Bees swarm round a hive as they make honey. Is honey vegan? Some of the brutal practices involved in honey production include insemination and the ripping off of queen bees' wings. Their population is in incline, which puts the environment in danger. - Media Credit: Adobe. Do not use without permission.

Is Honey Vegan? The Not-So-Sweet Truth Behind An ‘Inhumane’ Industry

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10 Minutes Read

Honey dates back centuries of years, but its roots are not as organic as many mass-produced brand labels make out. Whilst honey bees carry out most worldwide pollination, their population is in decline. Many scholars and scientists blame the use of pesticides and intensive farming methods. But is honey vegan?

Nature’s sweet sauce with ‘magical’ properties was even once used as an ingredient in embalming fluid, as well as in cakes and cheeses across history. It’s been linked to a host of health benefits, as it contains antioxidants that have been proven to help lower blood pressure.

A lot of vegans avoid it altogether. This is because it involves animal exploitation. As The Vegan Society states, ‘honey is made by bees for bees’. Many vegans consider it the same as cow’s milk, or consuming eggs as the product made by the animal is not intended for humans.

What is honey?

Bees make honey by collecting nectar from flowers. Then, it is transported back to the hive and turned into honey. It is ‘fundamental’ to a hive’s wellbeing, according to the The Vegan Society.

Honey is made when honey bees collect nectar from flowering plants and turn it from complex sugars to simple sugars inside their stomachs.

The honey bees spend the entire spring and summer season making honey so that it can be stored inside the hive for winter.

“They only eat nectar and pollen from flowers, so when there are no flowers or it’s too cold to get to them, the bees will starve. It is not an individual bee that the honey is feeding but the colony – made up of a queen and about 10,000 worker bees in the winter.”

This is according to Alison Benjamin, co-author of A World Without Bees and Good Bee: A Celebration Of Bees And How To Save Them.

There are more than 20,000 species of bees on the planet, she says, and their life span is just a few weeks – long enough for them to reproduce. All species are reliant on the food they collect from flowering plants.

Bees and the environment

Beekeepers collect honey from beehives. Is honey vegan?
Some species of bees face ex(Credit: Adobe. Do not use without permission)

Benjamin adds: “Nectar is the carbohydrates that fuel their flight. Pollen provides the protein they feed to their larvae so that they can develop into strong, healthy adult bees…

“When bees visit the flowers for their food, they transport some of the pollen from the male part to the female part of the flower, allowing it to reproduce seeds and fruits which is why they are so important for agriculture and the ecosystem. 

“They pollinate one in every three mouthfuls we eat, as well as nuts, berries, and seeds for birds and mammals in the food chain, and the trees and other vegetation on the planet that sequesters carbon in the atmosphere.”

There are more than 90 million beehives across the world, according to Statista. Despite the necessity honey has on bees’ survival, production is a vast multi-million-dollar market and their population is dwindling.

Furthermore, out of 2000 wild bee species in Europe, one in ten is facing extinction, The Soil Association states.

However, further statistics conducted by Bee Culture show a steady rise in honey consumption, as well as in price.

Why vegans don’t eat honey

For most vegans, eating honey is not an option. This is because bees are insects and animals and vegans avoid products made of and by animals.

Equally, many members of the vegan community care for the environment – which insects play a huge part in conserving. It is agreed among many scholars and scientists that a decline in pollinators spells disaster for the environment.

A host of fruits and vegetables would not be able to grow without them, claims Professor Johanna Brunet. ‘Humans depend on plants and plants depend on pollinators. A balance must be maintained in order to sustain life on earth and protect human survival and health’, she says.

How are bees harmed in the honey industry?

As a result of a study into pesticides used on crops, scientists claimed a leading cause behind bee population decline globally is the insecticide, Neonicotinoid. Furthermore, the Science journal authors found the chemical was present in the honey itself.

Whilst investigating for her book, Benjamin discovered millions of honey bees had died due to pesticides, parasites, and poor nutrition. This is a result of the way humans farm, using modern and intensive agriculture, she adds. On a large scale, this causes problems with disease. Benjamin adds: “In the US, large-scale beekeepers regularly report at least a third of their colonies die each year. 

“Lack of nutritious food is also a problem because the bees will be transported to one monoculture after another to pollinate – often thousands of miles apart in the US – but it’s not providing them with a healthy diet, so this again will also make them weak.”

