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 Post subject: Honey?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 9:28 am 
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Hi there!

I am new at the forum, a grown-up-to-be from Sweden so, I hope I don't make any obvious and embarrassing spelling mistakes. Heh. Okay, here we go:

What is your opinion about honey? I think its so hard to decide, the honey in itself is not an animal product, but you can talk about the ethical aspect of keeping/using animals.
At the same time, I think it's important to support natural pollination.

As of right now I eat locally produced honey. Does this make me a "fake" vegan?

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 Post subject: Re: Honey?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 11:32 am 
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Since I'm also new to veganism, I'm probably not the best person to answer this, but I don't think eating honey makes you a "fake" vegan. Personally, I like Colleen Patrick-Goudreau's assertion that "being vegan is not about attaining an impossible level of purity in order to become a 100 percent vegan. There is no such thing--the world is just too imperfect for that..."

You might find inspiration in her book "Vegan's Daily Companion" or her podcast--in particular the "Myth of the 'Perfect' Vegan" episode.

Elizabeth


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 Post subject: Re: Honey?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 12:02 pm 
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I totally agree that supporting natural pollination is important, however I don't eat honey because it's partially digested, regurgitated nectar and it comes out of a bee.


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 Post subject: Re: Honey?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 12:25 pm 
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I think threads like this often get shut down, but you should know this is not a black and white issue. I prefer not to call myself vegan, mostly because because I do eat honey. Some do consider this to be a philosophical difference--the question at the heart of the matter is whether or not you consider bees and other insects to be sentient, and, if so, how honey production affects them.

I would encourage you to read up on this issue and draw your own conclusions. Google is always a good place to start--of course be aware of the source of information as you read. I think what's most important is to avoid harming sentient animals, and by and large most of the harm is done in meat, dairy, and egg production.


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 Post subject: Re: Honey?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 12:35 pm 
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There's a rule about honey threads.

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 Post subject: Re: Honey?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 12:43 pm 
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B_A_D wrote:
There's a rule about honey threads.

I was wondering to myself whether there was a REAL rule, or just a red-food-coloring-and-pasta-salad kind of rule.

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 Post subject: Re: Honey?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 1:01 pm 
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The rule is that I watch for them to get heated and then post something ridiculous. Go, argue! I'm looking forward to it!

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 Post subject: Re: Honey?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 1:03 pm 
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torque wrote:
B_A_D wrote:
There's a rule about honey threads.

I was wondering to myself whether there was a REAL rule, or just a red-food-coloring-and-pasta-salad kind of rule.

Generally, Isa has allowed them as long as there has been a long gap since the last one. However, they always end the same way - do what you think is right. Some people eat it, some people don't. It's not an issue that gets my knickers in a twist.

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 Post subject: Re: Honey?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 1:15 pm 
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when people ask, my spouse loves to give this example in regards to why he doesn't eat honey:

"imagine it's thanksgiving day. you're been getting ready for days - made all the shopping trips to different stores for ingredients, you've menu planned liked crazy and you've just spent the last few days prepping food and cooking your butt off. you invite all your friends and family over - setting the table with your finest plates and you're beaming with pride because you've just made this glorious meal for htem with so much love and heart. as everyone is sitting down to this feast you've prepared suddenly someone rips the roof off of your home, swoops down knocking everyone to the floor and steals the entire feast. sure, you're not dead, but you're dazed, banged up, saddened and also pretty fork'n pissed because someone just stole the meal you put your sweat and heart into making."


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 Post subject: Re: Honey?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 1:22 pm 
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Presumably you are vegan because you want to minimize the harm to animals in the products that you buy and use. My understanding is that many bees end up dying when honey is collected. Plus, bees work hard to produce honey so they have something to eat through the winter. They don't do it for shiitakes and giggles.

It's really up to you if that fits into your ethical framework or not, and, ideally, it should be a question of fitting into your overall ethical framework (one that may value natural pollination and thus local honey) rather than fitting the definition of vegan.

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 Post subject: Re: Honey?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 1:57 pm 
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Welcome! It's been awhile since we had a honey thread, but I'm not sure much has changed. So I'm going to direct you to an old one that might help.
viewtopic.php?f=9&t=14455&hilit=honey

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 Post subject: Re: Honey?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 1:59 pm 
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Get yourself a bottle of agave nectar. Problem solved. It even works as well when you have a gross, itchy, sore throat.

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 Post subject: Re: Honey?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 2:10 pm 
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Thank you for all your answers! My boyfriend and I always have a lot of ethical discussions but it is always nice to get different perspectives.

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 Post subject: Re: Honey?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 2:12 pm 
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We use honey and I also try not to call myself vegan. I just tell people I am following a plant based diet, that way, nothing can be thrown back in my face when I make a mistake. Myself included.

