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Is Honey Vegan? Answering All Misconceptions About Honey

by | December 12, 2018

Since time immemorial honey has been termed ‘the golden elixir’ and there are several claims about its medicinal properties. But is this so called golden elixir, cruelty free? Is Honey Vegan? Get all your questions answered here.

is honey vegan?



Is Honey Vegan?

Before answering this, lets first brush up with what exactly Veganism is about? Vegans stay clear from any product that has anything to do with animal exploitation and cruelty. This includes no meat, milk, eggs, gelatin and even those supposedly ‘cruelty free’ horse and camel rides. 

One of the most frequently mistaken as vegan friendly product is Honey. Do you know how honey is prepared? Bees on an average visit about 1500 flowers to fill its second stomach, with nectar obtained from these flowers. The enzymes in this separate stomach break down the nectar into honey like substance. Honey bees regurgitate this upon returning to hive and other house bees chew it to conclude the honey making process. This is how honey is created and is a source of energy to the bees. Therefore, fundamentally honey is meant for bees only. 

Apiculture, or bee farming, is breeding honey bees to collect maximum honey that can be sold in market for monetary benefits. During this process, however, the already endangered bees suffer due to narrowing of their gene pool and become susceptible to diseases. When bee cultivators remove honey from the hive, they replace it with either sugar or sugar like substitute which lacks the micro-nutrients as honey. 

Apart from this there are several unethical practices like clipping the queen bee’s wings so that she can’t fly anywhere else and culling of hives after honey has been harvested. 

Do you still need to think about what the answer should be to the question: Is honey vegan? It isn’t. Fundamentally and ethically honey harvesting is an exploitation of bees and as a Vegan we cannot promote this. 

We can easily survive without honey with several delicious alternatives like maple syrup, date syrup, molasses, agave nectar, and butterscotch syrup etc. Unfortunately honey bees cannot! Think twice next time when someone tells you honey is environmental friendly and vegan. Correct them.

Is honey vegan? A big NO!

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One Response to “Is Honey Vegan? Answering All Misconceptions About Honey”

  1. Christina Wardle
    December 14th, 2018 @ 1:21 am

    If you wish to exclude honey then perhaps you need also to exclude all foods that are actively or passively pollinated by insects, bees included. Such things as almonds springs to mind. In reality it is nigh on impossible for vegans to exist on simply the plants that grown right there in their own gardens that are not pollinated by insects … perhaps it is therefore more correct to suggest that vegan is an attempt at awareness of the “costs” involved in your food. This also includes coconut milk or any exotic foodstuffs that – in order to vary your diets – you need to eat, outside of your own produce. Im all for awareness – there a massive lack of that with most people. But you don’t need to be “vegan” you just need to think more about your impact and what you are needing to eat to survive, alongside all the other creatures on this earth.

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