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Honey

Eating honey is not vegan.

Discuss.

I know this has been talked about many a time on VW, but I would like to be involved in the discussion. If you aren't interested in debating if/why/etc. eating honey is not/is vegan, then don't post!

I posted that one just for you, KMK. I KNEW. IT.

WAIT, where did CK go? Nooooo, KMK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

jk, CK  ;)

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I'm gonna respond to these later, I have an hours worth of driving to do.
Oh, and VERY funny, AC. ::)

I posted that one just for you, KMK. I KNEW. IT.

WAIT, where did CK go? Nooooo, KMK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

jk, CK  ;)

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Let's say, for the sake of a debate, that you are enjoying some yummy vegan ice cream.  You have a dog who is staring down that ice cream...so, you allow him/her to have a lick of it (I know there are people who do this).  The dog leaves a trail of saliva across the ice cream.  Is it no longer vegan ice cream since there is an animal's fluid on it?  Will you continue eating it?

I wouldn't keep eating because that's a little too gross for me, but of course eating an ice cream cone with dog slobber on it is OK!  It would become a problem if we started selling dog-saliva ice cream cones or something of the sort.  Or, like, we FORCED a dog to lick ice cream cones all the time.  (Love the analogy, haha :))

It would be completely wrong to force a dog to do that - so I'll lick your cone.

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Granted, I've never met a dog who wouldn't lick an ice cream cone.  ;D

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KMK :

But are there really camps of people who avoid eggs for the reason that an egg represents a missed opportunity for fertilization?  I mean, every time a woman menstruates, we destroy a possible life, in that sense.

No, that's not what I mean here. An egg is a part of the chicken's life cycle, regardless of if it's fertilized or not.  Honey is made by the food bees eat and then puke out.  Honey is not a naturally occurring thing in a bee's life...it is created by the bee, not from the bee.  Does that make sense?  I'm not trying to repeat myself or talk in circles here...

Let's say, for the sake of a debate, that you are enjoying some yummy vegan ice cream.  You have a dog who is staring down that ice cream...so, you allow him/her to have a lick of it (I know there are people who do this).  The dog leaves a trail of saliva across the ice cream.  Is it no longer vegan ice cream since there is an animal's fluid on it?  Will you continue eating it?

I wouldn't keep eating because that's a little too gross for me, but of course eating an ice cream cone with dog slobber on it is OK!  It would become a problem if we started selling dog-saliva ice cream cones or something of the sort.  Or, like, we FORCED a dog to lick ice cream cones all the time.  (Love the analogy, haha :))

Why is it ok to still eat if it has an animal's spit on it?  I understand that it was a "here you go, little buddy" situation and both parties were consenting to it...but does that change the fact that the person eating this ice cream cone is consuming an animal by-product?  If a bee flew up to you carrying a honeycomb and said "here, I made this and I want you to try it" and you agreed, would that be vegan?  Of course, I know that will never happen. :P

Enslavement of bees
-"The simple fact is that the bees are enslaved. What? Bees slaves? Yes, bees as slaves. Or it's dominionism, exploitation of nature, human superiority, whatever you like to call it. It's the idea that humans are justified in using all other life forms instrumentally, for our own benefit."

AC, I actually did browse through that site.  It was one of the only ones that I saw regarding cruelty to bees.
I already stated my feelings on exploitation earlier.  In today's world, there is nothing that is not exploited to some degree.  I'm not saying that using a bee to massively produce honey is right.  I could argue that plants are living things too and that massively producing them is exploitation.  I could argue that telling people how bad meat is for them and that they should only eat veggies, fruits, and grains is exploitation, albeit a positive form. ;)b

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No, that's not what I mean here. An egg is a part of the chicken's life cycle, regardless of if it's fertilized or not.  Honey is made by the food bees eat and then puke out.  Honey is not a naturally occurring thing in a bee's life...it is created by the bee, not from the bee.  Does that make sense?  I'm not trying to repeat myself or talk in circles here...

So you mean that an egg is a stage of life for a chicken?  Only if it's fertilized.  Otherwise, it's just bodily waste.  But how is honey not a naturally occurring thing in a bee's life?  Of course it is.  It is necessary for their existence, isn't it?

