In a recent discussion about who is and who isn’t vegan, the age-old honey subject came up.
Honey is NOT vegan.
Here are four reasons that vegans should not consume honey.
This is not an exhaustive list; Please comment with your own reasons below on why honey is not vegan:
- Honey comes from bees. Bees are animals. Thus honey is an animal product. Moreover, honey is an unnecessary and easily avoidable product.
- The authoritative definition of vegan, from the Vegan Society, excludes the consumption of honey: “A vegan is someone who tries to live without exploiting animals, for the benefit of animals, people and the planet. Vegans eat a plant-based diet, with nothing coming from animals – no meat, milk, eggs or honey, for example. A vegan lifestyle also avoids leather, wool, silk and other animal products for clothing or any other purpose.” (source)
- Bees’ number-one-threat is pesticides. Thus, the best way to help bees is to buy organic and boycott pesticides. Buying honey doesn’t actually help any bees. If you truly care about bees and want to help them, an excellent way to help bees is to build and protect bee habitats. Go plant some flowers!
- Not only do bees have complex nervous systems (much more complex than that of an oyster) but because bees are animals and not plants, the mere chance that they feel pain is worth consideration. Since it’s so easy to avoid honey and since it’s likely the poduct of a creature that feels pain and if you’re concerned about preventing unecessary suffering then avoiding honey makes sense.
That said, honey is just the tip of the iceberg.
If you currently eat animal flesh, STOP NOW!
Worry about honey later. Because comparatively, honey-consumption is so trivial that it almost doesn’t matter.
Make a difference for mammals, birds, and fish NOW. Think about insects later.
Still want more? Please read Why Vegans Avoid Honey >>
This article was updated in November 2011.