Is Honey Vegan?

Most of you may or may not know this, but honey is actually not Vegan. Despite the fact that we aren’t directly killing bees to harness their honey, we are still enslaving, exploiting and stealing their honey which they have worked so hard to obtain. Each bee has to visit 50-100 flowers in order to fill their stomachs. To make just 1 pound of honey, bees would have to visit 2 million flowers and they would’ve flown 55,000 miles (which is about 2 times around the world). And we are just taking all their hard work away from them for our own selfish consumption.

How is honey made?

Bees have this long tongue-like thing called proboscis which they use to extract nectar from flowers. It is then stored in their honey stomach. So they swallow it, and subsequently once they return back to the hive, they would barf (vomit) it out into another bee’s mouth back and forth, adding enzymes (saliva) each time. And they do this about 50 times. This already puts me off and I’m utterly grossed out. I’ve been eating bee vomit all this while?!

summer-yellow-flower-bee

Isn’t honey healthy?

Remember those times where you have a sore throat and your mom gives you a little honey lemon to drink? Yeah it is the perfect drink/food, for bees that is.

According to T.C. Fry:

When humans eat honey, it immediately begins to reabsorb moisture from the stomach and stomach flora. it destroys our symbiotic bacterial population wholesale.  In humans, honey, more so than cane and beet sugar, is acid forming and decalcifying.  The body draws calcium from its teeth and bones, if necessary, to neutralize the acids introduced and formed.  The manite acid of honey is a protoplasmic poison.  It interacts with protein and from this, forms alcohol, ammonia and carbonic acid.”

Bees are sentient creatures too

If bees have the ability to feel pain, how is it ethical to inflict pain onto them?

‘Animals exist in this world for their own reasons. They weren’t made for humans anymore than black people were made for white people’

Alice Walker

In order for honey to be made, there has to be a queen bee. Queen bees are ordered and killed in the process of transit. Once they arrive, farmers would pull out their wings to prevent them from flying off. Plus, these queen bees are being raped as male bees are being crushed and drained of their semen to be inserted into these queen bees.

But we need bees to pollinate our flowers!

Well yea, but there are many other bees species out there that can do a better job at that. Honey bees aren’t really the best pollinators out there. Honey bees carry with them diseases which would infect the other bees species. So do we still need bees? Yes we do, but bringing honey bees to a place where there once wasn’t any would just disrupt the whole eco-system. We need bees to pollinate our flowers but not specifically honey bees.

This whole conundrum of honey bees being taken advantage of, negates any ethical, environmental, and health argument. If you still can’t live without honey, here are some alternatives: agave syrup and coconut nectar. I personally prefer coconut nectar. Please give these 2 a shot.

I hope you’ve learnt something today

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