The Flaming Vegan

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Ready to Give up Honey? or Not?
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Ready to Give up Honey? or Not?

I always preferred honey over other sweeteners because of its multiple health benefits. It has been my all time favorite. Though I gave up meat a few years ago, not only for what it did to other animals, but for what it did to me. Applying veganism to milk and dairy products made some sense. But Honey?

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It was easy to see that those creatures had life. Mammals and birds walk and speak like us. It is easier not to be cruel to them and choose not to end their life for personal pleasures.

What about bees? Do you think consuming honey is cruel? Bees are not killed in the process of honey extraction. They are just moved away using smoke and other harmless methods. Would your decision depend on how they are treated?

Most societies and Vegan groups in America treat honey as a non-vegan item. Others leave it to your choice. Having seen the process of honey extraction myself, I know that it is possible to extract honey without harming the bees. You can't kill a chicken without hurting it. That is the difference.

I personally believe in making slow but long lasting changes. After giving up meat recently, I have a long way to go before giving up items like silk and honey, if at all.

Not sure whether to call it an 'extreme' or not. Also came across an argument saying that if honey is non-vegan, then even pest control is non-vegan. Maybe it is. Need your opinion guys. What do you say?

 

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Image credit: Tobias Akerboom (at hutmeelz)

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  1. Akanksha
    Akanksha
    Thank you for the votes, my secret friends!
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  2. Carolyn
    Carolyn
    My house is sprayed for termites every spring and I love honey! Vote #4!
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    1. Akanksha
      Akanksha
      Thanks Carolyn! I remembered honey from one of your posts...
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      1. Carolyn
        Carolyn
        Five votes! Looks like this article is on its way to Top Posts!
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        1. Akanksha
          Akanksha
          Yeah maybe...Jason wants us to keep guessing:-) Depends on other new posts till tomm..
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  3. dianabart
    dianabart
    I consider myself Vegan and I still eat honey.. As I prayed about it, God showed me the "Land flowing with Milk and Honey!" Which is also when the light-bulb went off that we were always to drink Milk from the Land.. (plant milks) and not of the animals. Great article- got my vote.
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    1. Akanksha
      Akanksha
      Ha ha ha..great answer Diana! I am not too savvy with the Herbew Bible, but I know that we don't consider milk to be evil in India. Traditionally, we worshiped cows and also use milk to bathe idols of worship. Hindus did not mistreat cows and only took the milk after the calf (or calves) has had his full. With farms it is obviously different. The definition of Vegan has to be dynamic.. Anyways, thanks for reading and responding :)
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  4. SaadiqahSpeaks
    Honey has many medicinal purposes that can help vegetarians and vegans alike. It is great for the skin and is an natural astringent. I do not think the process of harvesting honey is life threatening to the bee or the hive. It can be argued there is not reason for humans to consume sugar or honey, however, I would prefer to use honey topically and internally as an astringent over a manufactured man-made prescription that cause mortal side effects. Additionally, as a "NEW" vegetarian, I consider my decision for health, but I do think about the environmental consequences of consuming or using ANY item before I purchase it. Making rubber products, medicines, shoes via a factory, has many more Earth shattering consequences than a naturally produced item such as honey. However, the way MANY animal products are manufactured is devastating. We have to pick and choose our battles and also be aware of our actions.
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    1. Akanksha
      Akanksha
      Thanks for your comment Saadigah. I agree with you..even I take care in buying other stuff like home care and personal care items. I mostly use organic and eco-friendly products. Welcome to TheFlamingVegan..you will get a lot of good information here..specially if you are a new vegetarian like me :) looking forward to your first post!
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  5. Roopam
    I'm myself a fan of honey...specially with all its benefits. You got one from me.
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    1. Akanksha
      Akanksha
      Thanks! :)
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  6. BuddhasDelight
    BuddhasDelight
    Hi! Thank you for this article. I too have often wondered, to honey or not to honey? I love honey and it is my preferred sweetener. I did stop consuming it entirely for a while, using the term vegan quite strictly, not consuming any products derived from animal sources. Knowing the bees aren't harmed, I have loosened up over the years. My end result has been to buy a jar of honey a few times a year, and I always get raw organic local honey. It's great to know your source!
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    1. Akanksha
      Akanksha
      Thanks for your comment BuddhasDelight! (Your username sounds interesting..) I am not a strict vegan yet but I like to believe that honey comes from flowers and not animal source. Same could apply to dairy in ancient India where cow was worshiped...can't say of now..so I am still confused over it..but yes, after giving up meat 2 years ago, I have started cutting down milk and other dairy products..
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  7. SnakeWitch
    I have to say that I don't like the idea of eating honey. It's their food and although they don't get killed to have their honey taken from them, several companies - if not all - replace it with corn syrup, which doesn't nourish them properly. Also, it is actually vegan because they process pollen in their stomachs, using their personal 'juices', then regurgitate it. Basically, honey is 'bee-throw-up'. So technically, it is not vegan.
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  8. Tatterhood
    Tatterhood
    I support responsible bee keepers and consume raw honey. First, I love it. Second, if there were no bee keepers, there woulnd't be bees who are an essential part of our food cycle. Small scale bee keepers tend their honey bees with respect and care. The bees aren't going hungry, and in fact, it's necessary to remove the honey for the maintenance of the hive. Because of the growing number of pesticides, bees are struggling to survive. To me, supporting honey bees and their keepers is essential for their existance and for ours. Honey vegans unite!
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  9. LuckyPenny
    LuckyPenny
    I totally agree! I've been a vegetarian for 14 years and recently turned vegan. I was surprised to find that normally vegans don't eat honey, but I've read the arguments against it and I guess it makes sense. However, I've decided to continue to support a local business who I buy honey from at a farmer's market.
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  10. Wendy Werneth
    Wendy Werneth
    While I don't often use honey at home, I will eat it when eating out or travelling. I'm not thrilled about the exploitation of bees, but the fact is that many of the fruits and vegetables I eat are pollinated by farmed bees - a practice that is much more stressful to the bees than honey production. So it seems rather hypocritical to abstain from honey just because it's an animal product, when the production of fruits and vegetables is sometimes more harmful to bees. It's impossible to be a perfect vegan; my aim is just to cause as little harm as possible.
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