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Why Don’t Vegans Eat Honey?

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Humph, I don’t know.  At this moment, there is no love between me and the bees.

Well, a few days ago, a new running buddy decided to join me. But this so-called “buddy” isn’t someone with whom I ever wish to run again. I was on my way home, happily running under the shade of the trees, when suddenly I felt this horrible pain in my shoulder. Apparently a bee had run right into me (or I ran into him?)! It was definitely a full-on sprint the rest of the way home!



No. More like this:


Makes those thieving seagulls seem like angels… but why does nature keep attacking me?!

As for the question posed in my title…

I’m unsure where I stand on the “veganism and honey” issue.  More bugs probably die in the making of my organic kale or broccoli!  So I don’t go out of my way to eat foods with honey, but I also won’t flip out if I happen to consume it accidentally.

(P.S. When I got home, I discovered there was no stinger in my arm, therefore it was probably not a bee who stung me, but a wasp or hornet.  Bees leave stingers; wasps and hornets apparently do not.  So it seems there’s no need to hate bees after all.)

Katie is the baker, photographer, and author of the popular blog Chocolate-Covered Katie. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating a balanced diet that includes dessert every single day. More about Katie—> 

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  1. brandi says:

    ha. look at my post from last night – my shirt was covered in gnats when I got back from my run!

  2. Ouch! That couldn’t have felt good. And I am with the ewww factor on cob webs; I hate that!

  3. taleoftwovegans says:

    Ooo, I am so afraid of wasps – I swear they go out of their way to attack you! Bees, on the other hand, are cute and fuzzy! You’re probably right about more bugs being killed for veggies, but I still don’t eat honey – apparently one bee only make 1/12 of a tsp. of honey it’s entire life (or slightly more, depending on who you want to believe), which I think is sort of sad. :( All those bees! Haha.

  4. zemmely says:

    (ethical) Vegans don’t eat honey because it’s clearly an animal by-product; the harvesting of honey can certainly be seen as a form of systematic exploitation. Moreover: honey IS necessary for bees, but NOT necessary for humans.

  5. mihl says:

    I am sorry! My uncle breeds bees for honey, as a kid I was stung often. Try to cool it, it should be better in one or two days.
    If you want to read up on the honey issue, here are some great links:

  6. Aw, thanks for the shout-out! So sorry you got stung though–that’s a major drag. :(

    Now I want pancakes.

  7. Melissa says:

    On two different occasions the same bird has attacked me. It flew right over my shoulder close enough to hit my ear! I hope you’re feeling better from your bee sting!

  8. Maria says:

    Ouch, I’m sorry to hear about your hornet/wasp sting, Katie! I hope it feels better soon!

    I’ve been attacked by a squirrel one day, when my coworker opened the door of a garbage can. It hissed and flung its arms at us! I never thought cute little squirrels could be so violent!

    PB frosting on brownie batter pancakes is ingenious 😀

  9. I’m sorry about your bee/hornet sting… I’m terrified of bees and wasps/hornets, but I don’t eat honey. I tried to figure out for years the purpose of wasps, and I finally found one… they pollinate figs! :)

    I didn’t know squirrels could be violent either – yikes…

    Some years ago, I stepped in a fire-ant hill while mowing the lawn… not a pleasant experience!

  10. jcd says:

    Oh no! Wasp bites are horrible, even worse than bee stings! Make sure you put an antiseptic on the bite – I was told wasp stings get infected easily.

    I generally like bugs, but I have always been afraid of wasps. I was riding my bike three years ago when a wasp got stuck in my hair and bit me twice on the back of the neck. It was a speed race home for me too – crying the whole way.

    Antiseptic, ice, and lots of chocolate should help you recover. Feel better soon.

  11. Erin says:

    I would love to hear more responses about vegans and not eating honey!

  12. ttfn300 says:

    hope the sting isn’t too annoying! and luscious pancakes, indeed :)

  13. Kiersten says:

    Ouch! Sorry about the bee sting. Stupid bees! While I respect and appreciate bugs, I like them a lot more when they leave me alone. I was only stung by a bee once but I’ve been attacked by other bugs lots of times. I swear, they KNOW I don’t like them and they do it to me on purpose.

  14. Oh well, a bird run into my forehead once. No idea how this happened, I still find it puzzling!

  15. Alison says:

    Oh no! Sorry about the bee. I’ve never been stung and I’m beyond terrified of them. I’ve been stung by a scorpion and they dont’ scare me at all anymore, but bees freak me out.

  16. Not all bees leave stingers- only females (or males? Can never remember). I hate stinging things. I have a major wasp phobia :(


  17. Wow…I was feeling bad about your bee experience and then I got totally distracted by those lovely pancakes! I must make those soon!

