Is Honey Ethical?

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EquALLity
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Is Honey Ethical?

Post by EquALLity » Fri Apr 05, 2019 5:09 pm

Since I've been vegan, I've avoided honey because I've read from vegan sources that it harms bees. I didn't know if these sources were reputable, but because honey was easy to avoid, I just avoided it in case it was harmful.

This is going to make me sound basic, but recently, my friend got an almond milk chai tea latte and suggested I get one too. I really liked it, and the next week, when my friend and I stopped at Starbucks, she told me they had chai tea lattes there too. However, I read online that they have honey, so I didn't get one. This sparked a debate with my friend. I said that I wasn't sure if honey was bad, but because I had read from some vegan sources that it was, I just avoided it because it wasn't difficult. She answered that she felt I was "rationalizing things in a vegan manner." I sort of felt like I was, because I didn't have a solid reason for avoiding honey. If the only evidence that honey is bad is from biased sources, why should I avoid honey, but not other products with similar potential issues? Is it just because I'm vegan and honey is an animal product? Because that's not a valid reason. What do you guys think?

Update - I just saw that I made a topic on honey a few years ago. :lol: So, the issue is that replacing the honey with substitutes is harmful. I see why commercial honey would be harmful, but if there's a small farm that doesn't use these harmful substitutes, I see no argument against that. I will email Starbucks to see which kind they use.
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brimstoneSalad
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Post by brimstoneSalad » Sat Apr 06, 2019 2:27 am

EquALLity wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 5:09 pm
Update - I just saw that I made a topic on honey a few years ago. :lol: So, the issue is that replacing the honey with substitutes is harmful. I see why commercial honey would be harmful, but if there's a small farm that doesn't use these harmful substitutes, I see no argument against that. I will email Starbucks to see which kind they use.
I think it would be nearly impossible to track the source and figure out, unless you made it yourself or got it from a neighbor.
I mean, look at the farms that are supposed to have ethical standards:

https://theintercept.com/2018/05/04/six ... rkey-farm/

I don't trust companies like this. If there's a corner to cut, they're likely going to cut it.
If cutting that corner results in a crappy product that breaks in a week that sucks, but if it results in sentient beings being tormented that's something else entirely.

I'm sure Starbucks will say their supply is ethical, as they would with any supply question, but the reps responding will probably also dodge any question about specifics (like how much honey is being taken). Again, even if they respond with exactly what you'd want to hear, is there a good reason to believe the reps? And even if you believe they believe what they're saying (and they may) can you trust where they got that info, or that the farms are reporting accurately?

There's a big issue with honey in that demand far outstrips the supply that would be available with non-abusive farming practices. In a world where people ate a fraction of the honey they do today, then that might be different and there might be no motivation to push for more. Seems a long way off though.

carnap
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Post by carnap » Sat Apr 13, 2019 2:57 am

The vegan position on honey is inconsistent and just arbitrary. For example bees are exploited to pollinate a variety of nut and fruit crops and if anything bees are harmed more by this than honey production. But these crops are all considered vegan. But why put bees on a pedestal in the first place? Massive amounts of insects are harmed when crops are sprayed and cultivated. What reason is there to believe less insects are harmed when producing other sweeteners?
I'm here to exploit you schmucks into demonstrating the blatant anti-intellectualism in the vegan community and the reality of veganism. But I can do that with any user name.

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Jebus
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Post by Jebus » Sat Apr 13, 2019 8:45 am

carnap wrote:
Sat Apr 13, 2019 2:57 am
The vegan position on honey is inconsistent and just arbitrary.
There is no "vegan position" on honey. There is great disagreement among vegans on this issue, and some even agree with what you just wrote.
How to become vegan in 4.5 hours:
1.Watch Forks over Knives (Health)
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3. Watch Earthlings (Ethics)
Congratulations, unless you are a complete idiot you are now a vegan.

