No, vegans do not eat honey. Did that surprise you?
Many people make the mistake of thinking that honey is a vegan-friendly food. They serve it to their vegan friends at parties The problem is that people confuse veganism with vegetarianism.
Veganism is deeper than just abstaining from meat. Stick around, and you will learn more about this.
Vegans vs Vegetarians: What’s the Difference?
Many people consider veganism to be a type of vegetarianism. Don’t say that to a vegan, if you don’t want to get into a long argument. The ethos of veganism are unique, distinct, and they sometimes contradict with those of vegetarianism.
The main thing that unites them is their stance concerning meat consumption: both vegans and vegetarians do not eat animal flesh.
However, while most vegetarians are okay with eating eggs and dairy products, vegans abstain even from these. Vegans do not eat eggs, milk, butter, cheese, and so forth.
The vegan point of view involves a deep and abiding concern and respect for animal life. And that’s why vegans do not use products that have been tested on animals. Such products include makeup and skin creams.
Products made from animal skins or other parts of an animal’s body are also out of the question. These include leather belts and shoes. Vegetarians, however, do not have any issue with such products.
The idea is that veganism is more than just about eating or not eating meat. It’s about caring for nature and animal life. It’s about not abiding cruelty towards animals or exploitation of animals.
While vegetarianism is more like a diet choice, veganism is a philosophy, a way of life, a lens by which one may view the world around oneself.
Why Vegans Do Not Eat Honey
As I have said, veganism is not just about one’s diet or health or religion. Vegans are concerned about the welfare of animals. To vegans, the harvesting of honey from beehives by humans is not in the best interests of the bees.
Bees need the sugars, proteins and other nutrients found in nectar. But nectar ferments quickly, so the bees convert it into honey, and store it in the honeycombs of the hives.
When winter comes, and nothing grows on the land, there will be no flowers from which to suck nectar. Honey is their way of preparing for the coming winter.
When human beings harvest honey from hives, they diminish the food stores that bees have laid out in readiness for winter. Prudent beekeepers harvest the excess honey only and leave the rest for the bees.
But some beekeepers do not abide by this rule. Instead, they harvest all or most of the honey and give the bees sugar in return. However, sugar does not contain the nutrients that abound in honey. As a result, the bees grow weaker for lack of proper nutrition.
To the vegan, harvesting honey is a form of animal exploitation. The bees make honey as food for themselves, but humans take it away. And some take it all away and give back a weak substitute.
Though vegans do not eat honey, they still find ways to enjoy tasty alternatives. Instead of honey, vegans use date syrup, molasses, golden syrup, butterscotch syrup, maple syrup, and agave nectar. Do remember the next time you throw a party and invite your vegan friends.