In addition, specifically breeding honey bees to create honey affects the population of other bees, according to The Vegan Society. This has led to a well-documented decline in bumblebee species. Some beekeepers harvest as much honey as possible and instead replace the hive with a sugar substitute. This lacks the nutrients found in honey.

‘Abused for profit’

Workers spray crops with pesticide, a leading cause behind mass die-offs of bees. Is honey vegan?
A leading cause behind bee population decline is the use of pesticides on crops (Credit: Adobe. Do not use without permission)

PETA‘s director, Elisa Allen, deplores the honey production process and say’s they are ‘abused for profit’.

She adds: “They’re subjected to genetic manipulation, their hives are smoked out, and their wings and legs are torn off as they’re pushed out of the way, all so that humans can steal their honey – which is their fuel and their life’s work and rightly belongs to them, not us.

“Many beekeepers use inhumane methods to ensure their own safety and to reach production quotas, including cutting off the queen bee’s wings so that she can’t leave the colony and killing drones to extract semen in order to inseminate the queen.

“It’s easy to avoid honey by choosing delicious vegan options, such as agave nectar or maple syrup.”

Royal jelly, a substance similar to gelatine, is also often harvested from the glands of queen honey bees. It is used in cosmetics. Benjamin says this is the ‘most cruelly produced’ product as it can only be produced on an industrial scale by bees ‘treated purely as royal jelly machines’.

What about almonds and avocados?

However, some argue that anyone who eats almonds or avocados should consider the equally harmful processes used to produce them. 

For example, millions of honey bees are transported around the US to pollinate almond trees, an article published by Scientific American outlined. The same practices are used to pollinate avocados.

It states: “Forcing bees to gather pollen and nectar from vast swaths of a single crop deprives them of the far more diverse and nourishing diet provided by wild habitats. The migration also continually boomerangs honeybees between times of plenty and borderline starvation.”

Benjamin agrees that eating almonds ‘is just as bad for bees’.

She recommends consumers who want to buy honey should do so if it’s to support local beekeepers, who only own a small number of hives and ‘treat the bees well’. Small-scale farmers ‘only take the surplus’, she claims, and ensure the bees have enough for winter.

Vegan substitutes for honey

There are lots of substitutes for honey on the market. These include maple syrup, date syrup, agave nectar, brown rice syrup, coconut nectar, and vegan honea.

Vegan honey substitutes are largely made from natural sources. For anyone questioning whether to eat honey, you can try these instead.

Types of vegan honey

Maple syrup

Maple syrup is a natural sweetener used widely across the globe (Credit: Adobe. Do not use without permission)

Made from the sap of the maple tree, maple syrup is a sweetener with Canadian roots.

For a vegan twist on the classic steamed pudding, you can make this Vegan Steamed Maple Syrup Pudding recipe here.

Buckwud 100% Pure Organic Maple Syrup is available from Holland and Barrett.

Date syrup

A bowl of medjool dates
Date syrup is commonly used in Middle Eastern cooking (Credit: Adobe. Do not use without permission)

Dates are frequently used in cakes and sweet treats. Additionally, they can be made into syrup by soaking, boiling, and sieving.

To make your own date syrup, follow Lazy Cat Kitchen‘s recipe via her website.

Agave Nectar

Agave plant
The Blue Webbar Agave plant is native to Mexico, and produces a sweet sap used to make Agave Nectar. (Credit: Adobe. Do not use without permission)

Agave Nectar comes from the sap of the Blue Webbar Agave plant. It contains less glucose than refined sugars. Additionally, it is naturally sweeter in taste, which means less has to be used to achieve the same taste.

The Groovy Food Company has not one but eleven agave nectar flavors in its range. These include Rich & Dark, Caramel, Chocolate, as well as Honey Flavor and Blueberry.

You can use the Rich & Dark flavor to make these vegan Tahini & Turmeric Granola Bars.

Brown rice syrup

Brown rice against a white background
Brown rice syrup has a higher glycemic index than most other sweeteners (Credit: Adobe. Do not use without permission)

You can whip up your own granola using this sweetener, which as its name suggests is derived from brown rice. It has a higher glycemic index than most other sweeteners.

For the grain-free granola recipe, visit Naturally Ella.

To order your own organic brown rice syrup, visit Biona.

