catnip I wasn't really disagreeing with you, just with the vegan police ;)
Question for vegans - Page 3
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.
On that note, this is part of the reason I don't get too twitchy about honey myself (but only part, there's much more to it for me personally) -- here's something from Dr.Michael Greger (of http://nutritionfacts.org/ ) on this http://www.satyamag.com/sept05/greger.html
Interesting article. It's quite accurate on some points.
If I were able to convince someone to quit eating meat, eggs and dairy, I would consider that a win. Even if they still ate honey, or random animal derived ingredients that show up in things you would never guess. Something is better than nothing.
A lot of people have to take the vegan conversion slowly. Baby steps. That's okay - let's not scare them off. I've been a (no egg) vegetarian for a long, long time, and becoming vegan has been hard. There are things that I never imagined, in foods that I loved. (Honey in my fave potato chips, carmine in my lollies, bone char flour in my bread, palm oil in EVERYTHING)
I'm slowly making the changes as best as I can, but I couldn't, even now, call myself a "vegan".
I still own some wool clothing. I have cleaning products that are animal tested. Leather shoes in my cupboard.
I'm trying, though.
I'm surprised no one has mentioned the amazing documentary "Queen of the Sun." Came out last year, maybe?
I have been vegetarian since I was 10, and became vegan at 22. I'm now 31, and I don't know what to call myself. I'm much less policey than I was. I still don't eat meat, and I cook vegan, but I'll have some of my stepdad's cake (he runs a bakery) every once in a while and not ask questions about dairy in them. And I will eat my mom's chickens' eggs because I know they get to run around on several acres of alpaca farm, being happy vegetarian chickens. I will also knit with the alpaca fibers that come from my mom's animals, because I know them personally and help out on shearing days and see them prance around all happy after their haircuts. So maybe I'm not the vegan-or-whatever to be asking.
But as to honey, I don't eat it. The idea of eating another animal's barf makes me wanna...well, you know. I do at times consider keeping my own colony, and using the honey in herbal medicines, in part because of the horrible things I saw in Queen of the Sun (not that any one perspective is enough, but this movie was awesome):
Basically, because of monocultures, there are huge pieces of land with only one type of tree, which means that there are only flowers in the area for a short while each year, and that is of course not enough to sustain actual bees, who depend on a few weeks of apple blossoms, then a few weeks of apricot, then plums, or whatever. So there are NO bees naturally in areas of monoculture. And no bees means the trees can't get pollinated naturally, and if there's no pollination, the fruit crops are either zero or greatly reduced, depending. The answer? Most of the bees in the country are all brought together and trucked all over the country pollinating trees in areas of monoculture--farmers pay to have the bees trucked in--and then when the apple flowers are done, the bees go to the monoculture apricot areas. They get drugged up for all this trucking around, and even worse, because the bees are from all over the continent, they are sharing bee-sicknesses with one another, without any ability to adapt to the sicknesses. Which leads to more problems.
And then there's colony collapse disorder. Bees are SO important to biodiversity. Without bees to pollinate, we would lose a huge percentage of all plant varieties on the planet. And one thing that could save bee-kind is small local beekeepers who are dedicated to raising them healthily and respectfully.
I think my soap box is breaking from all my jumping up and down on it...
I've been a vegan for 3 years and do on occasion eat raw honey
I think there is controversy on honey among vegans. some feel it is ok and some don't
Generally ethical vegans (ones living the full vegan lifestyle of things like no animal testing, circuses, pet stores, furs,etc) would not eat honey while nutritional vegans (ones eating a vegan diet for health and/or other reasons than strictly ethical ones may or may not chose to eat honey)..nutritional or dietary vegans also may care about animal cruelty issues certainly and do it for these reasons as well as health and do not necessarily do all the lifestyle things although they certainly may.
Some of the ethical vegans get angry if someone calls themselves a vegan and is not living the complete iota of the "vegan lifestyle" or who does it mostly for health reasons. I have seen them get bent out of shape and insist we vegan for health reasons call ourselves strict vegetarians and not vegans - at term noone understands so it is not practical//also why do they get to define who is vegan and who is not. I know I am eating vegan if they do or not and refer to myself as a vegan.
