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Question for vegans - Page 2

post #21 of 45

I don't call myself vegan anymore because I eat local honey and free-range eggs sometimes and I knit with wool.  But ethically speaking, I don't have a problem with honey from local, bee-conscious beekeepers.  I find that most small-operation beekeepers really love their bees and feel a connection to them.  They would never do anything to harm their bees.  Same with humane, free-range eggs.  What do the chickens need their eggs for if they aren't going to become chicks?  As long as the chickens are happy and well-cared-for, I don't see a problem with taking their essentially useless eggs.

 

 

 

post #22 of 45

Labels are annoying.  Currently, I am finally having success in eating predominately vegan.  I say "predominately" because sometimes I don't realize that a product isn't vegan.  I am still learning.  This is my 5th attempt????  All prior attempts were just to be vegetarian.  However, even if I succeed, I don't think I want that title.  I am going into this for HEALTH reasons.  Before that, I ate everything but was choosy about how it came to be on my table.  My dad raises beef and he does so simply so he has a say in how it is done.  He is not a beef "farmer".  Same with other animal products.  So I don't like labels.  If I were to avoid all animal products except honey, I wouldn't want to just say I was a vegetarian and then have someone try to feed me a cheese enhanced dish.  But, it seems wrong to say "vegan" when so many people take that title on with a specific badge of honor/code of conduct.  Right now, since this is new to me--I say that currently I am only eating plant based foods.  If they ask why, I report that we are seeing how it will affect our health/hoping for the best.  If I were you (whether or not you eat the honey) I would claim vegan so that you aren't fed other animal products.

 

Amy

post #23 of 45
Thread Starter 

Thank you for your response, crunchy_mommy. I appreciate it!

post #24 of 45

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.  

 

Even if you eat nothing but organic, locally grown vegetables you are most likely using animal by-products to do so.  Nearly all organic farmers use fertilizers of animal origin (blood meal, bone meal, fish meal, etc) to grow their veggies.  If you are lucky enough to get your food entirely from a veganic farm (meaning no animal by-products are used in the cultivation of the veggies) you still have to get those vegetables from the field to your table.  Whether they're transported in a car, truck, or on the back of a bicycle, all of those vehicles have rubber tires and metal components.  Animal fat is used in the production of rubber and most metals.  

 

By this measure, nothing that is transported in a vehicle is vegan.  I think the only way to ensure that no animals are ever harmed by your consumption habits is to live on a completely sustainable homestead and not purchase anything, ever. This obviously isn't possible for the vast majority of consumers.

 

It's laudable to eliminate the animal products from your diet both for ethical reasons and for your own health. I very rarely eat animal products- raw, local honey in very small amounts and occasional duck eggs from a local duck lover (they are more like pets than livestock.)  I do not participate in consuming factory farmed meat, eggs or dairy because of the ethical implications and because large amounts of animal protein are not conducive to good health.  I have no such qualms with the occasional egg from a happy duck or spoonful of honey in my tea.

post #25 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by squidink View Post

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. 

 

http://www.vegetus.org/honey/honey.htm

 

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.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mulesing

 

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. 

 

http://www.vegsource.com/jo/qa/qawool.htm

http://www.veganpeace.com/animal_cruelty/wool.htm

 

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.

post #26 of 45

I don't eat meat. ;) I found it funny that people who believe they shouldn't eat honey because they are by-products of Bees, but it is resonable if you don't want yummy honey. I believe it should be that bees are miraculous creatures and we should celebrate the Honey before they die out from Global warming. Thousands of Insects and animals dye from the Vegetable and Fruit Industry. AKA pesticides. Or shooting animals that eat crops. Veggies have feelings too (joking or am I) we are all connect (Lion King Moment). I say don't label yourself too much and don't allow others to label you. Maybe make your own diet specifications and If you wanna GO VEGAN! The whole point of Vegan is to be concious about the world of ANIMALS! I try not to label myself & in resteraunts a Vegan because it's easier to say this because some dumb people think  No meat means eat FISH!!!!! or even dumber eat CHICKEN! Chicken is a meat... grr and it comes without eggs or milk. Vegan recipes I use because I avoid Eggs & Milk while cooking. Eggs are just chicken periods ;) & I also have a severe allergy to Milk & a slight intolerance to most meat. LABELS are labels. Or I just say No meat, No dairy and No eggs. and they usually get drift.

