Is honey vegan? That’s a question that has been in debate for quite some time. In short, the answer is: it depends.
Let’s explore the long answer.
What Is the Definition of Vegan?
The debate about this pretty much stems from the fact that what it means to be a vegan. The majority of times, it seems that everyone can agree on the fact that being vegan essentially means an adoption of a lifestyle where directly or indirectly any food or clothing that is a result of animal cruelty and exploitation, is disregarded.
Once we understand this definition, we can get more specific about honey. Easily enough, we can rule out commercially produced honey. But what about honey made from local farms — with minimum to null exploitation?
According to LiveKindly — a respected site for vegan & plant-based news and information, guides us that specifically, honey derived from a balanced beekeeping may qualify in some peoples’ minds/a.k.a “is entirely down to perspective.”
That said, doing more research reveals that most of the bloggers, vegans, and writers are of the opinion that it does not qualify, since after all, bees are part of the animal kingdom. There are other reasons too, but put simply, this one is a big red flag.
Why the Consensus Seems to Be That It’s Not Vegan
Establishing that most folks think honey does not qualify as a vegan product, it’s natural to ask why. Some of the primary reasons for this thinking are:
- Again, the obvious conclusion is that honey bees belong to the animal kingdom, combined with the fundamental thinking that no matter what, there is some exploitation involved.
- The fact that honey is produced for commercial use means there is some kind of disturbance taking place in the “natural” process of forming honey. Choosing to do this commercially means it becomes unnatural — which in turn, once more, may likely lead to exploitation.
- Bees do feel pain. That in itself, should be a valid reason for not consuming honey if you’re a strict vegan.
- On top of that, most of the practices seem to deteriorate the gene pool of bees, as well as makes them more vulnerable to diseases.
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The Real Question Is: How Much Does It Matter to You?
I am not here to settle the debate, nor take any sides. However, the important question to ask here is, how much all of this matters to you? No one is going to judge, but you can always have exceptions. You can claim to be a vegan, but say you eat honey.
Precisely, that’s also one of the reasons why a smaller subset of vegans believe that it’s okay to consume honey. Another reason (again depending on the perspective), is that some folks believe that “insects” do not classify as animals. I believe that to be a wrong line of thinking because that could open up a Pandora’s box for eating all other kinds of insects.
With the above stated, if you’re craving honey, and want to play it absolutely safe, I found this product here–>https://pyureorganic.com/products/sugar-free-honey-alternative/.
At the end of the day, if sweetness is all you care about (with some penchant for texture), you may want to check out this post.
Personally, I use date syrup, and molasses.