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Why vegans don't eat honey

Why Don't Vegans Eat Honey? 10 Reasons Why Honey Is Not Vegan

Are you wondering why vegans don't eat honey and whether it is a vegan food at all? Then you've come to the right place! In fact, honey is one of those foods where the answer to the question "vegan or not?" seems to lie in the gray area. Mainly because honey is not usually consumed every day, bees are small animals that we know very little about and because, at least at first glance, no animals have to die for it.

In this article, I would like to take a second look and show you why honey is not vegan. Let's go!

You can find a brief overview here in advance. Vegan:inside do not eat honey because...

  1. Bees make honey for themselves
  2. honey production is exhausting
  3. we manipulate the animals for honey
  4. Honey bees are exploited in mass breeding
  5. Bees are injured and die
  6. Honey is not particularly healthy
  7. there are plant-based alternatives
  8. Wild bees are important for biodiversity
  9. Bees are living beings and not commodities
  10. Wild bees are vital for human survival

10 reasons why vegans don't eat honey

As you will see from the following points, there are both ethical and ecological reasons for avoiding the consumption of honey and bee-produced products in general, such as beeswax.

1. because bees make honey for themselves

Bees Honey - Why vegans do not eat honey?

Honey is the food of bees. The substitute food they receive from beekeepers is usually a sugar syrup, which unfortunately only makes them more susceptible to disease, as the insects lack important nutrients. Of course, there are also beekeepers who deliberately give their bees a large proportion of the honey they produce themselves. However, as there is no certainty of this, vegans simply refrain from consuming honey altogether.

Bees are therefore able to produce their own food by repeatedly swallowing and regurgitating nectar from flowers and other plants. To put it bluntly, honey is Bee vomit.

2. because honey production is exhausting

The process of extracting honey from a hive is extremely stressful for bees. 12 worker bees need approximately their entire life to produce one teaspoon of honey₁, which we devour in a second.

It has been proven that bees are intelligent, sentient creatures that can feel emotions such as fear or joy. Vegans therefore refrain from eating honey primarily for ethical or moral reasons.

3. because we manipulate the animals for honey

One thing in advance: not every apiary is so brutal. But what I am describing now, is a common practice in beekeeping or "honey production".

The The queen bee is fixed in a holder and then fertilized with the seed of 8-12 crushed drones instrumentally. (you can also see this in practice in the embedded video below)

Your will both wings detachedso that she stays in the hive - the other bees stand by her side and also stay. This prevents the colony from swarming out into several new colonies. The latter would drastically reduce honey production in the respective hive and make it uneconomical.

4. because honey bees are exploited in mass breeding

Mass breeding - Why vegans do not eat honey

"Why aren't vegans allowed to eat honey?" - We should replace the word "may" with "want". Because veganism is above all a question of Adherence to one's own moral values. And since honey production is an exploitation of animals, vegans consistently choose not to eat honey.

Honey bees are considered in our society mainly as farm animals - comparable with cows, pigs and chickens in the Factory farming. Honey bees are artificially fertilized and selectively bred for our benefit. This reduces their gene pool - and increases the risk of disease. Diseases that can also be transmitted to bumblebees or wild bees.

5. because bees are injured and die

In modern beekeeping, animals are constantly injured or killed. The reasons range from poor insulation of the hive to a lack of food and parasites.

Before winter, the entire colony is often killed because it would be uneconomical to feed the bees during the cold season. One method of doing this is to empty the hive. to douse with gasoline and light on fire.

Further for example, they to gas and fumigate or she to drown in soapy water. Cruelty to animals is therefore also a significant factor in why vegans do not eat honey or why honey is not vegan.

6. because honey is not very healthy

Honey is not vegan and not particularly healthy either. It consists mainly of calorie-containing fructose and glucose - in other words from fructose and glucose.

Besides the Weight gain can also Dental problems and a Elevated blood sugar level be the result of excessive honey consumption.