Dictionary Definitions:

ve·gan

[vee-guhn] dictionary_questionbutton_default.gif Show IPA
noun
a vegetarian who omits all animal products from the diet.

 

Definition of VEGAN

: a strict vegetarian who consumes no animal food or dairy products; also : one who abstains from using animal products (as leather)

 

post #27 of 45

I have read mixed things about honey in terms of whether, or how much, the bees are harmed.  Technically, it is not vegan, and I would never use it in a dish I planned to serve to fellow vegans.  For myself, though, I don't make a big deal out of it.  Avoiding any amount of honey just doesn't seem like the most important thing to me.  I never buy jars of honey, but if the cheapest otherwise-vegan, whole grain, organic bread has honey in it, that's what I buy.  Yes, there are other vegans who are like me.  Avoiding meat, eggs, and dairy is enough of a lifestyle choice that I don't think someone's vegan card should be taken away because of a honey graham cracker, though, again, I'm sensitive to the fact that most vegans don't eat it.

post #28 of 45

We do have be careful about serving honey to vegans (I should say NOT serving honey to vegans) because we really don't consider it a vegan issue.  If I did, honestly, I would have a hard time justifying eating berries.  I wouldn't dream of wearing silk though. 

post #29 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coralz View Post

I don't eat meat. ;) I found it funny that people who believe they shouldn't eat honey because they are by-products of Bees, but it is resonable if you don't want yummy honey. I believe it should be that bees are miraculous creatures and we should celebrate the Honey before they die out from Global warming. Thousands of Insects and animals dye from the Vegetable and Fruit Industry. AKA pesticides. Or shooting animals that eat crops. Veggies have feelings too (joking or am I) we are all connect (Lion King Moment). I say don't label yourself too much and don't allow others to label you. Maybe make your own diet specifications and If you wanna GO VEGAN! The whole point of Vegan is to be concious about the world of ANIMALS! I try not to label myself & in resteraunts a Vegan because it's easier to say this because some dumb people think  No meat means eat FISH!!!!! or even dumber eat CHICKEN! Chicken is a meat... grr and it comes without eggs or milk. Vegan recipes I use because I avoid Eggs & Milk while cooking. Eggs are just chicken periods ;) & I also have a severe allergy to Milk & a slight intolerance to most meat. LABELS are labels. Or I just say No meat, No dairy and No eggs. and they usually get drift.

Dictionary Definitions:

ve·gan

[vee-guhn] dictionary_questionbutton_default.gif Show IPA
noun
a vegetarian who omits all animal products from the diet.

 

Definition of VEGAN

: a strict vegetarian who consumes no animal food or dairy products; also : one who abstains from using animal products (as leather)

 



an·i·mal

[an-uh-muhl]

noun

1. any member of the kingdom Animalia, comprising multicellular organisms that have a well-defined shape and usually limited growth, can move voluntarily, actively acquire food and digest it internally, and have sensory and nervous systems that allow them to respond rapidly to stimuli: some classification schemes also include protozoa and certain other single-celled eukaryotes that have motility and animallike nutritional modes.

 

post #30 of 45

I have a weird relationship with honey. My "rules" are as follows:

 

1) If I want honey as an ingredient, I use the generic Target fake honey. Tastes like honey, full of chemicals, but vegan. If DH accidentally buys real honey, I don't freak out.

 

2) I do not buy products with honey in the name, except Burt's Bees lip balm (it is so hard to find vegan lip balm!) on occasion. No "honey 'n' oat" granola bars.

 

3) If the honey is way down in the ingredient list *and* it is a product that I have trouble finding a vegan version of (cereal bars), I buy the nes with honey.

 

I am one of those "do the best you can but don't kill yourself over not being perfect" vegans.

post #31 of 45


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pinksprklybarefoot View Post

I have a weird relationship with honey. My "rules" are as follows:

 

1) If I want honey as an ingredient, I use the generic Target fake honey. Tastes like honey, full of chemicals, but vegan. If DH accidentally buys real honey, I don't freak out.

