I’m still confused … Is Honey Vegan?

OK, so the short answer is that no, technically, honey (being an animal product) is not vegan.  boom-5All honeys, however, are not created equal.  Where the large-scale commercial beekeeper (working in collaboration with the large scale commercial farmer) is concerned primarily with financial profit, the small-scale local beekeeper is first and foremost concerned with the welfare of their bees.  Honey produced and sold by a small-scale local beekeeper maintaining high welfare standards to produce a high quality product (uncontaminated with additives and minimally processed) is a totally different thing to the mass produced offerings of the large-scale industrialised honey producers whose jars and bottles line supermarket shelves.  Many small-scale beekeepers are also enthusiastic gardeners or allotment growers, supporting their local environment to support its local bee (and other pollinator insect) population.  Buying and enjoying honey from your local small scale beekeeper actively supports that beekeeper in their endeavours.  So yes, while honey – being an animal product –  is technically not vegan, it very much depends on the honey (where, how, and by whom it’s been produced) and where you – as a vegan – sit on the sliding scale of veganism.   If your blanket rule is ‘no animal products, per se’ then no, you will quite rightly choose not to eat honey.  But if your main concern is the ethics and morals of beekeeping practice and the welfare of honeybees, and you want to support the natural environment as a wider whole, then honey from a small local beekeeper could be for you.  As with most things in life, it is ultimately a matter of personal choice – but a choice that is better made on the basis of accurate information, as opposed to sensationalist propaganda.

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