Apart from its content of Magnesium, Calcium and some other nutrients, honey does not differ significantly from the conventional sugar that we humans consume. Honey is therefore a "pleasure" rather than a "health" product.

7. because there are plant-based alternatives

Honey can be replaced for most purposes in a relatively simple way so that they comply with veganism. Here I have listed some examples that make it much easier for vegans to avoid honey and products containing honey:

This selection confirms that we are not dependent on the consumption of honey - not even for the taste. By the way, my personal favorites are maple syrup and agave syrup.

Tip: Under the links you will find the appropriate, vegan honey alternative. If you like, you can at velivery* You can also order and test several of the products directly. There you will generally find many plant-based alternatives to animal products, which will make the transition to a vegan lifestyle much easier for you.

8. because wild bees are important for biodiversity

Bees hive - Why is honey not vegan?

Most of us know that bee populations are declining worldwide and that this is a major driver of the Species extinction is. However, this does not apply to farmed honey bees - Their population continues to increase because we want to eat honey. But that doesn't help the bees living in the wild.

On the contrary. The increasing honey bee populations are endangered by the transmission of diseases and the fight for nectar and pollen all other, wild bee populations.

Due to the consequently declining Pollination performance are furthermore also many other animal and plant species and even entire ecosystems are threatened. "Saving bees" also means "saving the ecosystem"!

9. because bees are living beings and not commodities

The queen bee, which is essential for honey production, is available online. One search on eBay and it's yours for just under 30 euros. The wings are already clipped. You can even buy whole beehives online and order them conveniently for delivery to your home.

As small as the industrious insect may be, for me it is a sign that we humans have gone too far and need to take a new path. And this is also a major reason for all other vegans not to eat honey.

10. because wild bees are vital for human survival

Due to the increasing number of honey bees, the number of wild bees, which, in contrast to honey bees, are essentially responsible for pollination and thus also for the growth of plants, is dwindling. Plants that we need to survive.

The decline of wild bees ultimately jeopardizes our food security and thus also our survival - and the continued existence of species-rich nature as we know and need it.

Frequently asked questions about bees, honey and veganism

Why is honey not vegan?

Although honey is made from nectar and honeydew, it is an animal product. This is because Bees produce it - actually to feed on it themselves. Veganism is against the exploitation of animals, which is why honey is ultimately not vegan.

What do bees need to survive?

Bees are on Nectar and pollen from flowering plants in wild meadows, flower strips, gardens and balconies as a food source. They also need Waterwhich they absorb from the nectar and the moist leaves of the plants.

Which honey is vegan?

There are some plant-based honey alternatives that have similar properties to bee honey. These include above all Maple syrup, marigold honey, sugar beet and date syrup, agave syrup and Dandelion honey.

Vegans do not eat honey because it means animal suffering

With this embedded video, I would like to show you some real-life pictures that underline all the reasons why vegans don't eat honey.

Commercial breeding does not mean the preservation of bees. It has the opposite effect and endangers the survival of many other plant and animal species, including ourselves. We do all this unnecessarily in order to be able to eat honey - even though there are plant-based alternatives.

"Once the bee disappears from the earth, humans will only have four years to live. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more humans."

Albert Einstein (more under Animal welfare quotes)

I hope that this article has made it clear to you why vegans don't eat honey. If you want to do something for the conservation and protection of wild bees, then be sure to check out my article on the bee friendly garden and plant wildflowers. Have fun with the implementation!

Stay animal-friendly and sustainable,

Christoph from CareElite - Plastic-free living

PS: More insects also automatically mean more birds chirping in the garden. Below Create bird friendly garden to find out how you can enjoy more of it in your own greenery in future. You can also find out more in another article, why vegan:inside do not drink milk.

₁ Dr. Beekeeper (2017): How many bees does it take to produce a teaspoon of honey?, available at [16.03.2023].

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* Links with asterisks are so-called Affiliate linksIf you click on it and buy something, you automatically and actively support my work with, as I receive a small share of the proceeds - and of course nothing changes in the product price. Many thanks for your support and best regards, Christoph!

