What are your thoughts on honey?

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What are your thoughts on honey?

Postby DC Runner » Thu Apr 11, 2013 5:05 pm

So I live in a mostly vegan house (six people in one house). We all call ourselves vegan. I am the only person in the house who refuses to eat honey. They all know my stance and agree that any communal food should not contain honey. In the past, I've told certain people that the bread they've bought contained honey and it shouldn't be purchased as communal food. They apologized and agreed. Lately, I've noticed that it's happening again. I'm not sure if they are buying it because they assume the bread doesn't contain honey or because they're not reading the ingredients. If they're not reading the ingredients, that scares me, as lots of bread contains whey, which is definitively off-limits.

I don't consider honey a vegan item. What are your thoughts and why?

Sorry if this has come up on another thread.
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Re: What are your thoughts on honey?

Postby baldy » Thu Apr 11, 2013 7:30 pm

Living in a house with 6 other vegans sounds awesome!
Honey thing is weird, cos I know from the experiences I have had living with other vegans, normally the more vegans there are together the more careful you become.
People start checking each others toothpaste you make sure no one is using monkey abuse brands.
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Re: What are your thoughts on honey?

Postby Linnéa76 » Thu Apr 11, 2013 7:52 pm

Honey is an animal product, so if you eat a plant based diet plus honey you should really be calling
yourself a "melli vegetarian" or something like that. I guess the reason people consume honey and
still call themselves vegan is because they assume that the bees can't suffer and therefore don't think
it's an animal rights issue?
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Re: What are your thoughts on honey?

Postby xrodolfox » Thu Apr 11, 2013 8:20 pm

I lived in a vegan house with 10 vegetarians and 5 vegans. NOT A GOOD TIME.

A few vegans were very intense and would look through people's stuff and throw away (without asking) non-vegan items brought into the house including shampoo, soaps, toothpaste, bread, and more. Insane all the way. Honey, of course, was banned.

I have no idea why people are so into honey. Around here, maple syrup is readily available. It tastes similar to honey. I've always liked it more.

I don't even know why folks won't avoid it. It's like not going vegan because it's too hard to avoid wool slacks... find twill slacks instead! It's easy.

I might have more respect for that issue if it was actually difficult to avoid honey. It's a luxury. Use vegan sugar instead. Simple. Easy. Tasty.
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Re: What are your thoughts on honey?

Postby ORLYLOL » Thu Apr 11, 2013 9:54 pm

Honey isn't vegan for the same reason milk isn't. The intention of honey is too feed the young grubs so they can grow and become the next generation of bees. Unless you have your own hive or are personal friends with a bee keeper that you trust, the honey you get is usually from hives that are exploited. Either way it isn't vegan, as has been pointed out.
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Re: What are your thoughts on honey?

Postby Ruff » Mon Apr 15, 2013 9:12 am

I am a new vegan ( about 6 months now) and we are still ' using up' honey. The honey itself comes from a friends hive, and she is very caring indeed of her bees. She limits carefully what she takes, and tires to minimise any distress.

BUT.....honey is made by bees for bees, and it doesn't seem vegan to me. Maple syrup is not easily available here, so when the honey has gone, that will be it.

However I also believe it would be wrong to throw away the honey. The deed is done and it seems doubly disrespectful to then actually waste it. Somehow that seems even worse to me. I choose to no longer give my support to the animal abuse industries, but I will use up the honey.

This of course brings me to the issue of a packet of steaks in the bottom of my freezer. If I follow my own logic I should eat them, or I am disrespecting the sacrifice the animal has already made. Yet I cannot bring myself to do this. Why should I feel the honey is Ok to use up but the steaks are not? My logic is flawed, and I am uncomfortable.
My solution is to feed the steaks to Ruff. We are looking into doggy Vegan diets, but he is still a meat eater. I know this is a cop out, however, and I need to think things through more.
It seemed so simple when I started, just stop eating other sentient beings, yet every day another ethic minefield comes my way....leather car seats? My sheepskin slippers from 2 years ago? The leather tab on the back of my jeans?

Oh boy.....
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Re: What are your thoughts on honey?

Postby mouche » Mon Apr 15, 2013 12:43 pm

You could give the honey and steaks away to non-vegans? That way you get rid of them, you don't have to consume them if you are uncomfortable with it, and you prevent another purchase of animal products by said non-vegan.

Failing that, if you want to quietly consume the rest of your honey until it is used up, don't worry about what the vegan police say.

I agree that wastage is one of the worst things happening on our planet these days, it is something I am intensely uncomfortable with, and as you said I think it defies the point of being vegan if we just become wasteful and disrespectful. Now I'm not saying we should all start eating things that are given to us that are non-vegan. But we need to be sensible. Regifting non-vegan gifts or giving away non-vegan foods is a win-win solution I believe.
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Re: What are your thoughts on honey?