 

2) I do not buy products with honey in the name, except Burt's Bees lip balm (it is so hard to find vegan lip balm!) on occasion. No "honey 'n' oat" granola bars.

 

3) If the honey is way down in the ingredient list *and* it is a product that I have trouble finding a vegan version of (cereal bars), I buy the nes with honey.

 

I am one of those "do the best you can but don't kill yourself over not being perfect" vegans.



Target has a fake honey?  That is interesting.  If it is full of chemicals, it might not be for me, but I have vegan friends who might be interested.  What is it called, exactly?

post #32 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!

 


I have  considered myself vegan for over a decade. However I am not millitant about it. I believe organic local honey is better for the environment that uber-processed agave nectar which is prepared in the same way as corn syrup! We use honey and love it:) I also love wearing second (or third) hand enwrapture vintage dresses which are made from recycled silk saris and my kiddos sport organic bamboo prefolds coverd by upcycled wool sweaters that have been made into covers and shorties. So yeah I would have kicked my a** over a decade ago back when I was straight edge if I had known I would break the rules and enslave the poor bees and silkworms and sheep.... but oh well I still consider my family vegan:)

 

post #33 of 45

In our case, for everyday bread, the best price I can find for an organic egg-and-dairy-free whole grain bread contains honey. To switch to one that uses a vegan yeast-food would cost me more than double. I cannot bake my own to save my life, I have tried and tried. It's more important to me that the bread be organic than free of honey. I am aware that that makes me technically not vegan, and that I could, in fact, just not eat bread. Meh. Whatever.

 

I do, however, splurge on the more expensive stuff for occasions where I'm feeding real vegans.

post #34 of 45

I'm with catnip.  I generally only consume honey in bread products.  the way I see it, it's much healthier than high fructose corn syrup.  I also consume honey in Ricola's echinacea cough drops as I've yet to find a cough drop that can hold a candle to these when you're really feeling sick.  I'm also ok with some health & beauty products, such as Badger sunscreen, which I feel is the most natural sun protection aside from clothing or keeping out of the sun.  That said, I don't seek out honey to put in things. 

 

I still consider myself vegan as I think being vegan is less about such technicalities and more about minimizing animal suffering, maximizing health, and minimizing our ecological footprint.  These three things were my motivation for going vegan over 7 years ago, and I'm of the philosophy that these three reasons neatly sum up just about every specific reason for being vegan. Furthermore I feel that which of these reasons is most important to you is highly individual and different vegans make sometimes different choices depending on how they prioritize those reasons.  For example I have a vegan friend who dumpster dives and has been know to rip the cheese off discarded pizza and eat the crust and sauce leftover.  I personally wouldn't consider this vegan but his priority is the environmental motivation behind veganism, and I have to admit that eating a pizza destined for the landfill is probably more environmentally friendly than me baking a vegan pizza made with ingredients that had to be shipped long distances and/or used lots of plastic packaging...

 

Another example: I use wool covers made by Little Beetle.  They assure consumers on their website that their wool comes from sustainable farms which do not practice muesling.  I personally feel that wool is a much healthier fabric considering concerns about how polyester might react with moisture next to the skin ( http://www.diaperpin.com/clothdiapers/article_artificialmaterials.asp ), and it's also more breathable and presumably more biodegradable than polyester. Does this make me not vegan? Is my son not vegan because he nurses my milk, since clearly I'm an animal?

 

I say forget the vegan police.  Those who try so hard to avoid every possible animal product tend to be those who put animals first in the three reasons for being vegan, but realistically it's impossible to live a life where you cause zero animals to suffer.  Insects get smashed on my windshield, mice probably get killed when crops are harvested to feed me.  To me it's about a balance.  If I sacrifice one of the three pillars of veganism for the sake of another, then at some point the balance tips and I can no longer justify it because to me it might defeat the purpose of being vegan--or at least defeat *my* purpose.  Different vegans may have different priorities or tipping points; I don't judge them or declare them no longer vegan.  Instead, as vegans we should unite and agree that we are each trying to live our lives as compassionately as possible and this compassion extends to the health of animals, humans and mother earth.  It may not be possible to maximize this circle of compassion for all three at once, since occasionally they are at odds with one another.  But being vegan means striving as best you can to find the common ground that maximizes the health of these three things.  It's important to realize you'll never entirely succeed--you just do the best you can with each individual choice.

post #35 of 45

Honey is not vegan. But that doesn't mean you should or shouldn't eat it. That's up to you.

