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Question for vegans

post #1 of 45
Thread Starter 

Ok, so after being vegetarian for ~6 yrs. I've finally made the switch over to becoming a vegan! I cooked/baked vegan most of the time already anyway, but now it's official. winky.gif

 

Now my only question is: what's your view on honey? I know, bees are also living beings (obviously) and 'technically' when wanting to be true to the vegan 'pledge', one shouldn't consume honey either.. However, for me it's a big difference whether I'm no longer using dairy/eggs or something from an insect!.. [I became vegetarian and now vegan for ethical reasons, the health benefits are a positive side effect.] I also don't really know why it's bad taking honey from the bees.. I mean, they're not being killed in the process as far as I know... We try to buy our honey from personal bee keepers and not big companies, so I'm sure they care for their bees, no?

 

I've always used raw honey in my tea and felt it was good for me. (Besides not wanting to use too much sugar and quite honestly agave nectar is expensive {here at least} and doesn't sweeten as much as honey IMO.)

 

Are there other vegans out there who also still use honey but call themselves vegan?

Is there maybe a difference of being a 'strict vegan' and vegan? 

 

Please share your thoughts & opinions!

 

post #2 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by FitMOmmyOf2 View Post

Ok, so after being vegetarian for ~6 yrs. I've finally made the switch over to becoming a vegan! I cooked/baked vegan most of the time already anyway, but now it's official. winky.gif

 

Now my only question is: what's your view on honey? I know, bees are also living beings (obviously) and 'technically' when wanting to be true to the vegan 'pledge', one shouldn't consume honey either.. However, for me it's a big difference whether I'm no longer using dairy/eggs or something from an insect!.. [I became vegetarian and now vegan for ethical reasons, the health benefits are a positive side effect.] I also don't really know why it's bad taking honey from the bees.. I mean, they're not being killed in the process as far as I know... We try to buy our honey from personal bee keepers and not big companies, so I'm sure they care for their bees, no?

 

I've always used raw honey in my tea and felt it was good for me. (Besides not wanting to use too much sugar and quite honestly agave nectar is expensive {here at least} and doesn't sweeten as much as honey IMO.)

 

Are there other vegans out there who also still use honey but call themselves vegan?

Is there maybe a difference of being a 'strict vegan' and vegan? 

 

Please share your thoughts & opinions!

 



it could just be that vegans find using the secretions of bees unappealing....*shrug*

 

I really can't say as I'm no vegan myself.....but one can actually make 1 cup of honey substitute by mixing 1 1/4 cups of sugar with 1/4 cup of water in a blender (make sure the sugar is vegan friendly...the cheap refined sugar is still refined using bone char....look for organic refined sugar that's been refined either with wood char which doesn't involve animal products or ion-exchange resin which also is not an animal product though the production of ion-exchange resin right now has its own negative environmental trade-offs since usually polystyrene....a product of crude oil production.....is used in the production of ion-exchange resin)

post #3 of 45
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by josamen View Post

it could just be that vegans find using the secretions of bees unappealing....*shrug*

 

I really can't say as I'm no vegan myself.....but one can actually make 1 cup of honey substitute by mixing 1 1/4 cups of sugar with 1/4 cup of water in a blender (make sure the sugar is vegan friendly...the cheap refined sugar is still refined using bone char....look for organic refined sugar that's been refined either with wood char which doesn't involve animal products or ion-exchange resin which also is not an animal product though the production of ion-exchange resin right now has its own negative environmental trade-offs since usually polystyrene....a product of crude oil production.....is used in the production of ion-exchange resin)

Well.. yeah, I've read many comment on honey as 'bee saliva'.. from that point it's not appealing to me either *lol*. Overall it's more the fact thought that vegans aren't supposed to use ANY animal product or by-product.. which obviously includes honey.. I'm just not sure how strict it's being seen?

I just always felt that honey is the healthier alternative than any sugar (now focusing on vegan, yes)..

 

Hoping for some vegans to chime in on this too! 


 

 

post #4 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by FitMOmmyOf2 View Post



Well.. yeah, I've read many comment on honey as 'bee saliva'.. from that point it's not appealing to me either *lol*. Overall it's more the fact thought that vegans aren't supposed to use ANY animal product or by-product.. which obviously includes honey.. I'm just not sure how strict it's being seen?

I just always felt that honey is the healthier alternative than any sugar (now focusing on vegan, yes)..