Coconut nectar

Flapjack treats on a white background
Coconut flapjacks made from coconut nectar (Credit: The Coconut Company)

This nectar comes from the sap of coconut trees. Minimally processed, it is widely considered purer than syrups made from coconut sugar.

Add it to dried fruit, dates, and oats to make these Coconut Flapjacks.

You can order Coconut Nectar from The Coconut Company.

Vegan honea

A hand is holding a jar of Plant Based Artisan Vegan Honea, above a bowl of blueberries
Vegan honea is an alternative which often contain prebiotics, which can help improve gut health (Credit: Instagram https://www.instagram.com/p/CCOu2lnp4tM/)

Honea is often made from natural flavorings including apple juice, lemon juice, and molasses. Some vegan honea brands are made with prebiotics which has been proven to help support gut health.

Plant-Based Artisan’s vegan honea range includes a Luxury Honea Butter flavor. The brand boasts a drizzling of its Vegan Honea over friend plant-based chicken.

You can order Plant-Based Artisan’s Vegan Honea online

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The Author

Emily Baker

Emily is a journalist based in Devon, where she reports on issues affecting local people from politics to the environment. She has also written features on feminism for Polyester Magazine.

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neelsn
neelsn
1 year ago

comment image

Martin Hooper
Martin Hooper
1 year ago

What makes you vegans appear utterly, utterly ridiculous, is your apparent distinction between organisms that move, and those that don’t. They are all alive, and NONE of them were meant for humans. So how is it that your not ‘exploiting’ plants? Are you any better than the people that cut down rainforests? I think not. Grow up-our very existence is a matter of consumption, ergo, humans cannot exist without ‘exploiting’ something to survive. Not to mention the only reason you are able to think like you do is because of mankind’s omnivorous diet-we would never have left the tree’s and become what we are, now, without eating meat(protein is the most effective fuel for brain development)- the very existence of veganism is a backwards step for human intelligence, only serving to inflate a personal ego, and provide a ‘soap box’, if you will, for an individual to try and make the rest of the world notice them. I have news for you-the rest of the world doesn’t care, there are much bigger problems at hand. The issue is, how do we make the consumption of NECESSARY meat products environmentally sustainable? People like you only serve to limit humanity, and you should be ashamed of yourself.

Rowland Ross
Rowland Ross
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin Hooper

The only way to make any food ( plant or animal ) sustainable is to reduce the human population and return to more natural farming methods. We’re running out of resources!

Marc
Marc
1 year ago
Reply to  Rowland Ross

Are you volunteering for the suicide with aim to reduce human population?

Rowland Ross
Rowland Ross
1 year ago
Reply to  Marc

You first! I’m only interested in reducing the birth rate.

Marc
Marc
1 year ago
Reply to  Rowland Ross

Firstly, reducing the birth rate is not the best way of reducing the population. By doing that you would cause the population to grow older on average with all the negative consequences of that.
Secondly “more natural methods” are inefficient. So unless you want to spend vast majority of your income for food, that is not going to work – especially in connection with your first idea.
Thirdly, Earth resources in the terms of farming are nearly unlimited – not literally of course, but in relation to the size of population.

Rowland Ross
Rowland Ross
1 year ago
Reply to  Marc

Welcome to Cloud Cuckoo Land.
Sixty yrs of harvests left on worlds major cropping lands.
30 % of greenhouse gases from industrial agriculture ( plant and animal ).
Desertification rate for arable lands 23 hectares per minuet.
Estimated size of human population, whilst maintaining good levels of bio-diversity, and zero greenhouse gases well into the future, 1-2 billion.
So if you’ve got any better ideas other than the dramatic reductio of the birth rate I’m open to suggestions.

Homer Antoniou
Homer Antoniou
1 year ago
Reply to  Rowland Ross

If we stop farming for animal food everything will be fine. Stop eating meat. You don’t need it. You are just being selfish.

Homer Antoniou
Homer Antoniou
1 year ago
Reply to  Rowland Ross

You are completely WRONG. We can be 20 billion Humans on Earth living sustainably and it’ll be fine. Stop spreading silly nonsense. The Earth is enormous and it has enormous capacity to have us all as long as we don’t harm it. REMEMBER: “The more the Humans on Earth, the more the Geniuses. And we need plenty of those to survive and spread to the Universe. Imagine if there was just few million people around and a killer Pandemic or an Armagedonous asteroid fell on Earth. There’ll be no one left. A 7.5 billions population has created all the Science, Philosophy and Arts we wouldn’t have otherwise. Be grateful!”

