Why is honey not vegan-friendly?
My husband asked me that exact question lastnight. I told him that I would find out.
Yes,yes, I know that honey is an animal product but I simply couldn’t get it through my head that honey wasn’t cruelty-free. I mean, how could these honey bees be harmed in the making of honey? How could we harm such small creatures?
First let’s talk about Bees. Most people argue that a honeybee is not intelligent, therefore, it’s okay to take the honey from them. Well, if intelligence was what denoted whether we should eat something or not, quite a few humans would have a problem on their hands. Honeybees are, in some ways, intelligent. When trying to find the perfect place to gather nectar from flowers, a couple of bees will scout out an area and then come back to the hive. The bees that came from the places that had a good amount of nectar would be well recieved, while those who came back from a place without nectar would not. The bees would then follow the bee that had been in the nectar-rich area and all benefit from his findings. So, in some way, they communicate and understand one another.
And what exactly is honey? Well, honey is created by honeybees eating, partially digesting and then regurgitating nectar from flowers. Each time they do this (about 50 times for fully developed honey) they sweeten the nectar by breaking down the sugars into more simpler forms and then spreading it around the hive, allowing the heat from sunlight to evaporate the water. Now, just thinking about honey is making me sick to my stomach. I feel like I’m eating sweetened bee spit.
How are these honeybees treated, you ask? Interesting that you should ask that! When I thought of honey farming before today, I thought of a couple bee hives off in the distance from a home, a gentle hum of honeybees and the smell of honey radiating from it. Then I thought about all of those bottles of honey in the stores I go to. Woah, how the heck do they get all that honey from those few, well-tended bee hives?! And the answer is: they don’t. Honeybees are farms exactly like other factory farm animals. They’re placed in tight confinement with thousands of other bees, sedated when needs be, seperated from the hive when needs be and most terrible of all, the queen bee, the mother of all the other bees, is killed off in order to assert control over the hive. How wonderful…
Still feel like eating honey? I know!! It’s just so darned sweet and delicious. And they’re just *REALLY* *REALLY* small animals. Ehh… I can’t live with that. I vowed not to harm any animals, and if eating honey is promoting the pain of the honeybees (even if I’m allergic to them) then I dont know if I can continue to enjoy it as I always have.