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Should Vegans Eat Honey – Or Avoid it?


Should Vegans Eat Honey – Or Avoid it?

Whether you’re a vegan or not, you might be wondering: should vegans eat honey? There’s a lot of buzz around the topic (pun intended), so we’ve dug deep into the beehive to bring you a few different perspectives to consider:

Honey 101

First up: what’s honey? Well, it’s bees’ main energy source. It gives them all the nutrients they need to stay healthy throughout the seasons.
Honey bees hop from flower to flower, collecting pollen, which is then broken down by enzymes to make honey. Back in the hive, house bees regurgitate and chew it. Et voila – honey!

Honey: made by bees

A vegan is someone who doesn’t use or eat animal products. So you can see where the confusion arises: some people dispute whether honey is in fact produced by an animal (the bee) or occurs naturally.
But if we look at the basics: bees are the ones who work their little bee butts off to make it from nectar. It then becomes their food source. It’s precious, and it is created by them.
For this reason, vegans tend to avoid honey.

The ethics of beekeeping

But there’s another reason too: some people question the ethics of commercial beekeeping. When honey is scooped out of the hive (so people all over the world can scrape it on their toast), the beekeeper replaces it with a sugar substitute.
Trouble is, that substitute lacks the antibiotic and antioxidant properties of the honey that protects bees from disease.
Some experts say it’s this seemingly innocent swap that’s causing the global bee crisis – and what scientists are calling “colony collapse disorder.”

Is local best?

Now, some vegans choose to eat honey – but only if it’s raw and locally sourced from sustainable, small-scale beekeepers. This is a matter of personal ethics, so if you’d like to go down this route, be sure to check your honey does in fact come from a ‘balanced beekeeper.’
And if you are vegan – or simply want to leave bees be – you might like to try an alternative like rice malt syrup, maple syrup, or coconut nectar.


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