James Hall
James Hall
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin Hooper

You’re the only one who’s sounding ridiculous here, and I don’t have the patience, time, or inclination to argue with you. Meat products are not “necessary” and nor is a vegan diet or caring for other creatures that we share this planet with “limiting humanity”. Having empathy for another living creature is not a thing to be ashamed of.

Martin Hooper
Martin Hooper
1 year ago
Reply to  James Hall

Yet here you are, arguing with me…..and I have to say, your reply doesn’t seem to make much sense!

Homer Antoniou
Homer Antoniou
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin Hooper

It’s quite obvious that you do not understand the Human Condition. Nothing can be perfect but Death, in life. Human Condition is the state we Humans are in. What we Vegans do is live our lives causing the least friction to the environment and that’s not polluting, not farming animals, abuse them, kill them, sell them and eat them, leave bees alone to do what they know best for the good of everyone and did I mentioned causing the least friction to the environment? If we all eat nothing we’ll all die. If we all eat like you eat, we’ll all die. We Vegans have found a Goldilocks place causing the least harm and still surviving quite well. What have YOU done?

Zachary Champoux
Zachary Champoux
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin Hooper

Do you honestly believe plants deserve the same moral consideration as animals? Are you going to start the first Society for the Ethical Treatment of Apples? Now you’re the one sounding utterly, utterly ridiculous.

The human brain, which uses 20% of our body’s energy, runs off of glucose. Our brains use glucose for energy. Far more likely than your theory that eating flesh evolved us from monkeys, is the fact that we learned how to cook starches. Starches are long chains of glucose, a sustained form of energy for our brain.

Veganism is a step away from the anthropocentric perspective that got us into this mess. If eating flesh is NECESSARY, then why did the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics release an official, peer reviewed statement claiming that a vegan diet is healthy throughout all stages of life?

Rowland Ross
Rowland Ross
1 year ago

Ingested sugars not necessary for brain function ie. Inuit
No evidence of cooked starches being used as a staple. Cranial capacity and intelligence of early Hominins had already increased 2-3fold before cooking arrived, ( Think about it, you can’t gain brain power through cooking unless you’re smart enough to control fire and cook in the first place )
The statement in the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is co authored by 3 vegans.
The consumption of flesh isn’t necessary but only if you live in a society that can supply you with a wide range of alternatives and supplements, which most of the world do not.

Homer Antoniou
Homer Antoniou
1 year ago
Reply to  Rowland Ross

The Inuit people are the exception not the rule. Plus, of course they eat plants during the Spring/Summer months. Why do I need to tell you that most of them have moved to civilised areas where they can live like Human beings? And why do I need to tell you that the ones who remained in icy territories get groceries and supplements from outside during the Winter months? Perhaps you could tell us of Inuit innovations and literature before they were found by Europeans.

Rowland Ross
Rowland Ross
1 year ago
Reply to  Homer Antoniou

Ill-informed, arrogant, and not far from racist.

Michael
Michael
1 year ago
Reply to  Rowland Ross

If eating meat is what caused our brains to develop, why don’t sabertooth tigers reign supreme on this planet, enslaving humanoid monkeys with their superior intelligence?

But in all seriousness, nobody really knows how or why the brain developed – some say it’s a result of hunting and the necessary memorization/tracking abilities, some say it was induced by the consumption of psychedelic mushrooms.

In the end, we don’t know. We only know that we can eat & digest meat as well as plant foods. So it’s a matter of personal choice. And all in all, we’ll be better off if we eat local, and yes, put a little more focus on the plant aspect – this is also better for health and longevity. Processed foods high in animal fats and sugar, and meat that doesn’t even look like meat any more, will kill both us and the environment in the long run.

Zachary Champoux
Zachary Champoux
1 year ago
Reply to  Rowland Ross

The brain uses 20% of the human body’s energy and it uses glucose. This is fact. Inuit are ketogenic, a state of starvation where the brain is forced to use ketones for energy instead. In 2009 they found remains of a village in Mozambique from 105,000 years ago and concluded they lived off of starches.

Zachary Champoux
Zachary Champoux
1 year ago
Reply to  Rowland Ross

Grains and legumes are the cheapest and most widely available foods in the world.

Zachary Champoux
Zachary Champoux
8 months ago
Reply to  Rowland Ross

Inuit live on the outskirts of civilization in a c I stunt state of ketosis. All large, successful civilizations were and continue to live on starch-based diets.

