much prefer to use a drop of honey on a scratch or burn instead of a triple antibiotic! anti -bionics can increase candida in your body causing more ailments! I haven't purchased any honey for a while though. It would be nice to find a bees nest filled with honey and then snag just a little, and say thank you to the bees by planting some pollen filled flowers nearby! hehe maybe. Wouldn't hurt the nest of course. If this were possible, would I be considered not vegan amongst the vegan population? If so then I guess I don't have a label for my diet.

Let it be said that I don't like or support inhumane practices toward anything that has a life energy including trees and plants!!

That is the pickle I am in though... I use natural medicines so it's kind of a conflict!

this sounds like something Winnie the Pooh would do....  teehee  ;D
honestly I don't think you should care what *others* are thinking about your choices--- do what feels right and is the best choice for you. all those *others* are usually a bunch of strangers, so what does it matter? you only live once....
and don't confine your life with the technicalities of 'labels' and trying to fit into the parameters!
personally, i hate labeling myself as anything..... so in short, I would say eat the honey and give a sod what anyone else thinks about it. the only opinion of yourself that (really) counts is your own opinion.  and when you're on your deathbed, in your last moments, you don't want to be thinking, 'I should have had the honey'.....  :)

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I'm glad I finally got around to reading this thread and the resources you all linked to... For the first three years that I was vegan, I excluded honey completely. But in the past few years I've let it slip in--not often, but occasionally--in store-bought baked goods and the like.

I started being less strict about it for the following reason: I gleefully murder any other bug that manages to find its way into my apartment. I use bug spray every three months, and anything that survives dies by my shoe if I'm too afraid to carry it outside... and I usually am... because I'm a wuss. I should get better at this. I used to think to myself, "It's okay, I'm not Gandhi! Nobody's perfect!" But the truth is that making those sorts of excuses for myself is just a weakness. It's not like it was hard for me to avoid eating honey in the first place. It's funny, I'll go backpacking and live with the bugs for days and they don't bother me. I just reverted to being selfish when it came to "my" space.

Anyway, rereading some of this online literature and stuff has revived the pacifist within... a little. I suppose I could enlist the bf to carry the bugs out. I guess I just reached a point a while back where I felt silly standing up for the sad little bees, while prescribing death to any spider who dares to enter my people-space.

So I guess I didn't want to post this so I'd be judged and fired at, or even because I thought I had some unique, enlightening perspective on the honey debate... but rather to say thanks to you guys for putting me back on track.

I love that post, and I think that's a great way to think! To me, one of the main ideas to my veganism is to continue to improve myself, and the things I can do for others. Thanks to you for thinking, AND thanking the people of this thread for putting you "back on track."  ;)b

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I didn't read all these threads so this was probably discussed.

I think that store bought honey is NOT vegan, and shouldn't be bought or used, but local honey I think is okay.  I buy local honey all the time because those bees are treated well and are harvested by small hometown producers that also grow and sell local homegrown produce which I love to buy during the right season.  Local bees are very important to farmers and such so of course they are going to treat those bees with respect.  The particular brand I buy is from a tiny store in the middle of some farm country and is not paturized or have anything done to it.  And it is SOOO good. 

Am I wrong?

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I think that store bought honey is NOT vegan....

Well, no honey is vegan.  Honey is an animal product, and animal products are not vegan. 

I think an appropriate analogy is, would a vegan buy locally-produced milk just because she knew it was obtained from a cow who was treated well and whose small farm was an integral part of the community, etc?  Maybe, but in making that decision she would no longer be vegan.  I don't think honey gets to be an exception to this logic.

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I appreciate your well thought out, and written paragraphs.  :)

Just because I disagree does not mean I am judging anyone. Honestly, I get very, very tired of that "argument."

I wonder what insects are, if not animals? They are obviously in the Animalia kingdom, and share all of the characteristics of most other creatures in the kingdom (except sponges, which are also animals!). I don't see how it can be argued that bees are not animals.

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I wonder what insects are, if not animals? They are obviously in the Animalia kingdom, and share all of the characteristics of most other creatures in the kingdom (except sponges, which are also animals!). I don't see how it can be argued that bees are not animals.

This.
This is the main thing i face when i tell people i don't eat honey. They will argue to their deaths that bees are not animals. I really don't get that.

I just looked up the definition of an animal:
"any of a kingdom (Animalia) of living things including many-celled organisms and often many of the single-celled ones (as protozoans) that typically differ from plants in having cells without cellulose walls, in lacking chlorophyll and the capacity for photosynthesis, in requiring more complex food materials (as proteins), in being organized to a greater degree of complexity, and in having the capacity for spontaneous movement and rapid motor responses to stimulation"

And when one looks up insect:
"a: any of numerous small invertebrate animals (as spiders or centipedes) that are more or less obviously segmented —not used technically b: any of a class (Insecta) of arthropods (as bugs or bees) with well-defined head, thorax, and abdomen, only three pairs of legs, and typically one or two pairs of wings"

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it's interesting, because while I do understand the 'harm' argument , I cannot understand how anyone could consider bees to be anything other than animals. They don't freaking well grow out of the ground or sprout off trees. They are born, they live, they experience, and eventually, they die.  They are living breathing animals, and regardless of whether you feel they willingly gave up the honey and were not harmed in it's production, it IS an animal product, and adhering to a vegan diet means not consuming animal products.

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Oh, often when i tell people i dont eat honey, they think that i'm some idiot that thinks honey is squished up bees...

But really, animal or plant, obviously not a plant.

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2. I think that calling yourself vegan should always be done with the understanding that you may not be representative of the vegan community as a whole.

3. I think that #2 goes for everyone, not just honey-lovers. The point is that we are all seeking to better ourselves and the world around us--we shouldn't be here to judge each other. If there are those amongst us who consider locally grown, ethically farmed honey to be vegan, I think it is wrong to judge these people when most of the rest of us still drive cars and live in houses built of products that are not vegan and were not entirely ethically created.

I also get really tired of this argument.  I need a house.  I need a car (debatable, but I need it for my current job, yes).  I don't need to put honey in my tea.  Honey is so far from a necessity it's comical.  That's why I have little patience for people who fight on its behalf so fervently.

Also, when you call yourself vegan, you do represent the group as a whole, whether you like it or not.  People tend to come into contact with very few vegans over their lifetime, which is why this is the case.

I don't think it's good enough to say, "Yay, we're all compassionate and want to make the world better!"  No.  What matters are how you put that compassion into actions.  A lot of people feel sorry for animals and never act on their intentions.  In that case, what good are the good intentions?

There are lots of other crawly, insect-like animals that I know vegans would refuse to eat.  Crustaceans?  Clams?  Beetles?  Worms?  I mean these are hardly more complex than bees.  You can't just draw a force field around bees because you think honey tastes good.

If you wouldn't eat locally farmed milk, then you shouldn't be eating locally farmed honey either.  And if you would, well that's not vegan and it's never going to be vegan.  

I know it sounds harsh but I don't know why we always baby ourselves about the honey thing.  

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