Christoph Schulz

Christoph Schulz

I'm Christoph, an environmental scientist and author - and here at CareElite I'm campaigning against plastic waste in the environment, climate change and all the other major environmental problems of our time. Together with other environmentally conscious bloggers, I want to give you tips & tricks for a naturally healthy, sustainable life as well as your personal development.

10 thoughts on “Warum essen Veganer keinen Honig? 10 Gründe, warum Honig nicht vegan ist”

    1. Hey Selina!
      Would have liked this information myself a few years ago. So I'm glad I was able to help you with it 🙂
      Many greetings

  1. Hey, points 3 and 5 are not properly researched or written in a too generalized way.
    Only very few beekeepers have their queen bees artificially inseminated. Even the cutting of the wings is not done by everyone.
    Setting fire to a beehive is usually vandalism. I do not destroy my wooden hives. Likewise it is not usual in Germany bees to gas. Also the health-promoting effect of honey is represented here falsified.
    It is true that with honey from mass production (for example in China, Eastern Europe or Mexico) animals die and are exploited. With the local (hobby) beekeeper around the corner, it can look quite different.

    1. Moin Lucas, thank you for your advice. I know that not every beekeeper does so - but most things are common and unavoidable practice in honey production. I have included your advice in point 3, however, to make it clear that there are differences.

      In the end, however, it is a form of exploitation either way, since the animals produce the honey for themselves - and not for us humans.

      Many greetings

  2. Hello Christoph
    For almost 50 years my husband has been a beekeeper and active in the Beekeepers Association.
    What you write here is only bdingt correct.
    Honey is very well a healthy food, provided that one enjoys it in moderation. Moreover, its healing and hemopathic effects have been proven.
    I eat honey bread every other day for breakfast, use honey for baking and cooking. And to this day I have no bad teeth and no diabetes. I can only agree with the contribution of Lucas.
    I would therefore ask you to be a little more differentiated and objective in your reports.

    With kind regards

    1. Hello Anita,

      I can understand that I am not very popular with this article about the background of honey production and I can also imagine that she and her husband are very passionate about their work and take good care of the bees.

      But honey consists mainly of sugar and is also considered according to Stiftung-Warentest as rather unhealthy. Can you give me a source for the possible "healing hemopathic effect"? With pleasure I look at them.

      I also know many people who have bad teeth and like to eat honey. That you do not have bad teeth until today, unfortunately, is also just a personal anecdote and no scientific proof that honey is healthy.

      Whether hobby beekeeping, organic or mass production - ultimately bees produce honey for themselves and not for us humans. This is the truth and the main reason why vegan people do not eat it - and this is what this article is about. In the end, everyone can do with this information what she/he thinks is right.

      I wish you both all the best and hope that you also have an open ear for the problem areas of beekeeping.

      Many greetings

    2. That is a matter of opinion. Many vegans consider their diet healthier per se, but there are also highly processed substitutes.
      I am omnivorous and believe that is healthiest.
      All substitute syrups (rice,agave, maple...) and Co also contain sugar, with agave it is even a particularly unfavorable combination, so are just as healthy or unhealthy as honey.
      I like to eat my honey as a honey crust of the ham. You don't have to if you don't want to eat meat, but you can.

      1. Hello Andrea,

        Thank you for your comment. There are of course substitutes that contain unhealthy ingredients - but not every vegan eats them.

        In addition, this is specifically about the reasons why honey is not vegan. Of course, agave syrup and the like are also extremely sweet and contain sugar, but they are only meant to make the switch to animal-friendly alternatives easier. You forget that you you could also just not eat any of these sugary products at all - that would probably be the healthiest of all 😉 options.

        Of course it is allowed to eat meat. The consumption of meat is more a question of morality. You love animals, so why do you eat them? It is in any case Not a personal decisionbecause this decision always has a victim and does not only affect you.

        Many greetings

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