Why is it ok to still eat if it has an animal's spit on it?  I understand that it was a "here you go, little buddy" situation and both parties were consenting to it...but does that change the fact that the person eating this ice cream cone is consuming an animal by-product?  If a bee flew up to you carrying a honeycomb and said "here, I made this and I want you to try it" and you agreed, would that be vegan?  Of course, I know that will never happen. :P

I liken this to "If you were on a desert island and the only food you had were hotdogs that fell out of the sky and you needed to eat so you could survive until you were rescued, would you eat them?"  Totally unrealistic, hypothetical situation devised to reveal hypocrisies or flaws in veganism that aren't relevant to real life.  But to answer your question, yes, saliva is an animal product.  If I swallow someone's spit when I kiss them, that's an animal product too.  Although, it is not a product, really, because I didn't go buy their spit. 

And if a bee could talk to me and say, "Here, honey, have some honey!" then that would be OK to eat.  You wouldn't be violating veganism to eat it, IMHO, although I don't think vegan philosophy stipulates what the appropriate action would be here because IT'S NEVER GONNA HAPPEN.  But enough with the unrealistic hypotheticals diversion tactic, CK!  Bees cannot consent to giving us honey.  It's more complicated than, "This comes from an animal, therefore it is BAD."  It is, "I'm taking this from an animal without the animal's consent.  I don't have a right to."

AC, I actually did browse through that site.  It was one of the only ones that I saw regarding cruelty to bees.
I already stated my feelings on exploitation earlier.  In today's world, there is nothing that is not exploited to some degree.  I'm not saying that using a bee to massively produce honey is right.  I could argue that plants are living things too and that massively producing them is exploitation.  I could argue that telling people how bad meat is for them and that they should only eat veggies, fruits, and grains is exploitation, albeit a positive form. ;)b

Fair enough.  You are right.  We exploit the entire Earth.  But if any of us are truly concerned with the exploitation of plants, then we should consume as few animal products as possible.  I mean, to say, "Well, we exploit everything, whatchya gonna do?" is a lame excuse.  That's like saying, "Well, if I'm gonna be an asshole to this one person, I might as well be an asshole to everyone!"  Not good enough.

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No, that's not what I mean here. An egg is a part of the chicken's life cycle, regardless of if it's fertilized or not.  Honey is made by the food bees eat and then puke out.  Honey is not a naturally occurring thing in a bee's life...it is created by the bee, not from the bee.  Does that make sense?  I'm not trying to repeat myself or talk in circles here...

This wasn't directed to me..but I don't think I get it. It's created by the bee..for the bee.........what's the issue?

Why is it ok to still eat if it has an animal's spit on it?  I understand that it was a "here you go, little buddy" situation and both parties were consenting to it...but does that change the fact that the person eating this ice cream cone is consuming an animal by-product?  If a bee flew up to you carrying a honeycomb and said "here, I made this and I want you to try it" and you agreed, would that be vegan?  Of course, I know that will never happen. :P

Are we talking about soy ice cream here, or dairy ice cream?
I wouldn't give a dog either..really...b/c that doesn't seem healthy for the pup..but if I was going to give him/her some soy ice cream...I would put it on my finger first...and then NOT LICK MY FINGER. Problem solved. No, it would not be vegan to consume the honey even with the bee's consent. Not cruel, but not vegan.

AC, I actually did browse through that site.  It was one of the only ones that I saw regarding cruelty to bees.
I already stated my feelings on exploitation earlier.  In today's world, there is nothing that is not exploited to some degree.  I'm not saying that using a bee to massively produce honey is right.  I could argue that plants are living things too and that massively producing them is exploitation.  I could argue that telling people how bad meat is for them and that they should only eat veggies, fruits, and grains is exploitation, albeit a positive form. ;)b

Yes, exploitation happens. BUT, eating honey is not doing anything to avoid that exploitation..............CK, don't give me that plant crap! Enough said.

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CK, don't give me that plant crap! Enough said.

freals!  You know better than to pull that.  :)

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No, it would not be vegan to consume the honey even with the bee's consent. Not cruel, but not vegan.

Oh, zing!  We disagree!  The apocalypse is imminent!

Not to belabor the hypothetical talking bees, but I don't think eating honey a bee verbally gave you permission to eat would violate veganism.  I'm desperately trying to resist the urge to dredge up the good ol' threads about "Is it vegan to swallow?"  but yeah.  If you catch my drift.  Anyway, like I said, totally irrelevant here and detracting from the main issue.

Anyway anyway anyway.  Enough about talking bees.  When bees learn to talk, we will have a summit.  AC and I will be goodwill ambassadors to the Bee kingdom and we can work something out that suits humans and bees both.  Until then, we'll have to choose peaceful coexistence.

