Only accidental almonds are vegan?

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Only accidental almonds are vegan?

Postby JO » Sat Mar 13, 2004 7:52 pm

Didn't realize how dependent the almond industry is on bees (and beehives, etc):

"NPR : Scarcity of Bees Puts California's Almond Crop in Doubt"

<http://www.npr.org/rundowns/segment.php?wfId=1764490>

Please click on the headline or the audio icon to listen to the story
using a RealAudio or WindowsMedia player. To download a player or to
find solutions to common problems, please visit NPR's audio help page at
<http://www.npr.org/audiohelp/>.

Want a transcript of this story?
<http://www.npr.org/transcripts/story.html>



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Postby Mary » Sat Mar 13, 2004 8:27 pm

I can't get a transcript. What key words should I use to get one up? I need to know! I make (and love) my own almond milk. :evil: :cry: Is there anywhere I can get some ethically grown :?: Help!
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Postby JP » Sat Mar 13, 2004 9:41 pm

Apples and other fruits, berries, all kinds, probably some other nuts as well, everything which need pollynating rely for insect pollynating. Ok, these guys rely on bee colonies for pollynating, but if they might as well encourage natural increase of pollynating insects.

Hardly anything grows without some kind of interraction of animal world, surely that is not a vegan issue?
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Postby Pete » Sun Mar 14, 2004 10:52 am

Quite a few fruits have involvement with things like the bee industry. I know my gran (who lived on a fruit farm) used to, either have bees, or bees where "supplied" by a nearby bee keeper, to pollenate. I expect a lot of growers that rely on pollenation use this sort of system as it would increase yields & they could make an exra bit of profit from the honey.
I don't see how you could avoid this problem & still eat any food that needs pollenation :?:
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Postby Mary » Sun Mar 14, 2004 11:53 am

Okay. It seems like I can still eat almonds. I wasn't sure if almonds were a special case or not. If they had been I would have had a moral quandary. However, it seems we are all over a barrel.

I know that in this country if the bees died out then there would be no pollination at all, and we would all starve and die. :shock: Since all land plants rely on pollination I shall continue to eat them with a clear conscience. I like seaweed, but not enough to eat it to the exclusion of all else.
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Postby JO » Sun Mar 14, 2004 4:53 pm

I can't remember the objections to honey consumption anymore. What's the difference between exploiting bees for honey versus exploiting them for almonds? The reason there is a shortage of bees for almond pollination purposes is that they're being utilized for honey production. My conception of veganism has to do with leaving creatures alone. Just because it is natural for bees to have hives and to do the pollination thing, doesn't mean we get to co-opt them and their behaviors for agricultural mass production.

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Postby Mary » Sun Mar 14, 2004 5:49 pm

As far as I can tell there are not enough wild insects left any more to pollinate the planet. :shock: That is what I have read anyway, in different places. There are not enough varied habitats for them to live in, since we have chopped down forests - not just the rain forest, but the Sahara forest, the forests that spread the length and breadth of Europe, up and down the spines of England and Ireland - all over the world.

Maybe a lot of pollination is accidental - from bees that come from industrial hives. But if those bees become extinct (as they well might, due to inbreeding, anti-biotic fumigation, etc leaving their immune systems susceptible to disease) then, frankly, we are all fucked. By the time the ecosystem sorts itself out we could easily be extinct. (Some might argue, no bad thing.)
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Information on beekeeping

Postby Daniel » Sun Mar 14, 2004 6:05 pm

YOU NEED TO READ THIS ESSAY ON BEEKEEPING:
Honeybee Ecology
http://www.vegetus.org/honey/ecology.htm
It has information on the commercial use of honey bee pollinators!


Mean while, here is what The Vegan Society has written:

Pollination
"In many countries bees' services are bought for pollination purposes resulting in the bees (and their hives) being transported hundreds or thousands of miles. The food industry is now looking to artificially managed honeybees to provide to pollinate crops because wild bees and other insects (who would naturally pollinate crops) have been and are being destroyed by housing development, industrial pollution, pesticide poisoning, intensive farming practices, destruction of hedgerows, etc. The use of honeybees for pollination is now big business especially in places like New Zealand and America. However, even in the UK commercial beekeepers move hives (to find sources of nectar for honey production, and for pollination). Pollination fees are a very important component of the commercial beekeepers income. Commercially reared bumblebee colonies are now also extensively used to pollinate some glasshouse crops, particularly tomatoes." (http://www.vegansociety.com/html/animal ... n/bees.php)
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Postby Pete » Sun Mar 14, 2004 6:07 pm

I'm not sure how valid the using insects for any purpose is, as it would seem simple enough to for humans to "set up" enough places suitable for bees, but not exploit them. If we can create enough "slave labour" using commercial business, I can't see how it would be much harder to set up areas that are really suitable for colonisation & the bees could find their own way there, given a bit of time :?: Just a thought, not really useful, or helpful. But as it is, most companies go for maximum profits, so if that means ripping off a few bees, then so much the better. At the moment there seems little we, as vegans, can do about it until another option becomes available :!: :?: :!: Just be aware that it goes on & try to support any alternative ventures as they arrive.
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What you can do

Postby Daniel » Sun Mar 14, 2004 6:20 pm

Pete wrote:I'm not sure how valid the using insects for any purpose is, as it would seem simple enough to for humans to "set up" enough places suitable for bees, but not exploit them. If we can create enough "slave labour" using commercial business, I can't see how it would be much harder to set up areas that are really suitable for colonisation & the bees could find their own way there, given a bit of time :?: Just a thought, not really useful, or helpful. But as it is, most companies go for maximum profits, so if that means ripping off a few bees, then so much the better. At the moment there seems little we, as vegans, can do about it until another option becomes available :!: :?: :!: Just be aware that it goes on & try to support any alternative ventures as they arrive.


Here is another idea--support the native bees. Check out "What's the Buzz on.... Planting a Bee Garden" at http://gears.tucson.ars.ag.gov/na/bgardn.html

For a reminder on why honey is bad read, "Why Honey is Not Vegan" at http://www.vegetus.org/honey/honey.htm
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Postby JO » Sun Mar 14, 2004 6:34 pm

Sounds like most almonds are not accidental.

Moving right along, wouldn't it be nice if "employing" species that naturally pollinate almonds was part of the requirement for earning the "organic" label? Or is it already?

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Last edited by JO on Sun Mar 14, 2004 7:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Mary » Sun Mar 14, 2004 6:36 pm

I still can't find the article. Where is it, or what search terms can I use to get it up?
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Postby JO » Sun Mar 14, 2004 6:41 pm

Sorry, FOR A SMALL FEE, the transcript is available if you input search term "bees" and then sort by most recent articles, etc. I think you can still get to the audio link for free if you have audio set-up. I don't have an audio set-up. I heard this piece on the radio yesterday a.m.

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