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#1 of 45 Old 09-21-2011, 12:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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!

 


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#2 of 45 Old 09-21-2011, 10:42 AM
 
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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)

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#3 of 45 Old 09-21-2011, 10:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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! 


 

 


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#4 of 45 Old 09-21-2011, 11:36 AM
 
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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

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#5 of 45 Old 09-21-2011, 11:49 AM
 
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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.

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#6 of 45 Old 09-21-2011, 12:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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

 


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#7 of 45 Old 09-21-2011, 12:37 PM
 
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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)

 

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#8 of 45 Old 09-21-2011, 09:15 PM
 
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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.


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#9 of 45 Old 09-21-2011, 10:16 PM
 
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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 :) .

 

 

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#10 of 45 Old 09-21-2011, 11:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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

 

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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.

 


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#11 of 45 Old 09-22-2011, 10:44 AM
 
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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

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#12 of 45 Old 09-22-2011, 06:45 PM
 
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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


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#13 of 45 Old 09-22-2011, 07:55 PM
 
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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.

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#14 of 45 Old 09-22-2011, 08:15 PM
 
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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.


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#15 of 45 Old 09-22-2011, 08:17 PM
 
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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.



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#16 of 45 Old 09-22-2011, 08:27 PM
 
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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

 

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#17 of 45 Old 09-22-2011, 08:38 PM
 
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That may be, but it is still totally empty calories.

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#18 of 45 Old 09-23-2011, 12:06 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all for your input, especially your words, Baby_Cakes! thumb.gif

 


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#19 of 45 Old 09-23-2011, 02:16 PM
 
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I agree with everything above! Don't even need to write my opinion because it was already stated :) .

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#20 of 45 Old 09-23-2011, 04:28 PM
 
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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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#21 of 45 Old 09-23-2011, 05:01 PM
 
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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.

 

 

 

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#22 of 45 Old 09-23-2011, 08:44 PM
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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.

 

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#23 of 45 Old 09-24-2011, 10:15 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for your response, crunchy_mommy. I appreciate it!


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#24 of 45 Old 09-24-2011, 05:51 PM
 
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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.

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#25 of 45 Old 10-12-2011, 10:02 PM
 
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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.

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#26 of 45 Old 11-25-2011, 06:52 PM
 
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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)

 

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#27 of 45 Old 11-26-2011, 06:19 AM
 
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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.

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#28 of 45 Old 11-29-2011, 03:07 AM
 
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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. 

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#29 of 45 Old 11-29-2011, 11:22 AM
 
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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.

 

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#30 of 45 Old 12-13-2011, 10:07 PM
 
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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.


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