Do Vegans Eat Honey?
Yesterday, researchers in Singapore and China published first-of-their-kind maps showing the distribution patterns of Earth’s approximately 20 thousand bee species.
Biodiversity assessments often omit insects, so the release of these maps is an important step towards bee protection. The study’s authors write that their research began because:
“Insects are reportedly declining at alarming rates worldwide, yet we do not understand even the most basic elements of their distributional dynamics.”
Reviewing the maps reminded me of a question I often get when someone learns I’m plant based. “Do you eat honey?”
My usual answer is a polite “No, I don’t.”
Why is that?
The short answer is that bees make honey to feed themselves. They collect nectar in spring and summer to store in honeycombs for winter sustenance.
By taking their food for ourselves, we’re behaving no better than schoolyard bullies pilfering lunch money from the little kids on the playgrounds!
Unless things change, our thoughtless exploitation will have untold consequences on the bees’ future survival. In a very real sense, our survival depends on theirs.
The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) explains:
“In fact, close to 75 percent of the world’s crops producing fruits and seeds for human consumption depend, at least in part, on pollinators for sustained production, yield and quality.”
By pollinating fruits and vegetables, bees help make our world go ‘round. In what universe does it make any sense for us to steal the food of the very creatures working so hard to keep us alive?
It doesn’t matter that humans have harvested honey for thousands of years. The explosion in our population numbers over the past century has rendered many of our historic food practices unsustainable!
Collecting honey for profit is one practice we must end – for the sake of the environment and for the welfare of all species.
Do vegans eat honey?
Not this vegan!