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Oh, zing!  We disagree!  The apocalypse is imminent!

Not to belabor the hypothetical talking bees, but I don't think eating honey a bee verbally gave you permission to eat would violate veganism.  I'm desperately trying to resist the urge to dredge up the good ol' threads about "Is it vegan to swallow?"  but yeah.  If you catch my drift.  Anyway, like I said, totally irrelevant here and detracting from the main issue.

Anyway anyway anyway.  Enough about talking bees.  When bees learn to talk, we will have a summit.  AC and I will be goodwill ambassadors to the Bee kingdom and we can work something out that suits humans and bees both.  Until then, we'll have to choose peaceful coexistence.

Well, ya know...I was thinking of the definition of veganism...: "The term vegan was coined by Donald Watson in 1944 and was defined as follows:    Veganism is a way of living which excludes all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, the animal kingdom, and includes a reverence for life. It applies to the practice of living on the products of the plant kingdom to the exclusion of flesh, fish, fowl, eggs, honey, animal milk and its derivatives, and encourages the use of alternatives for all commodities derived wholly or in part from animals."

So, I don't think consuming honey in any manner is...vegan. Yep..consuming semen: not vegan.

Let's just be friends with the bees!

I just read this: "If you are thinking to yourself, "But I'm a vegan for health reasons" or "I'm a vegan for environmental reasons," please reconsider how you label yourself. Unlike the word vegetarian, the word vegan specifically implies moral concern for animals, and this concern extends to all areas of life, not just diet. If you do not believe in animal equality, please consider referring to yourself as someone who doesn't eat animal products, as one who follows a plant-based diet, or as one who follows a vegan diet. Additionally, anyone who eats honey, yet refers to herself as a vegan, makes life difficult for other vegans--it's like having someone who eats fish and calls herself a vegetarian. When a vegetarian comes along, it is much harder for her to explain that fish is not acceptable for vegetarians."

Hey, that's what we're saying! KMK and I wrote that...in our heads.....and then someone else wrote it down. Right?

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Um... Bees can talk. You really need to see Bee Movie. You folks don't know nuthin'!

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"The term vegan was coined by Donald Watson in 1944 and was defined as follows:    Veganism is a way of living which excludes all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, the animal kingdom, and includes a reverence for life. It applies to the practice of living on the products of the plant kingdom to the exclusion of flesh, fish, fowl, eggs, honey, animal milk and its derivatives, and encourages the use of alternatives for all commodities derived wholly or in part from animals."

The thing is, inherent in the philosophy is the assumption that animals cannot consent to our use of these things.  It says these things are not vegan because it is irreverent to other living things to take their parts/secretions/bodies without their permission.  If I donate my hair to locks of love, I don't think that it's unvegan of someone to wear that wig because I said, "Here, take this, it's a gift from me to you!"  To me, the philosophy of veganism arose because we cannot interact in this same way with animals, not to ensure that we don't interact with them this way on principle.  But the point is, we CAN'T interact with them this way anyway, so it's kind of moot.  Anyway, we can continue this discussion later AC, or on a different thread.  :)

Back to the bees!

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a friend of mine visited a "vegan" scientist friend of hers who was training bees to detect land mines.  my friend was in the lab and noticed the bees living in small conditions.  she said they seriously looked depressed.  not flying around.  just lazying around.  the reason i stopped eating honey because i was tired of the vegan police criticizing me (especially because the main accuser was a vegetarian! anyways) but after hearing about my friends trip.  i feel pretty good about not eating honey.  i feel like i can back it up if need be.

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CK, don't give me that plant crap! Enough said.

freals!  You know better than to pull that.  :)

All in good fun and for the sake of a good debate. :)

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I just read this: "If you are thinking to yourself, "But I'm a vegan for health reasons" or "I'm a vegan for environmental reasons," please reconsider how you label yourself. Unlike the word vegetarian, the word vegan specifically implies moral concern for animals, and this concern extends to all areas of life, not just diet. If you do not believe in animal equality, please consider referring to yourself as someone who doesn't eat animal products, as one who follows a plant-based diet, or as one who follows a vegan diet. Additionally, anyone who eats honey, yet refers to herself as a vegan, makes life difficult for other vegans--it's like having someone who eats fish and calls herself a vegetarian. When a vegetarian comes along, it is much harder for her to explain that fish is not acceptable for vegetarians."

I'm vegan first and foremost because of the environment. I'm proud that I tread lightly on the planet. I care about them animals, but I guess I can say that's... "secondary." Oh, I don't like how that sounds.

