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Why Honey Isn't Vegan.

In recent years vegan foods have become extremely popular. People are tired of un-health living and so people are now turning to animal free foods and lifestyles as an alternative, but what about the so called health-food that comes from honeybees you may ask? Is honey really vegan, and if not then why?
 
Here we answer your questions in regards to this issue...
 
For years past a continual debate has exploded onto the market over the use of honey by vegans, some claim its okay for vegans to use and others claim under no circumstance is it fundamentally or ethically vegan at all (P.S. The Vegan Society requires members avoid the use of honey by-products). Whatever your point of view over the debate, lets make one thing clear first - Honey comes directly from Bees, period. And it is obviously taken from them usually without any consideration (never mind asking for permission) of their well-fare or the aftermath of destruction it leaves trailing behind.To be clear here is a little about The Other Side of Honey Production that some people may not be aware of, which will help you understand why honey really is not vegan.

Honey comes from bees, we know that, it cannot be disputed - yet did you know that it comes from the bees that consume sucrose-rich flower nectar, they retain it in their stomachs and convert it to glucose and fructose? Once the honeybees fly home to their bee-hives, they regurgitate that nectar from which they collected and churn it back and forth to each other. Then again they will regurgitate the nectar and fan the half-digested material with their little wings until it becomes viscous, which makes it more resistant to spoilage: So now we have what some would proclaim is bee-vomit so to speak, and this is what we humans call honey. Bees store this honey in hollow beeswax cells which comprise the structure of their hives.

Pollen may be a honeybees primary source of nutrition, but honey is also its sole food source during the cooler months of the year when other alternatives are not available for the pickings.

During a honeybees lifespan it will have to make approximately four hundred trips to gather its nectar back to the hive. (This involves between eight hundred to eleven hundred nectar collecting missions for just half an ounce of honey).

Unfortunately for the bees, the keepers do practice removing almost all of the substances found in the bee-hives, besides taking the honey from the hives the bee-keepers will also harvest beeswax, bee pollen, propolis and royal jelly.

Now to get these items, bees are usually driven and forced out of their very homes. Evacuating the bees may include forced air, smoking and shaking hives and noxious repellents therefore bees are often squashed or killed (which also includes larvae and eggs) during the process. During more unproductive agricultural months hives can be burned if bees become infected with contagious diseases due to excessive inbreeding that could have resulted in a death of genetic diversity. Besides all of this the queen bee is typically artificially inseminated and selectively bred for desirable characteristics, such as honey production and size. Wing clipping is at times executed in order to keep the queen bee in her place and immobilized too.

There honestly is no escaping the harsh realities of methods within the commercial honey production process and the cruelty the bees themselves are forced to endure during such times. There is therefore a very ethical stance for vegans to reject the use of such a product and all of its derivatives. Vegans afterall endorse no animal by-products either for food, cosmetics or clothing nor do they support any form of animal testing or abuse. So it may very well be quite imperative that all vegans who have the strictest of aspirations do remove honey from their diets and lifestyles fully, vegans do try their best to live as ethically sound and compassionate towards all beings who roam this planet including the smallest of insects to the largest of animals.

In filtering all the above information then how does one have a honey fix without actually using honey from bees? Well it is actually quite easy with so many alternatives to bee-products on the market these days, plus some that are so much like the real deal its hard to tell the difference. Substitutes for honey may include, rice syrup, malt syrup, molasses, agave and maple syrups, concentrated fruit syrups, sugar and even a product called Just like Honey. Now as for using candles, paraffin can be used instead of beeswax as well as soy, plant and sugar waxes that are readily available. Other products like cocoa butter or shea butter in cosmetic or personal items are very relevant and worthy of many uses for substitutes. They even out way arguments or any debate over the fact that honey be stolen from the bees. All these ethically and cruelty-free items seem to make bee products totally unnecessary and totally obsolete.

In summary vegans do not consider honey to be a suitable item due to the fact that bees are living creatures which deserve our respect on every level and the ethical standard for a vegan is in choosing to avoid all animal cruelty to the highest degree possible.

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