Also, I noticed there is a big difference in locally sourced honey and the stuff you buy at the store. At the farmers market, the soap ladies also sell honey. They use some of the beeswax I think and then have honey leftover. But in their story of how many bee boxes they have, they assured me that they leave enough honey for the bees that they can make it through the winter.

I am doing my part in helping the bees too because I have this basil "bush" in my garden and I haven't taken it out yet because the bees love the little white flower buds. I say "bush" because it is a massive basil plant.

That "feast" analogy really gets me thinking.


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 Post subject: Re: Honey?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 2:54 pm 
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Bees scare the crepe out of me. I don't use honey because it would keep them in a job.

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 Post subject: Re: Honey?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 3:06 pm 
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i don't eat honey, but if i were to have an orchard or something, i would house bees. i've read that bees really do fill up boxes upon boxes if new ones continue to be provided after their current ones are filled.

i don't know yet if i would use the bounty myself, but i would definitely always leave them a full box or two at all times. "passive beekeeping" i suppose.

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 Post subject: Re: Honey?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 6:05 pm 
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lavawitch wrote:
Get yourself a bottle of agave nectar. Problem solved. It even works as well when you have a gross, itchy, sore throat.


For real? This is pretty much the only reason I still keep honey around, so that's pretty good news to me.

There is a recipe in Vegan Desserts to make honey-flavored agave nectar.


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 Post subject: Re: Honey?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 6:22 pm 
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Yes, totally true! It has the same oozy, soothing coating effect that honey has.

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 Post subject: Re: Honey?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 7:30 pm 
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torque wrote:
B_A_D wrote:
There's a rule about honey threads.

I was wondering to myself whether there was a REAL rule, or just a red-food-coloring-and-pasta-salad kind of rule.


What's the issue with pasta salad?

Another one here who doesn't eat honey. Along with agave, which I love, there's lots of yummy syrups to choose from, like golden syrup (not particularly healthy but oh so delicious!), maple, & I love the Sweet Freedom Natural Syrup which is made as a honey alternative from various fruits.

In regards to sentience, the jury's still out on that one - we learn so many incredible things about the insect world all the time. I was just reading the other day how bees can count. Even so, bees obviously have instincts & a will to live, so I believe they deserve the right to fulfill those instincts.

As for itchy throats... I don't know if it's available in the US because the one I get is made here in Australia, but olive leaf extract is amazing for a cough & sore throat - it's like dousing a fire it's so effective. I get an olive leaf oral spray & it's so incredible that I recommend it to people all the time & they in turn are amazed at how great it is. I swear by it.

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 Post subject: Re: Honey?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 8:15 pm 
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don't forget slippery elm for sore throats!!

Karena- pasta salad and red food coloring were topics that, unpredictably, turned into absolute nuclear-warhead threads back in the misty dawn of PPK. Extra fiery, and to this day invoked to represent absolute flaming shitstorm.

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 Post subject: Re: Honey?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 8:20 pm 
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Thanks for the tip on the olive leaf! I'd never heard that (we use slippery elm, and it works really well), but will add it to the arsenal.

I don't see any need to eat honey. We have friends who are urban bee keepers and they say that they leave enough for the insects, but I still can't see that the process of gathering honey is crueltyfree (love Happyfaced's analogy!)

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 Post subject: Re: Honey?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 8:27 pm 
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I think honey is really easy to avoid in its syrupy form but a lot harder to avoid in bread and products like that. I avoid the syrup always and avoid it in bread products 99% of the time. If there's no other bread available, I don't have the money for it or something like that, it's not the end of the world. It really isn't. I know people want to be the best vegans possible but sometimes it's not always practical and especially with honey, honestly, it's not like you're kicking puppies in the face.

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 Post subject: Re: Honey?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 9:13 pm 
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I don't buy honey or products with honey in them, but I don't ask in restaurants about whether there's honey in bread or anything.


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 Post subject: Re: Honey?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 12:04 am 
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daisychain wrote:
Bees scare the crepe out of me. I don't use honey because it would keep them in a job.


ALL RIGHT! Solidarity, my sibling in bee discrimination!

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 Post subject: Re: Honey?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 12:23 am 
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Mr. Shankly wrote:
I think honey is really easy to avoid in its syrupy form but a lot harder to avoid in bread and products like that. I avoid the syrup always and avoid it in bread products 99% of the time. If there's no other bread available, I don't have the money for it or something like that, it's not the end of the world. It really isn't. I know people want to be the best vegans possible but sometimes it's not always practical and especially with honey, honestly, it's not like you're kicking puppies in the face.

Sometimes I kick puppies in the face. Is that not vegan?


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