Originally Posted by squidink
I believe that true veganism is more of an aspiration than a possible lifestyle. While we can choose not to eat animal products, animal by-products are used in the production and/or transportation of nearly every product we consume.
i agree with this. nevertheless, i personally feel it's important to do my best to stay away from animal products as much as possible... whether the animal/insect was treated "humanely" or not. we may need/use a lot of products that are currently made with animal by-products simply because other alternatives aren't yet (widely) available/affordable. honey, eggs, wool, silk, etc. are *not* among those.
i've never visited a local beekeeper, but i feel even "lowly" bees should be left alone. just because they may make more honey than they need to survive doesn't give me the right to take it/consume it - especially since it's not essential to survival. local beekeeping may be different (or vastly different) than large-scale production, but here's some information for people who may see nothing wrong with honey in general.
like another poster said, sweeteners aren't good for you in general, but i use agave or maple syrup in place of honey.
as for veg*ns not having a problem with (new-to-you) wool, has anyone heard of mulesing? it's a pretty horrific common practice with the sheep that give the world the majority of its wool/wool products.
saying that you don't have a problem with wool because the animals aren't killed is akin to saying there's nothing wrong with the dairy industry since the dairy cows aren't (immediately) killed to obtain milk.
like with local beekeepers, i'm sure that local sheep owners are much nicer with the animals... but that's pretty far from the norm in society as far as obtaining wool goes.