What does it matter if 3 vegans co-authored the statement? Should I dismiss all papers and statements written by carnists? Their statement is based on meta-analysis of dietary and nutritional literature.

Rowland Ross
Rowland Ross
8 months ago

“ Carnist” is a term invented by vegans to describe those that don’t subscribe to animal rights dogma ie. Normal people.

Pure science should be open to all facts and should never come from a fixed position, or allow emotions to dictate the outcome of any research, ie a belief in no animal usage. Would you believe a researcher that had ties to the meat industry? or a Jehovahs Witness on the validity of evolution? The only reason you defend the three vegans is because you hope they will promote your cause (they may be right?).

As a Biocentrist I don’t care too much what other people eat providing it doesn’t damage the Biosphere, which invariably it does. Civilizations are all starched-based,( as is the SWD (Standard Western Diet) because they rely on large populations supported by agriculture, the Inuit at least did no damage.

Ardenpops
Ardenpops
1 year ago

I keep bees – just a few hives as a hobby. All the small beekeepers I know keep bees because they want to help the environment and a fascinated by the bees which are amazing creatures. We feed the bees so they survive when there is not much forage and only take a small amount of honey and leave ample to see the bees through the winter. Sometimes I take no honey at all. I understand that commercial breaking is very different so agree that honey is best bought from local enthusiasts.

What this article misses is that unfortunately, due to diseases and pests such as the varroa mite, most bee colonies can no longer survive in the wild. Swarms that are not caught by beepers normally decline and die.

Beekeepers have to regularly check their bees for disease and pests and intervene with treatments to keep them alive. The diseases may well exist due to the prevalence of pesticides in the environment and the decline of natural habitat. But the clock cannot be easily be wound back.

Without beekeepers there would be far far fewer honey bees which are a key pollinator species. Without pollination there would be lot less food for everyone , and possibly not enough to for mankind to survive.

Please research better and understand the bigger issues before you have the luxury of debating whether honey is vegan.

lovemyhoney
lovemyhoney
11 months ago
Reply to  Ardenpops

Honey is also kosher and halal.

Grumpy
Grumpy
8 months ago
Reply to  lovemyhoney

Not really relevant surely

Andrew Hartley
Andrew Hartley
1 year ago

Looks like these extreme vegans are going to starve themselves into extinction. I will leave them alone to eat what they want to eat as long as they leave me alone to eat what I want.

Homer Antoniou
Homer Antoniou
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Hartley

Exactly who stopped you from eating what you want?

Homer Antoniou
Homer Antoniou
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Hartley

You can eat what you want at the expense of your health and our environment. Why think about all of us and the Earth’s Flora and Fauna, when you can think about yourself?

Andrew Hartley
Andrew Hartley
1 year ago
Reply to  Homer Antoniou

I totally agree.

John Coe
John Coe
1 year ago

The bottom line in all of this and global warming, deforestation, pollution and mass-extinction is simply that THERE ARE TOO MANY HUMANS IN THE WORLD. The incessant demand for more of everything is unsustainable and will ultimately and inevitably lead to ruin for the environment and obviously us too.
If we, as a species, could humanely reduce our rate of reproduction and at least maintain our present world population or at best reduce it over time, a lot of the problems we and our descendants face would probably go away.
Loss of bees is a loss of a vital link in the chain of the natural world. It is but one of many issues we have to face and address, if not then what we’ll have to face will be a whole lot worse.

Homer Antoniou
Homer Antoniou
1 year ago
Reply to  John Coe

You are completely WRONG. We can be 20 billion Humans on Earth living sustainably and it’ll be fine. Stop spreading silly nonsense. The Earth is enormous and it has enormous capacity to have us all as long as we don’t harm it. REMEMBER: “The more the Humans on Earth, the more the Geniuses. And we need plenty of those to survive and spread to the Universe. Imagine if there was just few million people around and a killer Pandemic or an Armagedonous asteroid fell on Earth. There’ll be no one left. A 7.5 billions population has created all the Science, Philosophy and Arts we wouldn’t have otherwise. Be grateful!”

Ali the date farmer
Ali the date farmer
1 year ago

As a date farmer I understand that I need bees…. If I don’t have bees I don’t get dates. If I don’t have dates how can you get your vegan date syrup?

