Read the original article by James Schlarmann at ascienceenthusiast.com here.
We learned something today. Apparently there are vegans that believe part of living by the definition of what “veganism” means — a strict diet devoid of any and all animal products — means avoiding using honey. To them, there’s no ideological difference between a steak, or squeezing a cow’s udder for the milk (to be fair how do we know the cow is consenting to the milker’s grasp?), and bee spit. These vegans tend to substitute agave for honey because it’s sweet, but comes from a plant instead. While we generally live by an “unto each their own” rule when it comes to diet choices because a) we’re all adults here and also b) in general, a vegan diet is going to be better for you and the environment in a lot of ways, but a recent social media campaign by beekeepers point to some flaws in the no-honey vegans’ arguments, as well as informs the public in general of some environmental concerns involved with over-harvesting agave.
This beekeeper makes a valid point that a lot of harvested honey comes from beekeepers who run the hives that pollinate the fruits and vegetables vegans need to live and stuff.
This keeper brings up the fact that if they did things that were truly damaging to the bee colonies, they would be literally out of business. They also point out the dangers to the bee’s health if too much honey builds-up.
Sometimes it’s really easy to forget how interconnected life really is. Drastically changing how organisms interact with each other in one way can have disastrous downstream effects.
It’s probably important for vegans to remember that beekeepers do a lot of work, looking out for the interests of the hive. As was pointed out earlier there are financial and moral interests at stake for many of them to keep the bees healthy.
This beekeeper admits that some larger operations might not always act in the bees’ best interests, but a local beekeeper has every reason to. As with everything, this issue comes down to how informed you want to be about the product you buy and the impact it might or might not have on the environment.
This last beekeeper tried to appeal to many vegans’ primary reason for maintaining a vegan diet — their health.
Not realizing the full impact of some your more militant views on someone else’s diet is also a good way to make a lot of other people who may get lumped in with you look like bad too.