Is Honey Vegan?

38755326_10209578843307223_8658041898457366528_nI’ve been asked this question by various vegan friends, and seen it discussed on numerous vegan blogs and forums.  The short and most obvious answer is of course an emphatic ‘no’.  Honey is an animal product, and vegans do not eat or use animal products in any shape or form.  There are, however, many variations to the vegan lifestyle, with some flatly refusing to eat or use any animal products whatsoever and others happy to use certain products if the animals involved are neither harmed nor exploited – such as eggs from garden-kept chickens that will not be killed for meat, and honey produced by small-scale hobby beekeepers (such as myself).   emi cropI totally ‘get’ this, for I too consider food provenance and choose to not eat honey from large-scale producers (buying only from reputable small local beekeepers – and now endeavouring to produce my own).  So yes, I understand the principle.  I am however shocked by the array of misinformation and blatant propaganda circulating around the vegan community with regard to honey; what it is and how it’s produced; much of it promulgated by passionately motivated yet ill-informed enthusiasts, who very clearly have never had a conversation with an actual beekeeper – never mind taken a look inside an actual hive.

Keen to bust some myths, I initially shared my thoughts in what turned out to be a rather long blog post and now offer the same information here, under individual headings addressing some key issues concerning honey and beekeeping in relation to veganism.   Like many 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.

Click on the individual menu links to find out  more …