Wondering why vegans:inside don't eat honey and if it's even a vegan food? 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 be rather in the gray area. Especially because honey is usually not consumed every day, bees are small animals about which we know rather little and because, at least at first glance, no animal has to die for it.
In this article I would now like to explain the second look and show you why honey is not vegan. Let's go!
Here you can find a short overview in advance. Vegan:inside do not eat honey because...
- Bees make the honey for themselves
- honey production is exhausting
- we manipulate the animals for the honey
- Honey bees are exploited in mass breeding
- Bees are injured and die
- Honey is not particularly healthy
- there are plant-based alternatives
- Wild bees are important for biodiversity
- Bees are living beings and not commodities
- Wild bees are essential for the survival of us humans
10 reasons why vegans do not eat honey
As you will see from the following points, there are both ethical and environmental reasons to avoid consuming honey and, in general, products made by bees, such as beeswax.
1. because bees make honey for themselves
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. However, there are of course also beekeepers who deliberately leave their bees large portions of the honey they produce themselves. But since there is no certainty for it, Veganer:innen simply do without the consumption of honey completely.
Bees are thus able to produce their own food by swallowing and regurgitating the nectar from flowers and other plants over and over again. Loosely speaking, honey is therefore Bee vomit.
2. because the production of honey is exhausting
The process of extracting honey from a hive is extremely stressful for bees. 12 worker bees need about their entire life to produce one teaspoon of honey₁, which we devour in a second.
Bees are, as has been proven, intelligent, sentient creatures that can feel emotions such as fear or joy. Therefore, vegans abstain from honey mainly for ethical and moral reasons.
3. because we manipulate the animals for the 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 Queen bee you fix in a holder and then fertilize it with the seed of 8-12 crushed drones instrumentally. (below in the embedded video you can see the same in practice).
Your will both wings separatedso that it remains in the hive - the other bees stand by it 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
"Why are vegans not allowed to eat honey?" - We should replace the word "may" with "want". Because veganism is first and foremost a question of Adherence to one's own moral values. And since honey production is an exploitation of animals, vegan:in 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 inseminated and selectively bred for our benefit. Their gene pool is thereby reduced - and the risk of disease increased. 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, a lack of food to parasites.
Before the winter period, often even the entire bee colony is killed, because it would be uneconomical to feed the animals through the cold season. One method of doing this is the hive douse with gasoline and set on fire.
Further for example, they to gasify and fumigate or she drown in soapy water. Cruelty to animals is thus also a substantial factor for the fact that Veganer.innen does not eat honey and/or for the fact that honey is not vegan.
6. because honey is not very healthy
Honey is not vegan, nor is it particularly healthy. It consists mainly of caloric fructose and glucose - so from fructose and glucose.
Besides the Weight gain can also Dental problems and a Elevated blood glucose level be the result of excessive consumption of honey.
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 do without honey and products with honey:
- Maple syrup (is available here*)
- Sugar beet syrup (is available here*)
- Marigold honey (is available here*)
- Date syrup (is available here*)
- Agave syrup / agave syrup (is available here*)
- Dandelion honey (is available here*)
- Oilcloths from vegetable wax instead of beeswax (is available here*)
This selection confirms that we do not depend on the consumption of honey - not even for the taste. My personal favorites, by the way, 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 for animal products, with which you can make the transition to a vegan lifestyle much easier.
8. because wild bees are important for biodiversity
Most of us know that bee populations are declining worldwide and this is a major driver of the Species extinction is. However, this does not apply to the bred honey bee - their population continues to increase because we want to eat honey. But this does not help the wild bees.
On the contrary. The increasing honey bee populations endanger through 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" therefore also means "saving ecosystems"!
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 for just under 30 euros it's yours. The wings are already clipped. On the Internet you can even buy whole hives and order them conveniently by 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 essential for the survival of humans
As the number of honey bees increases, the number of wild bees, which unlike honey bees, are essentially responsible for pollinating and thus also for the growth of plants, is dwindling. Plants that we need to survive.
The decline of wild bees thus ultimately jeopardizes our food security and thus also our survival - and overall 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 - and actually to feed themselves from it. 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, flowering strips, and gardens and balconies as a food source. They also need Waterwhich they absorb from the nectar and moist leaves of the plants, among other things.
Which honey is vegan?
There are some plant-based honey alternatives that have similar properties to bee honey. These include especially 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 finally pictures from the practice, which support all the mentioned reasons why vegans do not 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 to be able to eat honey - although there are vegetable alternatives.
"If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, then man would have only four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man."Albert Einstein (more under Animal welfare quotes)
I hope this article has helped you understand why vegans don't eat honey. If you want to do something for the preservation and protection of wild bees, then be sure to check out my post on the bee friendly garden in and plant wildflowers. Have fun with the implementation!
Stay animal-friendly and sustainable,
PS: More insects also automatically ensure more birds chirping in the garden. At Create bird friendly garden you'll learn how to enjoy more of it in your own greenery in the future. In another post you can also like to experience, 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 https://t1p.de/ub7f. [16.03.2023].