Postby kallefs » Mon Apr 15, 2013 2:36 pm

Ruff, I'm with you that it is a difference between eating steaks and honey, at least in my head.

I don't eat honey for the same reasons said by many others here. I did react to your flatmates not checking ingredients, that would feel like some kind of betrayal (I can't find a better word). When you are at home you really want to know that everything is vegan without having to check and recheck it all the time, if that is the deal you have.
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Re: What are your thoughts on honey?

Postby loveliberate » Mon Apr 15, 2013 6:17 pm

Honey Bad! Veganz luv beez! Veganz no eatz bad honey! :wink:
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Re: What are your thoughts on honey?

Postby DC Runner » Wed Apr 17, 2013 7:17 pm

Thanks for the input, everyone. I choose not to eat honey and if it means I miss out on something otherwise delicious because of it, then so be it. The best excuse I've heard for consuming honey (not to say that it justifies it) is using it only while sick to boost the immune system. I agree that honey has excellent health benefits that molasses or agave or sugar do not have. However, I feel that you shouldn't compromise your morals when things get tough. I don't take non-herbal medication and I might have raced well at the Boston Marathon this past Monday if I had taken some medication to combat my cold. But I would be giving-in for the sake of convenience. I don't play that game. I had a long argument with my coworker who wanted me to do well and he couldn't understand why I wouldn't just take some pills.

Ruff, I agree that you should give at least the steaks away to a non-vegetarian. When I first went vegan, I made the transition while finishing up the non-vegan sugar and similar products. I really think it should be what you're comfortable with. Honey and animal flesh are two very different things and while both are non-vegan, you absolutely can't get steak without killing an animal.

Keep it real, folks!
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Re: What are your thoughts on honey?

Postby Adena » Sun Apr 28, 2013 3:24 am

This is definitely an interesting discussion to read. My husband (not even vegetarian :shock: ) has just purchased two large hives and I guess a colony of bees is coming to us soon (not entirely sure how that works, I think he may pick them up from the local beekeeper in our neighborhood). He wants to produce his own honey just for fun, and to have the honeybees around to pollinate the shit out of our garden. I would feel a bit weird if he started selling the honey to people and he keeps asking me if I will be willing to eat honey if it's from our own backyard bees. I really don't see anything necessary about honey in the diet. It's definitely not something I have ever missed. However, we can't produce sugar cane or maple syrup in our zone, so it would be the only sweetener we could produce here. So if the shit ever hits the fan, I guess I won't be able to bake sweets anymore, haha!
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Re: What are your thoughts on honey?

Postby loveliberate » Sun Apr 28, 2013 9:46 am

[quote="Adena"]However, we can't produce sugar cane or maple syrup in our zone

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sugar_beet
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Re: What are your thoughts on honey?

Postby Adena » Sun Apr 28, 2013 2:22 pm

[quote="loveliberate"][quote="Adena"]However, we can't produce sugar cane or maple syrup in our zone

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sugar_beet


Forgot about beets! Good call. I have no idea what is involved in extracting the sugar from the beets, but we might look into that someday.
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Re: What are your thoughts on honey?

Postby loveliberate » Sun Apr 28, 2013 2:57 pm

It looks like a syrup can be made pretty easily: "An unrefined sugary syrup can be produced directly from sugar beet. This thick, dark syrup is produced by cooking shredded sugar beet for several hours, then pressing the resulting mash and concentrating the juice produced until it has the consistency similar to that of honey. No other ingredients are used. In Germany, particularly the Rhineland area, this sugar beet syrup (called Zuckerrüben-Sirup or Zapp in German) is used as a spread for sandwiches, as well as for sweetening sauces, cakes and desserts." - I may give this a try sometime. :)
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Re: What are your thoughts on honey?

Postby Adena » Sun Apr 28, 2013 3:14 pm

[quote="loveliberate"]It looks like a syrup can be made pretty easily: "An unrefined sugary syrup can be produced directly from sugar beet. This thick, dark syrup is produced by cooking shredded sugar beet for several hours, then pressing the resulting mash and concentrating the juice produced until it has the consistency similar to that of honey. No other ingredients are used. In Germany, particularly the Rhineland area, this sugar beet syrup (called Zuckerrüben-Sirup or Zapp in German) is used as a spread for sandwiches, as well as for sweetening sauces, cakes and desserts." - I may give this a try sometime. :)


That does not sound nearly as difficult as I was imagining! I mean, my entire kitchen would look like a bloodbath, but we've all been there before, am I right?
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