Welcome to the topic “IS HONEY VEGAN.”
Veganism is known to be a way of living that aims to minimize animal exploitation and cruelty. This is why vegans avoid eating different animal products like eggs, meat, and dairy, as well as other foods made from them. Many people wonder whether it also extends to the foods made from insects, such as honey. This brings up the ultimate question.. Is honey Vegan?
Honey is considered somewhat controversial among vegans. Unlike the other animal foods, the foods from insects aren’t always grouped in the vegan category. Some vegans include honey in their diet, while others view it as non-vegan and avoid eating it.
Is Honey Vegan?
There is a continuous debate about whether honey can be classified as vegan or not? The majority of vegans fall firmly on one side of the argument that honey is non-vegan. The main reason for taking this stance is quite simple. It is not possible to obtain honey from the bees without exploiting them in one way or the other.
Honey bees (only one of around 270 bee species in the United Kingdom) tend to produce honey as a food source for the bees, not humans. Therefore, harvesting the honey that they have causes the bees to be deprived of their natural food source. As it is certainly exploitative, therefore, this could be deemed somewhat cruel.
Why is honey considered vegan by some people?
There is no doubt that honey appears to be an obvious cut case against the accepted philosophy of veganism. Many arguments have arisen to justify honey being classified as vegan-friendly.
Bees Are Animals, Not Mammals
Vegans always refrain from using any product that involves exploitation or cruelty to animals, and they also refrain from the food derived from the animals. When it is about milk, eggs, and meat, there is no disputing the animal origins of the products in question. But some people struggle with the concept that the bees and all the insects are, in fact, animals.
Even if we observe a little or have a rudimentary knowledge of the honey bees, this will help recognize that these certainly fit into the definition. If you scratch these kingdoms’ surface, it will be quite clear that the bees can only be categorized within the Animalia kingdom, and hence, they are animals. Some people argue that they are not mammals, but in the scientific terms, an invertebrate with an exoskeleton, like a bee or any other insect, is considered an animal.
Bees Produce More Honey Than They Require
According to the British Beekeepers Association, a healthy colony of bees can produce 2-3 times more honey than it requires. This means that the humans can skim a little of the top and let the bees get more than enough to see them through the winter.
It doesn’t work like that because the British Beekeepers Association also says that, if required, the beekeeper can feed sugar syrup to the bees in the autumn to supplement the honey loss. This is not good from the vegan point of view because the bees might miss out on various nutrients that are contained within the honey.
The vast majority of honey that is found in the supermarkets comes from industrial beekeeping operations on a large scale that is known to clip the queens’ wings to stop them from leaving. This way, they start new colonies to cull the hives after harvesting the honey in order to reduce the costs and feed sugar water to the bees to increase their profits.
We Need Bees For Environment Protection
It is a fact that honeybees help to pollinate various plants and flowers that we find in our countryside. This also includes the plants that we humans rely on for food. But we are also aware that honey bees are a single variety of the 270 bee species found in the UK and more than 20,000 species worldwide. There are various wild bees and other pollinators like wasps and beetles, among other animals.
There is a wide variety of bees that live free in the wild and benefit the environment, as some of the species of bees are much more effective as compared to others when it is about pollinating specific plants. There is also an argument that honeybees’ mass breeding might have a detrimental effect on the wild species and the wild pollinators.
According to different research studies, the honey bees’ managed colonies can have adverse effects on the wild bee species. The honeybees sometimes monopolize the ever-reducing nectar and pollen resources, and therefore, they can be a source of pathogens to the wild bee species.
Can We Make Honey Without Harming Bees?
There is a theory that one can extract honey from a hive in a way that bees are not harmed. This might be true, but if it is accepted that the hive has produced honey in excess, and only the excess honey is harvested. Suppose no bees are harmed during harvesting, either because of smoke to pacify them or as a result of the human glove squishing them accidentally while trying to extract the honey.
In those particular circumstances, it is quite possible to harvest honey without causing actual harm to the bees. But this argument has a problem who is going to monitor all the processes? And how the commercial honey operations are going to take this much trouble when it would cut big chunks out of the profit margins.
Irrespective of the harm caused to the bees, there is no question that the bees are exploited when the humans extract the honey. Therefore, using animals means that the vegans will reject it.
Vegans try to minimize or avoid all types of animal exploitation, including that of the bees. As a result, they exclude honey from their diet. Some vegans avoid eating honey to take a stand against the exploitation of bees and the farming practices that are thought to harm the health of the bees. The vegans can replace honey with various plant-based sweeteners that range from maple syrup to the blackstrap molasses.
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