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Post by carnap » Sat Apr 13, 2019 1:25 pm

Jebus wrote:
Sat Apr 13, 2019 8:45 am
There is no "vegan position" on honey. There is great disagreement among vegans on this issue, and some even agree with what you just wrote.
Of course there is...you're seriously going to to deny it? Honey and some other insect products have been excluded from a vegan lifestyle since the early days of the vegan society. Any certified vegan product cannot contain honey. Nor is there "great disagreement", you just have a few that are willing to go against the party line and they are usually referred to as "beegans".

When people start to agree with what I've said....they start to stop considering themselves vegan. Veganism is inherently dogmatic and the vegan community has little tolerance for intellectualism.....these people are demonized and rejected quickly.
I'm here to exploit you schmucks into demonstrating the blatant anti-intellectualism in the vegan community and the reality of veganism. But I can do that with any user name.

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brimstoneSalad
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Post by brimstoneSalad » Sat Apr 13, 2019 2:54 pm

carnap wrote:
Sat Apr 13, 2019 2:57 am
For example bees are exploited to pollinate a variety of nut and fruit crops and if anything bees are harmed more by this than honey production.
They usually go hand in hand, where honey is harvested from mobile bee hives, so it's hard to distinguish the two.

All other things being equal, is it better for bees to have a stationary or mobile colony?
That's not clear. There seem to be advantages and disadvantages to each. Moving the colony means bees don't need to fly as far to gather nectar and pollen (something that will result in casualty). A slow moving colony might be ideal so that bees have a short commute to flowers and do not become lost when the colony moves.
carnap wrote:
Sat Apr 13, 2019 2:57 am
But these crops are all considered vegan.
So are medications that are developed with animal testing. There are benefits to these crops which are not apparent in honey itself. There's a big difference between an almond and a teaspoon of sugar.

If we're going to use bees to help pollinate crops, it seems like the least we could do to not take the honey.
carnap wrote:
Sat Apr 13, 2019 2:57 am
But why put bees on a pedestal in the first place?
Bees are presumed to be significantly more intelligent than most other insects. Other insects are likely barely sentient, if at all.
The philosophical significance of hive minds is an interesting topic, but even individually bees seem to demonstrate a level of intelligence and awareness that most other insects lack.

People care about bees rather than fruits flies and aphids for good reason.
carnap wrote:
Sat Apr 13, 2019 2:57 am
What reason is there to believe less insects are harmed when producing other sweeteners?
The same reason to believe more animals are harmed in animal agriculture. Bees, like chickens, are not magical creatures that generate calories from thin air.
Chickens are fed plant calories, and so are bees: when the honey is taken it must be replaced. There's only a slim margin of excess produced from the flowers that can be taken without replacement.

FOR that excess, there's an argument to be made that it's a sustainable sweetener, but that's not how commercial apiaries work. I wouldn't consider it a problem for somebody to have bees in his or her backyard and collect only excess honey.

When you buy honey, you're also buying the sugar that's fed to the bees to replace the honey you took. Sugar that has no significant nutritional difference for humans, but that's an inferior substitute for bees. It's a negative sum proposition.

As to whether we should consume sugar at all since it's nutritionally devoid? Probably not. We should probably be using sucralose instead.
carnap wrote:
Sat Apr 13, 2019 1:25 pm
Any certified vegan product cannot contain honey.
Nor oysters. Certified vegan products are only going to contain things that nearly all vegans are OK with and follow the definition to the letter so nobody is confused. Other things may be ethical to consume, but there are also implications for allergies, etc.
carnap wrote:
Sat Apr 13, 2019 1:25 pm
Nor is there "great disagreement"
:lol: So says the raving mad anti-vegan troll.
I'm sure you're such an expert in the vegan community having so many vegan friends and getting along with us so well.

