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Is Honey Vegan?

Ever since going vegan, one topic that I’ve been curious about is whether or not honey is vegan. I’ve been avoiding honey just to be safe, but today I’m going to discuss my research on if honey is really vegan or not.

I first started questioning whether honey is vegan or not after watching a video by Lauren Toyota. She brings up this topic, but concluded with saying that she doesn’t really know if honey is vegan and that eating honey is a different choice for every vegan. From my research, I found that the removal of honey could possibly be unethical since many bees can die after stinging the farmers. Also, honey is replaced with a sugar substitute, which harms the bees, when the farmers remove the honey from the hives. The breeding of honeybees is specifically to increase productivity, which can result in more diseases being spread, since the population gene pool is so narrow. Furthermore, sometimes, large commercial operations take all of the honey, not leaving enough to get the bees through the winter. If the hives are too costly to maintain according to the farmers, they may destroy them using cyanide gas.

However, I did find some information that contradicted this. Some say honey is an all-natural by-product of the necessary pollination of our own food crops. Some say that this is untrue.

What I have concluded from my research is that personally, I don’t believe honey is vegan because of all the unethical practices that go on in honey farming. However, I think that this topic is purely a choice that every vegan has to make. You can make arguments for both sides. It is a decision that varies from vegan to vegan. Just like how some people define vegetarianism differently. Every vegan should research this topic and make a decision that feels right to them. That being said, we cannot shame vegans that eat honey and vice versa. It is purely a choice.

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