The Truth About Honey

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Going vegan, whether it’s overnight or happens in phases, is ultimately a multifaceted transition no matter how you do it.  When we come from a society that infuses animal products in just about everything, and I mean everything, we need to detox ourselves at multiple levels.  From our pantries to our showers to our closets, we typically use animals for our benefit more than we may even realize.

After you’ve gone through the elimination-of-bacon-acceptance-phase and read up about how you can make veggies taste good, you may find yourself learning more and more about what else actually isn’t vegan outside your kitchen.

When I first decided veganism was for me, frankly, I had the thoughts that honey was not that big of a deal to keep using.  I mean, bees make it…plenty of it, so why is it that bad for us to use?

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My German grandmother used to give it to me with my pancakes as a kid.  It helps your sore throat in winter when you have to stay home from work.  It’s in your moisturizer, which promises anti-aging benefits.  It comes in your lip balm and shampoo, even your candles.  It’s everywhere!

If there are so many alleged benefits of its use, why wouldn’t you believe that everything marketed with honey is super good for you?

And that’s what we’re here to uncover in this truth series.

If you’re a vegan who has consumed honey not knowing the implications, let me just tell you: it’s okay, we’re all learning here.  If you’re considering going vegan and want to know why consuming honey is such a big no-no, please keep reading.

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First, here are some quick facts about honey:

  • Bees can starve without honey as it is the energy source for them
  • Honey is full of vital nutrients that bees need during poor weather and the winter season
  • There are thousands of species of bees that pollinate different plants, but there are only seven recognized species of honeybee and they only pollinate specific crops
  • A bee makes only a twelfth of a teaspoon of honey over the course of its WHOLE LIFETIME!

I don’t know about you, but my reaction is “HOLY CRAP!”  We are literally stealing self-made food straight from bees’ mouths and then wondering why they’re going extinct!

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If those facts didn’t catch your attention, check these out:

·      Beekeepers often replace honey in the hive…again, the bee’s highly nutritious food source…and replace it with a sugar substitute, which is horrible for bees’ health since it lacks all the good stuff they need to be healthy little bees!

·      Queen bees often have their wings clipped, which forces her to stay in one place and continue to grow her colony bigger than nature intends

·      By clipping a Queen bee’s wings, a beekeeper is enslaving her when she would typically fly off somewhere else and create a new colony so as to spread out the pollination process

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And it doesn’t stop there…

Bees are bred into productivity, which means their gene pool gets tampered with and diseases can flourish amongst the bee populations.  This is one of the causes of mass bee distinction.

“ These diseases are then spread to thousands of other pollinators we and other animals rely on, disputing the common myth that honey production is good for our environment.” – The Vegan Society

What doesn’t makes sense to me is that when we decide to play “God” by mass breeding or genetically modifying bees, which affects the populations of other insects competing for nectar, ultimately wiping them out, we wonder why the population of bumblebees and some bird species have declined so much.

When we import or export honey, the emissions that come from the transport process has a tremendous carbon footprint, which also tampers with the Earth’s atmosphere.

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So, what now?

If you’re thinking, “Okay, I’ll stop eating honey, but what can I replace it with?” I’ve got a few vegan alternatives suggested by The Vegan Society that can satiate your sweet tooth, be used for any baking needs, and replaced in skin care products.  Keep in mind, buying locally sourced goods will not only decrease your carbon footprint, but it can also help support small, local businesses and show the demand for non-bee products.

Honey alternatives:

  • Maple syrup
  • Date syrup
  • Molasses
  • Butterscotch syrup
  • Golden syrup
  • Agave nectar (my favorite)

At the end of the day, honey is made by bees for bees, not for us.  Please consider the truth.

If you'd like to read more, especially about other ways human kind are affecting bee colonies, here are a few more relevant resources about the truth:

Now, tell me how you feel!  How did this article affect you?  Comment below with your reaction.  I’d love to know!