People like this tend to be rather militant and can chase people away from eating a plant based diet due to negative connotations that may become associated with the word vegan (ie-peta types) to the community at large and this connotation is often associated with this type person who is insistent people eating the same diet as they are not really vegans which actually hurts their cause as people do not want to be looked at like that and thus do not go vegan least people think they are weird (I am not saying they are weird I am saying other people often see vegans as a whole as weird generally the ethical vegans)..
Personally I respect their beliefs but not their insistence anyone not doing it just like them is not allowed to say they are vegan..this makes me mad. I have also seen people on other boards act this way that you have. I say ignore them and I avoid that site where they are so rude and insistent and non inclusive and see it as an us against them thing and find they tend to down people who eat just a little meat ore are vegetarians too when really all these people are helping their health and the ethical vegan cause if reducing factor farming etc,.
They do not use tactics that support their beliefs ion less animal cruelty as they fail to see that anyone eating less meat or working towards vegetarianism etc is saving the lives of animals.. I have heard of vegetarians who do not want to be associated with vegans due to their behavior so I feel this insistence on a host of rules is actually hurting their cause by causing it to become in some ways stigmatized
Also they fail to realize that many older people like myself primarily become vegan due to health concerns and than often due to association with other vegans and vegan websites come to become crusaders against animal cruelty as well down the road.
One lady had the gall to call me a self-tarian when I said I was vegan for health reasons (implying I was selfish) and repeatedly insults me on another site saying I am not a "real" vegan even though I eat no animals/products but honey which makes me not want to associate with people like that as it makes people generalize this to others vegans who are not that way to other ethical vegans and feel if someone is militant and its their way or the highway and wants to be exclusive rather than inclusive to ignore them and tell them they should call themselves ethical vegans rather than we saying we are strict vegetarians and not vegans
If they feel their definition is valid (that only people believing other tenets like no circuses and a host of together things and also eating vegan are the only real vegans) and yours is not so (anyone eating a plant based diet_ and saying they cannot use the tern vegans as they should, then there should be the ones using the additional description (ethical vegans as opposed to vegans) so one knows what they believe right off the bat and those asking at say a restaurant can use the term vegan that everyone understands rather than saying they are "strict vegetarians_ or self-tarians or people who are merely eating a vegan diet..sheesh
I think at my age I can call myself what I believe I am without these younger militant types trying to define what is and is not veganism..
Most people change their diets and beliefs gradually and when one tries to alienate rather than find common ground this is not the way I live my life so ignore people who say you can't take honey cause they think it working..do what you feel is best for you nicely and respectfully ignoring their rules/titles.
I personally have switched to raw agave nectar as trying to eat high raw and feel it mixes easier with smoothies.
One can use some as these natural sweeteners as well=sucanot, barley malt, raw honey, real maple syrup, stevia (sweet leaf), agave nectar, Xylitol, blackstrap molasses, brown rice syrup, date sugar, maple sugar, fructose (some say this is not safe), raw coconut syrup/coconut sugar, lucuma powder, fruit juice concentrate, raw cane juice, yacon root (syrup/powder), Lakanto, and dried fruit more on some of these here
agave is supposed to be lower on the glycemic index but it also has some problems. Stevia is good for diabetics and hypoglycemics but I am not that fond of the taste.
The bible says honey taste good but don't eat too much.
I am interested in raw food and the latest book by former 100% raw foodist Victoria Boutenko (raw and beyond) the 3 authors warn not to eat too much wheat, grains, but worst are sugars and fats and fractionated foods. the best foods are greens, fruits, veggies and maybe 20% beans and whole grains and possibly steamed veggies with tiny amounts of raw nuts and seeds and added oils..one is better off eating whole food fats like olives, avocados and coconut than oils..Avoid foods that are fractionated and not whole foods as grown.
Using that measure one of the authors says he no longer eats raw agave nectar/maple syrup..I would think honey would be more of a whole food and stevia in the dried herb form..when man alters it, it is best to avoid it. So in that sense I think honey may be better but I got used to using the agave so I am thinking I might switch to at least half other natural sweeteners that are more natural
I would not hesitate at all to eat raw honey if you like it and want to.
And I am quite certain many vegans do eat honey and many do not.
Edited by kids are grown now - 3/22/12 at 9:31pm