Marc
Marc
1 year ago

So, vegans don’t eat eggs or milk as it is not made by animals specifically for human consumption. As I understand when lettuce grows it is only becouse it wants to be eaten by the humans? Have you discussed it with lettuce?

Mark
Mark
1 year ago

Bee’s don’t reproduce, only the queen can!

Claptrap
Claptrap
1 year ago

Not exploiting animals is not the only reason why people become vegan, in fact I believe it is the weakest reason for many… Anyway, back to the bees. I believe (That means I have no evidence) that The major reason for bees dying is pollutants, not exclusively insecticides. Secondly, bees that are exclusively used for pollinating certain crops (which gives us various flavours, and colours of honey) are as certain to suffer from the same health problems as us eating the same thing all our lives. However, wild bees are also dying at an alarming rate and suffer from the same parachutes and diseases, so commercial practices do not explain everything.
My brother is a small honey producer, but it is still his business more than a hobby – he does loan his bees to farmers but the nests are rotated between different crops but mostly his honey is from seasonal wild flowers: it gives the best flavour. He stops collecting honey more than two months before winter, earlier if the weather has been poor and makes sure the bees have enough… You are not allowed to sell honey commercially unless you are licenced by beekeepers union, which has strict rules about bees’ welfare – if any beekeeper is found harming the bees like mentioned in this article, the owner will be fine or indicted under the same animal protection laws as cattle or pets, as well as losing his licence to keep bees for life.

Darrell Sawczuk
Darrell Sawczuk
1 year ago
Reply to  Claptrap

Thank you for your comment. Very insightful. Insecticides are a huge issue, let’s hope we can tackle that also.

Martha washington
Martha washington
2 days ago

Parachutes are a huge issue too

Homer Antoniou
Homer Antoniou
1 year ago

In your list of Vegan sweeteners, you forgot to mention “SWEET FREEDOM” which is a plant based fruit syrup made in UK. It looks, smells, runs and tastes like honey but it’s made just with three ingredients, apples, grapes and carob. It has NO preservatives, NO GMOs, it’s source of fibre, it has low GI so it’s not so bad for diabetic people and it only has 13 calories per teaspoon. For information and recipes go to https://www.sweetfreedom.co.uk

Darrell Sawczuk
Darrell Sawczuk
1 year ago
Reply to  Homer Antoniou

Thank you for mentioning 🙂

retired40
retired40
7 months ago

I wonder just how many Vegan women, abort their babies?

Martha washington
Martha washington
2 days ago
Reply to  retired40

Every. Single. One.

David Reising
David Reising
6 months ago

It was a great blessing to me seeing this article because I was recently signed up for voluntary work at a local Cathedral where they keep bees. It was the first time I’d visited such a place and it didn’t sit well with me the simple fact that the bees are imprisoned in those man-made hives. I lost my cool and angrily explained this the next time I was due to be involved at a different cathedral (Salford and Manchester in the UK). I was embarassed with my behaviour and didn’t think anyone would understand my point of view but clearly I’m not the only one who thinks this way. I’ve only been a vegetarian for a little over a year but I’m so glad I converted and I’ve honestly found it not too difficult at all. I did kind of phase the meat out of my life because I didn’t want to tell my family at first so that actually made it a smoother transition for me. I used explanations like I’m trying to be healthier but eventually I made my announcement over dinner one evening late in November.

priadi
11 days ago

honey is very good to healty

Plant Based News Admin
Editor
Plant Based News Admin
10 days ago
Reply to  priadi

Hi, honey is made by bees for bees. Not for humans.

Martha washington
Martha washington
2 days ago

I consider myself vegan, but i do eat honey. It is hypocritical, and i am ok with that under the circumstances. This article and a few of the comments herein demonstrate a sort of overlooked piece of the puzzle without really admitting the consequences- bee population collapse is caused by diseases and parasites spread through industrial agricultural pollinating practices. This is used for a very diverse list of fruit and vegetable products we would otherwise consider vegan, and we all eat these things and then extol the cruel practices of harvesting honey. I wonder if we need to accept that we cannot be vegan for the sake of bees. without them we have none of the foods we rely on, and we cannot support our civilization.

farms in china have pollinated apple orchards by hand, with an incredible success rate, but each one of those apples would cost $20. Some day we might be able to develop synthetic ai driven bee “drones”, but For now without bee abuse, we simply will die of famine and war.

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