If I found out that local honey was less exploitative (for the environment) than any and all kinds of agave nectar production, I'd probably opt for the honey. I don't know how agave nectar or most other liquid sweeteners are produced, but they could have more "harmful" effects than a tiny organic bee farm. I mean, a huge (and this is really unlikely) company could tear down a forest, killing all the animals and plants inside, to set up an agave factory.

Hypothetical, I know. Incredibly unlikely, yeah.

And all this would be relevant if I bought agave nectar or honey. But I don't.

I like me some maple syrup.

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I just read this: "If you are thinking to yourself, "But I'm a vegan for health reasons" or "I'm a vegan for environmental reasons," please reconsider how you label yourself. Unlike the word vegetarian, the word vegan specifically implies moral concern for animals, and this concern extends to all areas of life, not just diet. If you do not believe in animal equality, please consider referring to yourself as someone who doesn't eat animal products, as one who follows a plant-based diet, or as one who follows a vegan diet. Additionally, anyone who eats honey, yet refers to herself as a vegan, makes life difficult for other vegans--it's like having someone who eats fish and calls herself a vegetarian. When a vegetarian comes along, it is much harder for her to explain that fish is not acceptable for vegetarians."

I'm vegan first and foremost because of the environment. I'm proud that I tread lightly on the planet. I care about them animals, but I guess I can say that's... "secondary." Oh, I don't like how that sounds.

If I found out that local honey was less exploitative (for the environment) than any and all kinds of agave nectar production, I'd probably opt for the honey. I don't know how agave nectar or most other liquid sweeteners are produced, but they could have more "harmful" effects than a tiny organic bee farm. I mean, a huge (and this is really unlikely) company could tear down a forest, killing all the animals and plants inside, to set up an agave factory.

Hypothetical, I know. Incredibly unlikely, yeah.

And all this would be relevant if I bought agave nectar or honey. But I don't.

I like me some maple syrup.

favorite part of the post.  hehe.  it just made me laugh.

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I'm enjoying this discussion guys!

I'm vegan first and foremost because of the environment. I'm proud that I tread lightly on the planet. I care about them animals, but I guess I can say that's... "secondary." Oh, I don't like how that sounds.

If I found out that local honey was less exploitative (for the environment) than any and all kinds of agave nectar production, I'd probably opt for the honey. I don't know how agave nectar or most other liquid sweeteners are produced, but they could have more "harmful" effects than a tiny organic bee farm. I mean, a huge (and this is really unlikely) company could tear down a forest, killing all the animals and plants inside, to set up an agave factory.

Hypothetical, I know. Incredibly unlikely, yeah.

And all this would be relevant if I bought agave nectar or honey. But I don't.

I like me some maple syrup.

This reminds me of palm oil. This is a major ingredient in non-hydrogenated margarines (Earth Balance). See here for an explanation of the problem I have with it:

http://www.safepalmoil.com/index.php

I was a bit hopeful when I read the beginning of this blog post:

http://invisiblevoices.wordpress.com/2008/06/20/earth-balance-palm-oil-rainforests-and-ran/

...but not so happy when I got to the end.

I came to the conclusion that eating butter from a small, humane farm would be infinitely better for both the environment and the animals involved than eating palm oil. But I do not want to eat butter. Doing so would make me a  hypocrite (not to mention my belief that all dairy, no matter how "small" is exploitative).  So I don't eat butter or anything with palm oil in it anymore. Both are really luxuries and avoidable....if they weren't, I'd have to think long and hard about which to consume, and my "vegan" label would probably end up going out the window.

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I came to the conclusion that eating butter from a small, humane farm would be infinitely better for both the environment and the animals involved than eating palm oil. But I do not want to eat butter. Doing so would make me a  hypocrite (not to mention my belief that all dairy, no matter how "small" is exploitative).  So I don't eat butter or anything with palm oil in it anymore. Both are really luxuries and avoidable....if they weren't, I'd have to think long and hard about which to consume, and my "vegan" label would probably end up going out the window.

I like how you put this.  That's how I feel as well about the honey.
I don't know much about palm oil--thanks for the info!

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I have a few things to touch on and add, but I'm gonna have to do so later when I have more time.

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Honey was the hardest animal product for me to give up. For most people its cheese or steak or something, but being the tea freak I am, I could not let go of my lemon and honey with my tea. That's why it took so long for me to go from vegetarian to vegan. Now I hardly ever think about it, like any other animal product.

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