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When you go vegan, it’s pretty easy to cut out most animal products. You know you no longer eat meat, dairy and eggs, but what about that other grey area? With the industry not known for its mistreatment, many new vegans find themselves asking, is honey vegan?

According to the man who created the word vegan;

Veganism is a way of living which excludes all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, the animal kingdom, and includes a reverence for life.

Even this is a bit tricky when it comes to honey. Some may argue that even though honey is an animal product, there is little to no exploitation or cruelty. In the same kind of way some may argue that wool is still vegan, it’s a natural by-product that animals are not harmed for.

Workers clear honey from dead beehives at a bee farm east of Merced, Calif.
Workers clear honey from dead beehives at a bee farm east of Merced, Calif.

The main issue is that taking a product that an animal produces is still exploitation. Honey bees are also mainly kept in full time factory bee farms, reflecting the production of animal products many of us choose not to consume.

The Queen Bee is also artificially selected instead of occurring naturally, and they are often artificially inseminated. Queens often live up to five years, yet Bee Keepers often replace them every two.

As well as this, her wings are often clipped to stop her from leaving the hive to create a new colony elsewhere. Just because she doesn’t have fur and a cute face doesn’t mean that she isn’t being exploited.

Furthermore, when honey is removed from the hive for humans to consume, it is replaced with a sugar substitute. In order to replace this missing honey, the bees often work themselves to death trying.

is honey vegan

Is honey vegan?

Although some products claiming to be vegan include honey, no, honey can not be called vegan. We exploit the bees and their natural work for our own selfish needs. Honey is also one of the easiest things to substitute! Maple syrup and golden syrup work just as well and are cruelty free.

Bees may not be cute and fluffy, but they still deserve our respect. Our desire for honey exploits them and can be extremely cruel. If you can cut out meat, dairy and eggs, you can most definitely cut out honey too.

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