 

Hoping for some vegans to chime in on this too! 


 

 



fructose (natural fruit sugar) is a somewhat healthier alternative to standard table sugar and you could probably substitute powdered fructose for the sugar in that formula for honey substitute....or use Stevia Extract In The Raw in that formula...it's an all-natural and vegan-friendly zero-cal sugar substitute

post #5 of 45

I know a number of people who eat honey and other insect derived foods but no meat, milk or dairy. Technically, that's not veganism, but it's closer to vegan than it is to lacto-ovo vegetarian, so I'm not going to quibble about it.

post #6 of 45
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by josamen View Post

fructose (natural fruit sugar) is a somewhat healthier alternative to standard table sugar and you could probably substitute powdered fructose for the sugar in that formula for honey substitute....or use Stevia Extract In The Raw in that formula...it's an all-natural and vegan-friendly zero-cal sugar substitute


Hmm.. I'll have to look for this here. In Italy many things aren't available like they are in the US. smile.gif

 

post #7 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by FitMOmmyOf2 View Post




Hmm.. I'll have to look for this here. In Italy many things aren't available like they are in the US. smile.gif

 


I see...yeah it might not be available in Italy beause I can't imagine that it would be cheap for Italy to import the stevia plant from which the extract is made (the plant is native to Paraguay)

 

post #8 of 45

I'd say go by your values rather than trying to live up to someone else's definition of what you "should" be doing.

 

I am pretty much dairy free but do eat eggs from my own chickens. I eat honey because the bees aren't harmed. They are cared for and their surplus stores are used by people. I won't eat snails because they are killed, but that's not what is happening with honey. I do use wool because the animals aren't harmed. I've seen sheep sheared. It's not horrible and awful. It's not much different than getting my ultra-furry dog groomed--She loves it in the hot summer months. Every animal has to do work. Some work for themselves. Others work for the benefit of others.

 

So, if you're okay eating honey, eat it. If you're not, don't.

post #9 of 45

I go back and forth with the honey issue. I go through some periods of time where I will eat it here and there, and months without eating it. Most of the decision is for ethical reasons, but also because honey really isn't THAT healthy for you. If I eat any type of sweetener, it is usually coconut sugar. However, if I do consume honey, I always make sure it is raw, local and organic. I know someone who raises bees, so I have actually seen his set-up and knows how he treats the bees and how he gets the honey.

 

I know a lot of people (I would say about 30) who eat vegan with the exception of honey, and they call themselves BEEgans :) .

 

 

post #10 of 45
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SundayCrepes View Post

I'd say go by your values rather than trying to live up to someone else's definition of what you "should" be doing.

 

I am pretty much dairy free but do eat eggs from my own chickens. I eat honey because the bees aren't harmed. They are cared for and their surplus stores are used by people. I won't eat snails because they are killed, but that's not what is happening with honey. I do use wool because the animals aren't harmed. I've seen sheep sheared. It's not horrible and awful. It's not much different than getting my ultra-furry dog groomed--She loves it in the hot summer months. Every animal has to do work. Some work for themselves. Others work for the benefit of others.

 

So, if you're okay eating honey, eat it. If you're not, don't.


Thank you for your feedback! See, I feel the very same about honey and also wool.

It's not that I try to live up to someone's standard but was really curious to see how strict some of you might see this issue. I've just recently joined another (vegan) forum and there it seems almost like the 'ultimate sin' to eat honey and you could not call yourself vegan then by their definition. I thought it'd be interesting to see opinions here on the board since we seem to be a more wide spread mix of people. winky.gif

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ahimsamom View Post

I go back and forth with the honey issue. I go through some periods of time where I will eat it here and there, and months without eating it. Most of the decision is for ethical reasons, but also because honey really isn't THAT healthy for you. If I eat any type of sweetener, it is usually coconut sugar. However, if I do consume honey, I always make sure it is raw, local and organic. I know someone who raises bees, so I have actually seen his set-up and knows how he treats the bees and how he gets the honey.

 

I know a lot of people (I would say about 30) who eat vegan with the exception of honey, and they call themselves BEEgans :) .

 

 


Would you care to elaborate? I'm curious what you mean in regards to ethical reasons and also that honey isn't that healthy for you?

The honey we get is raw & organic from a local, private person.

