Saturday, September 29, 2012

A Word About Honey

   Hello All,

   I'd like to share my thoughts on honey with you.  I know I mentioned that I used it while I was sick to try and speed up my healing, but I didn't feel good about it (chalk it up to a guilty conscience).  First off, most vegans do not consume honey as it's not vegan.  So, I thought I'd explain a bit in this post.  Before you jump to any conclusions or assumptions, I'd also like to say first that I did not receive any rude or questioning emails from readers wondering why I was consuming honey.  On the contrary, I have the best readers who only leave lovely comments and send super kind emails.  That being said, I wouldn't mind if someone had questioned me about it.  I welcome all kinds of questions as long as they are coming from a good place.  In fact, earlier this week my brother sent me a message with some "constructive criticism" for my blog.  I mean, it had to do with the fact that my nail polish was not perfect in one of my posts (thanks, bro) but I appreciated it all the same.  Next time, I hope to get a message saying that I've inspired him to eat less meat... now that would be amazing!

   I'm writing this post to shine some light (for those that are curious) as to why most vegans don't eat honey.  Actually, it's more about why I don't eat or like to use honey, as I can't really speak for others.  You should know though, that there is no hard and fast rule about honey.  While vegans do share a common view on core issues, opinions vary when it comes to honey and other seemingly subtle issues.  Read on...

   As you may know, I became a vegan for compassionate reasons, not health reasons.  So I take the term and meaning of veganism very seriously.  The term Vegan was coined in 1944 by Donald Watson and is defined as follows:  The word "veganism"denotes a philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude — as far as is possible and practical — all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose...  So, with that quote in mind, and with what I know of the production of honey (which isn't much, I'll be honest) I don't feel good about using it.

   What led me to use it in the first place was desperation.  I really, really, REALLY wanted to stop coughing!  My well meaning co-workers offered me daily tips of remedies to try.  I actually really love that about them because they understand how much I loathe the thought of using any kind of medication.  The one thing they all kept saying to me was honey.  I would always politely thank them but at the same time let them know that I wasn't interested in using that as a remedy.  They always came at me with great reasons why I shouldn't feel guilty and some comical ones as well.  Since I already had a jar of raw honey in the cupboard that I had purchased several months prior (for a completely different reason) I figured I'd pull it out and give it a try.  I must have forgotten that the reason the honey was shoved way back in my cupboard in the first place was because I didn't feel comfortable using it then, either.  FYI, the honey was helpful when I drank it in a hot water and lemon mixture - not when taken on it's own by spoonful.  Just a little tip if you are a honey eating vegan.  Like I said, I stopped after a couple of days because I didn't feel good about it. 

   Here's a little info about what may happen to the bees during honey production.... 

  • Smoke may be used to pacify bees
  • Bees are fed artificial diets (what???)
  • Queen bees are often killed by the beekeepers
  • Bees may be crushed in the hives when the honey is harvested

   Despite popular belief that the bees want to be there and could leave whenever is simply not true.  Beekeepers abuse the bees by using their natural instincts and work them to death essentially. 

   At the end of the day, it's stealing.  Just as we steal a mother's milk from a baby calf when we buy and drink cow's milk; we are stealing food from the bees when we buy and eat honey.  After traveling over 50,000 miles and visiting nearly two million flowers, bees gather enough nectar to make one pound of honey.  Honey is stored in the hives for food to be eaten in the winter.  Except, the bees don't get to eat it because we get it.  So the beekeepers feed them sugar water instead.  How nutritious.

One last thing:  Do you know how honey is actually made?  The bees swallow nectar, regurgitate it, chew, swallow, and repeat.  So basically, honey is just a fancy word for Bee Puke. Yum!

     This post may also be my round about way of saying that I found the most effective cold remedy to be swishing with Oil of Oregano.  Give it a try the next time you find yourself reaching for the honey at the health food store.  The bees will thank you. ;)

Ves xx

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