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  • Writer's pictureBryan

Why Honey is Not Vegan



Honey….. one of America’s favorite sweeteners. You likely see it drizzled all over your smoothie bowls or when you’re sick, you’ve surely heard to drink honey and tea. However, what you probably don’t know is that honey is not a part of a vegan diet. This can be very confusing for some petiole at first. Why is this? Don’t need just “make” the honey? What’s the harm in eating if they naturally make it? Also, do bees even count as animals? Well, let’s discuss it below!


In order to understand why honey is not vegan, we need to understand how it is made and how exactly it is a product of animal labor. Bees produce honey as food for themselves and their hives. Bees gather nectar from flowers, partially digest it, and then regurgitate it once back in their hives. So, yes, technically honey can be considered bee vomit, which is kind of gross when you think about it. After the honey is regurgitated, worker bees then seal it into beeswax honeycombs. The honey serves as an imperishable food source that enables the hive to get through winter. When humans take honey from bees, it takes away their food source for the winter, resulting in a lack of food and serving as a disruption of the hive's natural balance.


Additionally, the process of harvesting honey can be harmful to bees, as it can expose them to pesticides and other chemicals .Most honey from large-scale producers comes from hives treated with antibiotics. These antibiotics almost always harm the bees in some way, mainly by reducing their quality of life and most times cutting their life span in half. These antibiotics may also be harmful to us, just as the antibiotics in meat are harmful to us. These antibiotics are also not foul proof, and diseases do often break out. When this happens, beekeepers often respond to disease outbreaks by burning their hives, and ultimately killing all bees inside.


Even when everything goes right, the act of harvesting from commercial hives inevitably crushes or injures some of the bees. So, as you can see, honey is by definition not vegan, as it involves animal exploitation on many levels. The good news is that there are many vegan alternatives to honey, such as maple syrup, agave nectar, date syrup, and coconut nectar. These sweeteners are all plant-based and do not require the exploitation of animals. This means you don’t have to give your sweet liquid fix in order to enjoy your favorite foods that traditionally have honey.


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