 

post #11 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by FitMOmmyOf2 View Post

 


Thank you for your feedback! See, I feel the very same about honey and also wool.

It's not that I try to live up to someone's standard but was really curious to see how strict some of you might see this issue. I've just recently joined another (vegan) forum and there it seems almost like the 'ultimate sin' to eat honey and you could not call yourself vegan then by their definition. I thought it'd be interesting to see opinions here on the board since we seem to be a more wide spread mix of people. winky.gif

 


Would you care to elaborate? I'm curious what you mean in regards to ethical reasons and also that honey isn't that healthy for you?

The honey we get is raw & organic from a local, private person.

 




unless I'm mistaken honey can cause a rapid rise in blood glucose levels, that might be the "unhealthy" aspect of it but it's OK as long as you're not using a lot....it's great as a sweetener in tea and coffee and you only need about 2 teaspoons at the most

post #12 of 45

Congrats on becoming vegan!

 

We do local, small farm honey for allergies and colds. I weighed the pros and cons and feel okay about it. I think making a personal, educated choice it what it's all about treehugger.gif

post #13 of 45

There really aren't any sweeteners that are truly healthy. All of the caloric sweeteners - agave, maple syrup, honey, rice syrup, sugar, brown sugar, evaporated cane juice, malt extract, corn syrup, - are pretty much just calories from simple carbohydrates with only tiny amounts of trace nutrients, not enough to be worth mentioning. They all carry the risk of consuming too many calories without adequate nutrition and tooth decay. Non-nutritive sweeteners, like xylitol, erythriol, stevia, saccharin, aspertame, and sucralose don't have calories, but I don't really think even the natural ones have been safety tested sufficiently.

 

Honey does have antimicrobal properties when applied topically, and many people use it as a homeopathic allergy remedy, and certainly a teaspoon of honey a day isn't going to hurt you. But it's really just essentially sugar. And I don't think sweetener is bad in moderation, only when it crowds out healthy sweets, like fresh seasonal fruit.

post #14 of 45

I'd say don't let the vegan police hound you.  If you're ok with where you are getting the honey, then go for it.  I myself don't really care too much if I eat a granola bar and it has honey in it, but I don't buy a jar of honey for home, I mostly use agave or "imitation honey" (made for diabetics). 

 

Most vegans do not consume honey b/c it's a byproduct of a living thing.  But eh.  Nobody is perfect and I say if you're fine with it, go with it.

post #15 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baby_Cakes View Post

I'd say don't let the vegan police hound you.  If you're ok with where you are getting the honey, then go for it.  I myself don't really care too much if I eat a granola bar and it has honey in it, but I don't buy a jar of honey for home, I mostly use agave or "imitation honey" (made for diabetics). 

 

Most vegans do not consume honey b/c it's a byproduct of a living thing.  But eh.  Nobody is perfect and I say if you're fine with it, go with it.



Where's my like button? thumb.gif

post #16 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baby_Cakes View Post

I'd say don't let the vegan police hound you.  If you're ok with where you are getting the honey, then go for it.  I myself don't really care too much if I eat a granola bar and it has honey in it, but I don't buy a jar of honey for home, I mostly use agave or "imitation honey" (made for diabetics). 

 

Most vegans do not consume honey b/c it's a byproduct of a living thing.  But eh.  Nobody is perfect and I say if you're fine with it, go with it.


 

indeed...in the end you have the right to eat what you darn well please within reason of course....no cannibalism in other words....:P

 

and in a previous post agave is different from things like honey because it has a low glycemic index.....to agave doesn't cause the same rapid rise in blood glucose levels that other sugars do

 

post #17 of 45

That may be, but it is still totally empty calories.

post #18 of 45
Thread Starter 

Thank you all for your input, especially your words, Baby_Cakes! thumb.gif

 

post #19 of 45

I agree with everything above! Don't even need to write my opinion because it was already stated :) .

post #20 of 45
I don't eat honey because I can't get over the 'bee vomit' thing... Also, I am concerned about the impact it could have on the honey bee population. I know the bees aren't intentionally killed during harvesting but I'm sure there are some 'incidental' deaths (through harvesting practices or just the environments of commercial beekeeping), plus there is the fact that you'd be stealing their food so how will they survive the winter??

So that's my reasoning, since you asked, but please don't take that as me saying you should or shouldn't eat honey yourself. innocent.gif TBH I haven't really researched it thoroughly.
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