Find out why plant-based doesn’t mean vegan and vegan doesn’t mean plant-basedRead More
Filtering by Tag: honey
I have ummed and arred about writing this post a fair bit! However, I think it's better that you're aware and empowered, rather than, unaware and disappointed as a result.Read More
Why is it helpful to have a definition of what veganism?
I wrote this definition to create a tool to communicate what you are willing to consume, so that it's easier on you and others.
Confusion about the many terms regarding what people eat
There are loads of different terms for people to remember.
- Those who eat fish but no other meat of any sort are Pescetarians.
- If you eat chicken and no other meat, you're a Pollo vegetarian.
- If someone says they are vegan but they eat meat, fish, honey, eggs etc. i.e. the only thing they have excluded from their diet is dairy; they are not vegan. They fall under the dairy-free category.
The definition of a vegan diet
A vegan diet includes any item that has not come from a living being e.g. an animal or insect. Examples of excluded foods are honey, eggs, fish, meat and products using the milk from an animal e.g. cream, milk, cheese, yogurt, butter etc. Vegan foods include vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, pulses and grains. Alternatives to dairy products can be made from oats, rice, soya or nuts.
A tool to help illustrate what vegans eat
A friend of mine made a chart to show the differences between what a vegan would eat and what a 'pure' vegetarian would eat. I hope you find it helpful.
"The soul is the same in all living creatures, although the body of each is different."
I wanted my journey from vegan diet, to following a fuller plant-based lifestyle, to be based on research and reflection, rather than, hearsay. Although I learned about some things which made me feel remorse, I was glad that I could make informed decisions about what I will and will not be part of.
Is honey healthy?
Honey is rich in fructose, which is unhealthy. However, it is also rich in various antioxidants, which is healthy. It is at healthier than sugar but whether it is good for you/safe to eat will depend on the individual. It will also be determined by which, if any, conditions they suffer from.
The myths about honey
Bees produce lots of honey and they don't need it all. We're doing them a favour by taking some of it. They can replace what we take quickly so it doesn't bother them.
Theft and poor quality food substitution for the bees
One of the reasons that vegans don't consume honey, is that bees spend many hours to make it. They make for themselves to consume, so some vegans feel that taking it from them is stealing. Pollen is the honeybee's primary source of nutrition but honey is their only food source, which they depend on during the cold weather. Large commercial operations often take all the honey instead of leaving enough for the bees to get through the winter. The honey is then replaced with a cheap sugar substitute, which isn't as good for the bees.
The harm done to the bees in the beehive
Others don't like the harm that occurs when the honey is removed. Bees are often squashed and killed in the process. Also, during 'unproductive' months some bee-keepers starve their bees to death or burn the hive to save on costs. In order to prevent the queen bee from leaving the hive, some honey producers cut their wings off.
Artificial insemination and disposal of queen bees
Some vegans don't approve of manipulating living beings. One of the ways that bees are manipulated and controlled involves killing the queen bees to prevent swarming, aggression, mite infestation, and to keep honey production to a maximum. Queens are chosen by the keepers and they are artificially inseminated. Queens often live for half as long as they would naturally, because many commercial bee-keepers dispose of them early on.
Why I won't use honey
The conclusion I came to after finding out about the processes above, is that we don't need honey to survive and there's too much harm involved, for me to be alright with it.
"Bees are hardworking animals who deserve to keep the labour of their work. Stealing products from them is a form of exploitation, which should and can be easily avoided. Honey can be replaced by rice syrup, barley malt, maple syrup, molasses, sorghum or fruit concentrates."
This poem defines a vegan diet.
I No Longer Steal From Nature
You are diseased in understanding and religion. Come to me, that you may hear something of sound truth.
Do not unjustly eat fish the water has given up, And do not desire as food the flesh of slaughtered animals, Or the white milk of mothers who intended its pure draught for their young, not noble ladies.
And do not grieve the unsuspecting birds by taking eggs; for injustice is the worst of crimes.
And spare the honey which the bees get industriously from the flowers of fragrant plants; For they did not store it that it might belong to others, Nor did they gather it for bounty and gifts.
I washed my hands of all this; and wish that I Perceived my way before my hair went gray!
Al-Ma’arri (973-1057), Baghdad (modern Iraq)
Source - Beautiful Vegan
"Veganism is not about giving anything up or losing anything; it is about gaining the peace within yourself that comes from embracing non-violence and refusing to participate in the exploitation of the vulnerable"
Gary L. Francione
In this post I am going to share my journey, which went from eating meat, to consuming vegetarian food, and then making a shift to a vegan diet.
I find it interesting to hear what motivates others to change what they eat, because the reasons are often very different.Read More