If you are a vegetarian or vegan who chooses not to eat honey,I'de like to know your main reasons for it. I've never been crazy for the taste and usually just don't want it,but it is in a lot of other foods you buy and I want to know if it's worth avoiding. Is it? Obviously the bee keeping industry isn't as gruesome or brutal as the meat or dairy industry,but the bees must be some what exploited,considering every grocery store around is stocked with honey and products made with it. Sorry for my ignorance on the subject. I'm pretty new to vegetarian/vegan living.

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 I have to agree with Francesca...  Honey is not vegan. One of the main characteristics of being vegans is not using any animal bi-products because of the harm.potential harm it can cause on the animals. This being said, most bee farmers are factory farmers and they like most factory farmers do not care what happens to the animal, all they want is the profit. 

I personally, use agave nectar. I haven't used honey in years. I know people who keep bees and I agree that the small, recreational bee farms do take care of their bees, but if we look at the mass corporations, they could probably care less to what happens. 

And this is why I love you Fran. <3

My dear, if you consume any animal by-products but no product of a dead animal you are a vegetarian. Not a vegan.

As mentioned earlier, vegans do not eat ANY animal products or by-products. Period. This includes insects. Insects are still part of the Kingdom Animalia. They are not Bacteria, Plantae or Fungi.

And also as said earlier: stop thinking that YOUR experience is EVERYONE'S experience. That is extremely closed-minded and selfish.

So it's more important that honey is "vegan" because its a by-product, than the actual facts? No, beekeeperts are not soulless people who only abuse their "animals" for profit. Beekeeping is considered sacred and bees are always held with care. You NEED your bees alive an healthy to maintain a bussiness. Is that too hard to comprehend? Secondly - you have killed more Ants or spiders etc. by stepping on them, than any beekeeper has killed bees in his life. Thirdly - to declare that you will not eat something that comes of off something else is moronic (being polite) because EVERYTHING is natural. PLASTIC is natural. Organic matter consist of everything we can digest and much more that we can't. If you believe that you shouldn'y eat something because you deliver harm to the creator of it - well you shouldn't eat anything. You harm much more plants when eating seeds or plants in general. And let me give you a fun fact - PLANTS procude OXIGEN. Animals DON'T. We need plants ALIVE to BREATHE. We need animals as FOOD to SURVIVE. Keep that in mind next time your out in the nature and think about how you are turning from the dominant species (the sole purpose of existance in nature) to a damn herbivoure, even worse a you-dont-know-what-voure because you have nothing better to do with your time, and life in general, than wondering wich species is hurt by your behaviour and diet... If we were all out in nature without technology - you would be dead, I would be alive. Let that sink in...

stevia has a bad aftertaste i think.

If you want a sweetener, use agave nectar.

Here's what I read today, and I just wanted to share it and get people's opinions on it. Because if this is true, my opinion is certainly against honey (or at least of the farms that institute these practices)

Common practices in the honey industry are:

  • To prevent the queen bee from leaving the hive, honey producers sometimes cut off her wings.

  • Often, queen bees are artificially inseminated.

  • Large commercial operations sometimes take all the honey instead of leaving enough for the bees to get through the winter. The honey is than replaced with a cheap sugar substitute.

  • Most beekeepers remove all the spring-season honey.

  • In colder areas, some bee keepers will burn the beehives, killing all the bees inside, before the winter starts to reduce cost.

  • Bees are often killed or harmed by haphazard handling.

Bees are hardworking animals who deserve to keep the labor of their work. Stealing products from them is a form of exploitation, which should and can be easily avoided

And someone asked how you artificially inseminate a bee:

First, the head and thorax of the drone are crushed

This causes the abdominal muscles to contract and turn part of the drone inside out (partial eversion of the endophallus). 

The rest of the body is then crushed to turn the endophallus fully inside out. The semen from many drones is collected and combined. 

A shows semen collection from a drone. B shows the insemination of a queen who is in the holding tube of an instrument and anesthetized with carbon dioxide. C is a wider view of B

Hooks are used

The semen is injected. (A newer syringe is slightly thinner.)

I am vegan in all aspects of my life, except when it comes to honey.  I eat honey on a daily basis, however, it is honey that I myself gather.  I would not eat honey from any other beekeeper.  True beekeeping isnt really keeping bees...the bees can leave at anytime they wish. The bees choose the beekeeper.  I just finished my first year of beekeeping.  The swarm of bees came to me in May.  I wandered outside to sit under my favorite tree and a beautiful swarm of bees was clung on a branch.  I set out a box hive from a local beekeeper I knew and the bees chose to move in.  After that, I fell in love!  When I am with the bees I keep a calm mind, as if in meditation. When I do this the bees except me and dont feel threatend.  My body movements are slow and agile and I always make sure that I respect every bee and never squish any.  I take only a very small amount of honey for myself and leave the rest for the bees and never supplement them with false sugars.  I, for the most part, am an observer of one of the most blessed creatures of this world.  If this makes me a vegetarian and not vegan, thats okay with me.  I truely believe in the path of the 'spiritual beekeeper', but it is a rare path indeed.   Most beekeeping is done in terrible ways that remind me of cattle factory farms.  Its so sad and those people are the ones helping to destroy such a beautiful and needed friend. 

Thanks for your thoughts Melanie! I agree with you.  Its awesome that your friend is becoming a beekeeper. We need more kind beekeepers in the world. I've never tried agave nectar before. If you try it and like it, let me know!

Hmmm, as a vegan I really admire your methods :) There is a lot of cruelty inherent in the honey industry, I always appreciate people who want these products to take it into their own hands to ensure no cruelty.

I'm a vegeterian and sometimes I wish I could be vegan. I think I could drop dairy products of my diet. Hardly but it would be possible. When it comes about honey, sorry, no. I adore honey and I use it every day. I teaspoon of honey in a cup of green tea is marvelous. I also use honey as a sugar-replacement because it is a natural sweetener. Btw, it's very healthy. The only thing I could do is to buy honey from people who grow their own bees. My mother usually buys honey from fair sources so I don't feel guilty at the point of bees being harmed when extracting honey. Aout honey in supermarkets, who knows in what conditions bees who provided that honey used to live so it makes sense about cruel actions provided during the extraction of honey. Besides, honey which is sold in supermarkets is mostly artificial because of additional sugar added.

My opinion? I'm a lacto ova vegetarian. I eat manuka honey because I love the taste and don't know how it easily replace it. There are a lot of health benefits from what I understand. It's bee vommit basically right? Conidering the major crisis bees are facing in the world today due to disease I personally believe that eating and promoting honey is essential to promoting, supporting and protecting, bees the world over. Bees are so important They are essential for pollinating food crops throughout the world. Bees are in seroius danger. People tend to care about animals they think are cute - or useful. Even in Australia, where we export our bees to the US and other places where numbers are being decimated... I work for a local council where even two years ago if people rang in saying they had bees on their property I could recommend a local aparist to come and take the bees - not anymore - due to the possibility of hive contamination and strict and regular testing there's now no longer any1 I can call and the only alternative is a pest control company that will exterminate them. I think the best way to say the bees to promote honey.

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