Does vegan honey exist?



A bee sitting on a yellow flower

A common question we get asked is ‘do vegans eat honey?’. Since honey is an animal product, the short answer is no.

Although there is no concrete evidence that bees feel pain, they do exhibit complex behaviors and show signs of rudimentary intelligence.

Given that, the honey industry appears to be a very cruel one. It’s not just that the fruit of the bees’ labor is taken away from them – harvesting the honey involves killing larvae and some of the adult bees, as a consequence of smoking the hives or using powerful chemicals as sedatives. Beekeeping includes other harmful practices, such as clipping the queen bee’s wings when she is transferred to a new hive. Furthermore, crowding and genetic modification leave the bees vulnerable to various diseases. The honey industry harms wild animals as well; Beekeepers sometimes kill bears and badgers, which are considered to be predators to the industry. In addition, artificial bee breeding causes changes in pollination patterns, thus harming the entire ecological system.

During a bee’s lifetime, she will only make approximately one teaspoon of honey! But since we don’t need honey in our diets, it’s an easy ingredient to avoid. You can use date syrup, agave nectar, golden syrup, or one of the pre-made vegan honeys instead. A few brands that may be available where you live are The Vegan Honey Company, Blenditup, and The Vegan Honey.

You can even make your own from Apples, Pineapples, or Dandelion. And if you add a floral tea bag, like chamomile or rose, when you make it, you’ll have made flower honey! And after you make it, drizzle it generously on some Banana Pancakes!

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