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Colorado Springs Vegan Events Message Board › Should Vegans Eat Honey?

Should Vegans Eat Honey?

A former member
Post #: 2
Hey I am wondering if vegans should eat honey or not? I'm thinking not because vegans care about all living things and that counts bee's, right? but honey is soo good for you so I'm just kind of lost.
user 7165713
Colorado Springs, CO
Post #: 183
Honey is a controversial subject for some vegans. This is a good article to read (look towards the end specifically).


Tinya D.
user 7766271
Colorado Springs, CO
Post #: 5
Ahhh yes, a GREAT topic!

Albert Einstein once said...
“If the bee disappears from the surface of the earth, man would have no longer than four years to live.”

Do not forget for one moment that bees are responsible for the pollination of over ninety percent of the plants we eat. If we don’t have pollination, we don’t have plants, and if we don’t have plants…well, we don’t have food. Many species of bees are either now extinct or endangered by our actions, and this includes the bumblebee and the honeybee - the later species of course is exploited for honey and other derivatives.

We should consider protecting our bees rather than exploiting them.
Kaiserslautern, DE
Post #: 154
We are all on different journeys. Once doing your research, you'll hopefully find what feels right for you. Honey certainly does have some nutritional value (power packed). If you choose to omit honey, the nutrients and energy can easily be found in a healthy, well-rounded plant based lifestyle.
If it's the sweetness you are craving then there are alternatives (like pure maple syrup, brown rice syrup, stevia). We have chosen to stay away from Agave (that's another story). As for most sweeteners, there is no nutritional need for them.
Vegans will typically avoid honey with the intent of not supporting the exploitation of bees. However, a lot of fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, etc. consumed by vegans would not be available without the necessary work (and some might say here, exploitation) of bees.
Ultimately, the best advice I have received is "do what you can and don't resign to doing nothing at all".

List of crops pollinated by bees:­
Ann V S.
Morrison, CO
Post #: 481
I agree with doing the very best we can. The good thing is, I have seen it getting easier and easier to live a healthy plantbased lifestyle, since going vegan 18 years ago. There is so much science to support it and so many more doctors working to promote it. Lucky for us, but even more lucky for the animals!

After asking a few of my vegan nutritionist, dietician and doctor friends about it, I am told if I must eat sweetener, agave nectar is a good, lower glycemic choice. The honey and sugar industry, would prefer we not think so. Honey is very high glycemic. It's meant to be high energy bee food, which they need to buzz around very fast. We humans don't need it. Kind regards!
A former member
Post #: 17
I don't eat it. It's bee food, not "me" food, regardless of what the honey industry says. It's easy enough to not eat it, I think, though it does require some extra scrutiny of labels.
Betsy K.
user 11269426
Colorado Springs, CO
Post #: 22
The subject of agave came up in a fibro group and one member said she wouldn't use it - didn't say why, just that she had sources she trusted who told her not to consume it. I recently heard on TV that some organic brown rice syrup was found to have high levels of arsenic in it. What's a person to do or believe?
Ann V S.
Morrison, CO
Post #: 482
Agave nectar and brown rice syrup are two different issues. Arsenic is naturally in many foods. We can infest with no worries in most cases. It is in brown rice and of course will be somewhat more concentrated in the syrup that is extracted. Small amounts of the syrup is ok for us, but it was being used in formula for babies. Since they are smaller and young, it isn't safe for them.

As for agave nectar, there was an article put out by a doctor who is paid by the animal industry to do studies and write articles. He claims that agave is like corn syrup. There is no proof that what he wrote is true. Of course, once something is out there, it does damage before it fades away. There is a rumor that the honey industry was behind the disparaging of agave nectar, which makes sense, but it was catching on fast and cutting into their bottom line. It started dying out when some of the honey companies got into the agave nectar business. We vegans need to be careful what food rumors we pass along, without doing research first. We might be helping to harm a vegan product that is totally fine.

Kaiserslautern, DE
Post #: 155
Hi Betsy,
Kevin Gianni is a good source to help clarify and present topics. Here's a helpful article he posted on sweetners.­

Here's his take on Agave (addressing it's similarity to high fructose corn syrup)... and yes, this info made sense and did cause us to stop using it.­­

Dr. Mercola may be the Dr. that Ann is talking about. He is a controversial Doctor. Here is an article he wrote in regards to Agave:­

It is overwhelming but the bottom line seems to be: use sweetners in moderation or for the occasional "treat".
Ann V S.
Morrison, CO
Post #: 483
Yes, I was referring to Dr. Mercola. I have had more than one vegan dietician and nutritionist discount the high fructose corn syrup comparison to agave and call agave nectar low glycemic (sutible for diabetics in many cases), compared to sugar, maple syrup or honey, which are high glycemic. They prefer people use stevia, which I find disgusting, so they tell me if I must use sweetener but won't use stevia, agave is ok. These are folks who prefer we use no sweetener. They also have nothing to gain by damaging the reputation of agave nectar or by encouraging it's use either.

Regardless of what you discover or choose to believe about agave nectar, honey is absolutely not health food (and can be in fact, dangerous to babies and the elderly) and it does cause intentional harm to bees, so therefore is not vegan.
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