Honey, Oysters, and Palm Oil are all common debates among vegans.
carnap wrote:
Sat Apr 13, 2019 1:25 pm
you just have a few that are willing to go against the party line and they are usually referred to as "beegans".
Beegan is a great term, so is ostrovegan. It's good to have new terms which help people learn the different ways they can be vegan, and that it's not all or nothing. It also helps avoid confusion and people giving oysters or honey to vegans who don't eat those things.
carnap wrote:
Sat Apr 13, 2019 1:25 pm
When people start to agree with what I've said....they start to stop considering themselves vegan.
They can consider themselves beegans, which is also good. There are issues with modern honey production, but they pale in comparison to animal agriculture. Anybody who makes a conscientious decision to reduce the amount of animal products in his or her diet is an ally. Doesn't really matter if they call themselves vegan. People don't have to be vegan to be good people.
carnap wrote:
Sat Apr 13, 2019 1:25 pm
Veganism is inherently dogmatic and the vegan community has little tolerance for intellectualism.....
More of your dishonest anti-vegan rhetoric. Couldn't be further from the truth.
carnap wrote:
Sat Apr 13, 2019 1:25 pm
these people are demonized and rejected quickly.
By no means. Only the most extreme abolitionists think it's a good idea to demonize and reject allies.
Beegans, ostrovegans, even pescetarians and all manner of reducetarians are respected and welcome here as friends and allies.

Anti-vegans, particularly the intellectually dishonest ones who have no other purpose than to advance an agenda of fear mongering and discourage people from being vegan with pseudoscience, are really the only ones we have a problem with. And yet we still don't ban them... weird, almost like this isn't an echo chamber. Your own presence on this forum is proof against your claims.

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Post by Roman0vmarisa » Sat Apr 13, 2019 3:14 pm

EquALLity wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 5:09 pm
Is it just because I'm vegan and honey is an animal product? Because that's not a valid reason.
Why is that not a valid reason?

I honestly would say that if you enjoyed the latte and get it sometimes, even if it does have honey, it’s not really that big of a deal. I’m sure something else you’re eating or drinking has the equivalent of palm oil or another product that was somehow harmful to animals/insects in a small capacity. But like you said, honey is so easy to avoid. I’d never buy it at the store but if there was a latte I loved that had (probably a tsp) of a honey in it, then why not. Also, I think that allows other people to see veganism as more attainable and realistic.

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Jebus
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Post by Jebus » Sat Apr 13, 2019 3:18 pm

Roman0vmarisa wrote:
Sat Apr 13, 2019 3:14 pm
EquALLity wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 5:09 pm
Is it just because I'm vegan and honey is an animal product? Because that's not a valid reason.
Why is that not a valid reason?
The question is whether or not honey causes significant suffering. Whether or not it is technically vegan is irrelevant.
How to become vegan in 4.5 hours:
1.Watch Forks over Knives (Health)
2.Watch Cowspiracy (Environment)
3. Watch Earthlings (Ethics)
Congratulations, unless you are a complete idiot you are now a vegan.

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Post by Roman0vmarisa » Sat Apr 13, 2019 3:26 pm

Please stop suddenly “caring” about bees.

If someone wants to avoid honey, why not? Just because some insects are pollination slaves for fruits, does that mean that a vegan should be okay eating both fruits (that exploits bees) AND honey (that exploits bees)? Obviously, fruits are harder to avoid, so why not avoid the easiest one and help out some bees rather than none? You’re boring.
carnap wrote:
Sat Apr 13, 2019 1:25 pm
Jebus wrote:
Sat Apr 13, 2019 8:45 am
There is no "vegan position" on honey. There is great disagreement among vegans on this issue, and some even agree with what you just wrote.
Of course there is...you're seriously going to to deny it? Honey and some other insect products have been excluded from a vegan lifestyle since the early days of the vegan society. Any certified vegan product cannot contain honey. Nor is there "great disagreement", you just have a few that are willing to go against the party line and they are usually referred to as "beegans".

When people start to agree with what I've said....they start to stop considering themselves vegan. Veganism is inherently dogmatic and the vegan community has little tolerance for intellectualism.....these people are demonized and rejected quickly.

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brimstoneSalad
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Post by brimstoneSalad » Sat Apr 13, 2019 4:19 pm

Roman0vmarisa wrote:
Sat Apr 13, 2019 3:26 pm
You’re boring.
:lol: Nice, I think that sums up carnap. He's always making the same appeal to futility fallacy. If memory serves correctly he's also already made this argument about honey multiple times. That we use them to pollinate, so why not steal their hard earned honey too?
Carnap is a broken record stuck on a song that has already been played to death.

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