Quick post today: The honey debate
Is honey vegan? In the strict sense, honey is an animal product and therefore not vegan. In the 1994 manifesto of the British Vegan Society honey was prohibited from use, a “position consistent with the requirement for full (vegan) membership in the American Vegan Society since its inception in 1960.” (vegsource.com) However some vegans can be more lenient on insect products. According to the Vegan Action website: “Many vegans, however, are not opposed to using insect products, because they do not believe insects are conscious of pain. Moreover, even if insects were conscious of pain, it’s not clear that the production of honey involves any more pain for insects than the production of most vegetables, since the harvesting and transportation of all vegetables involves many ‘collateral’ insect deaths.”
Jo Stepaniak from Grassroots Veganism describes why there is reason to avoid honey:
To collect honey, beekeepers must temporarily remove a number of the bees from their home. During the course of bee management and honey collection, even the most careful beekeeper cannot avoid inadvertently injuring, squashing, or otherwise killing some of the bees. Other commodities may be taken from the hive as well, including beeswax, honeycomb, pollen, propolis, and royal jelly.
Bees are not harmed by the process of pollination — it is something they would do whether or not humans were involved or reaped any profit. If one were to stretch the point, using honey could, in a broad sense, be considered analogous to dairying. Furthermore, there is no reason to take honey from bees other than to sell it. Utilizing bees to pollinate crops in no way necessitates ravaging their hive.
I will avoid honey for the rest of this month, but I’m not sure I’m sold on giving it up forever…