 

A good way to describe a "vegan plus honey" eating style is to say you're beegan. That way you're clear about where your line is drawn and you're not trying to change the definition of vegan, but it's light-hearted and no one will take offense.

 

To be clear, however, bees are in fact animals. And they do, in fact, feel pain. If you disagree, take it up with scientists, not vegans.

post #36 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsSlocombe View Post


 



Target has a fake honey?  That is interesting.  If it is full of chemicals, it might not be for me, but I have vegan friends who might be interested.  What is it called, exactly?



 

It is their house brand (Market Pantry) and I believe the container just says, "Imitation Honey" on it. It contains some sugar alcohols, etc. I figure that since I only use it occasionally, I will just ignore the ingredient list. :) 

post #37 of 45

Strict vegans won't eat honey.  I am predominantly vegan (I don't read each and every label for all those crazy chemical-sounding-but-animal-derived ingredients.  I just make sure there's no obvious animal products) and I eat honey.  I get local humane honey.  I know that some bees are accidentally killed in honey harvesting, but at the same time, mice and other small animals are killed during harvest of grains and vegetables.  I don't think it's a point to quibble about.  I wouldn't serve honey to strict vegans, like someone else posted.  It's also good for illnesses, wounds, allergies, etc.  

post #38 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by marsupial-mom View Post

 

To be clear, however, bees are in fact animals. And they do, in fact, feel pain. If you disagree, take it up with scientists, not vegans.



I am, in fact, a scientist... and a vegan (the two aren't mutually exclusive ;)).  Do the mice that get caught up and shredded in harvesting equipment for the wheat bread you eat feel pain? Should I call you not a vegan if you eat that wheat that caused animal suffering or death?  What about mushrooms that grow in the manure of farmed animals that may have suffered pain or be destined for the slaughterhouse.? Or how about all the bees that get splattered on the truck windshields to transport your food to the market? Or what about the palm oil in your Earth Balance that is causing orangutans to suffer and die?  I don't understand the holier-than-thou attitude that "dictionary" vegans hold, when it's conceivable than more animal suffering went into the mushroom-Daiya-Tofurky-melt they ate for lunch than a small amount of honey in a whole grain bagel I had for breakfast.  The dictionary definition does indeed serve as a guideline so there isn't confusion but it's the intent that matters--minimizing suffering.  Very few foods are completely suffering-free and I think we would likely starve if we only ate said foods.  Do we want veganism to sound so hard to the newcomer that they are afraid to walk around the block for fear of stepping on ants, or have to prepare every meal from scratch from ingredients from their own garden?  Honey is technically not vegan according to the dictionary and neither is human milk--Does that mean my vegan daughters weren't vegan til they weaned?  I think where we each draw the line is very personal.  What dictionary definitions are good for is a starting point.  If I was preparing a meal for a vegan I would assume the dictionary definition to hold unless they specified to me otherwise.  That way we have a common definition, but they might say, "I'm vegan but I don't consume palm oil either."  or they might say "I'm vegan but honey is ok" There's little difference between these two things; I just adjust my recipe accordingly, don't whip out my dictionary and declare them no longer fit to entitle themselves to the term "vegan."  It's a lifestyle not a country club.

post #39 of 45

I'll apologize for the snarkiness of my post quoting the definition of "animal," it was in direct response to a post that sounded to me like it was trying to exclude insects from that category.

post #40 of 45

As someone who has been slowly branching into veganism over the last 6 or so months, I think that some vegan definitions can be a little bit hardcore, and I definitely think that the vegan movement can be intimidating and off putting for many.  If the standard is continued to be set sky high, most people will consider it unachievable, and give up. 

 

For me personally, it is about minimising animal pain and suffering.  I like the original definition of vegan, according to the British Vegan Society: "the doctrine that man should live without exploiting animals".  The key word being "exploiting".  So, that's what I try to work by.  I say try, because I am not perfect, and I slip up.  But I'm doing the best that I can with my intentions, and the resources available to me. 

 

 

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