  18. And I complain when I come back from my summer runs covered in tiny black gnats. At least they don’t sting!

    Wowy those pancakes look good! I could go for some right about now. :)

  19. Liz says:

    Oh no Katie, a wasp/hornet sting? That *sucks*. I’m allergic to those… found out when I was swimming peacefully one day and SWAM right into a few wasps who were sort of lazing on the water’s surface. Yeowch.
    Hope your shoulder’s feeling better! Isn’t it ironic when vegans get attacked by nature? :O
    Love you! (non-creepy way, of couuurse, hehe)

  20. Anna says:

    I used to be severely allergic to bees and wasps, so there’s not much love there for me either. I also got pooped on by a flock of geese. That was worse than you’d think. I still love nature, though, regardless of what it does to offend me!

  21. Ricki says:

    Poor you! HOpe the shoulder is better. I’ve had my share of run-ins with spider webs, too. 😉

  22. Spotty Prep says:

    I was standing on a pier when I was about 8 years old and a pelican landed on back! It thought I was part of the railing! I still have faint scars, ouch! I’ve also been dive bombed by birds protecting their nests at the beach! Coastal birds have no love for me…

    Hope your shoulder feels better!

  23. Jules says:

    Aw man, your poor shoulder :( I used to get stung by yellow jackets all the time when I was younger, and once I got stung on the lip! Not so fun. I run into spider webs all the time when I run, especially if I’m trail running.
    I hope your shoulder feels better!

  24. randomlymikey says:

    yum! yum! yum! i’m in love with those pancakes :) i have stepped on a bees nest (or one of those stinging bugs) while running. it was NOT cool.

  25. Lainie says:

    Ouch – I don’t remember the last time I was stung by a bee (or a hornet, or a wasp…). I don’t know if I’ve ever actually been stung *knock on wood*! Mosquitos attack me sometimes though, and I don’t really like that…

    super cute bee picture (well, the one of you…not the angry bee one!)

  26. Christina says:

    Ouch! Wasps hurt the most for sure – I swear when I was little I got stung by every insect possible!

  27. I just got spider webbed on a run last night. The stringeyness was all over me, even though it was invisible. I’m sure I looked like a hallucinating freak trying to de-web myself LOL. Your choco pancakes look heavenly. Can you make me breakfast? hehe..

  28. CaSaundra says:

    No joke–I got attacked by a bee yesterday going to my car for the first day of school!! Musta been the OD of perfume perhaps 😛

  29. Kelly says:

    Oh man, I have a HUGE phobia of bees/wasps/hornets/anything with a stinger & wings. I think it all dates back to my childhood when I innocently stuck my hand in a big blue mailbox to send a letter and was stung by a bee. Yuck. I’m sorry you had a “run-in” (ha ha ha) with an unfriendly insect!

  30. taytay0485 says:

    Ouch! Bees can hurt!
    I have been pooped on, down my face….. in New York City! Talk about embarrassing!
    And brownie batter pancakes?!! Holy Moly, I’m trying those babies!

  31. Read all the comments, but never got an answer why vegans do not heat honey?

  32. broccolihut says:

    Yes, I’ve been known to run into a few spider webs on my runs (and subsequently look like a total spaz trying to get it off…). As I recently blogged about, bird poop has also been added to my list of “Mother Nature’s Assaults on Caroline. “

  33. sheree says:

    First off OUCH!! Second, congrats on winning the contest over at EAtnvegan from Diann. How cool. Love the pancakes. :o)

    In an answer to your question, the seagulls got me too. Not only dive bombed us and took our lunch, one of them pooped on me! Trust me seagull poop is gross, so gross that DH bought me a new shirt right then and there. No saving the other one.

  34. emielli says:

    When I was younger, I accidentally threw a baseball up and it got stuck in the gutter. So I climb on a chair, reached into the gutter, and right into a wasp nest! Fortunately, I reacted and only had a couple of wasps get me. But my fingers hurt for weeks.

  35. Natalie says:

    Once when I was working late, alone in my office, I felt something drop on my head…it was a gargantuan spider – probably about 1.5 inches wide and heavy. I’m horribly afraid of spiders anyway, so I had a mild heart attack and decided I was done working for the night.

    According to the bleeding hearts at PETA, vegans don’t eat honey because to do so would exploit the bees and their labor. PETA also seems to feel that it damages the bees in some way to have their honey taken away, but that doesn’t make much sense since honey is farmed from the same broods of bees…

    Finally, wow on those pancakes. My berries and yogurt are becoming less attractive every day and it’s almost completely your fault (the fact that their growing season is nearly over accounts for about 5%).

  36. Vegetation says:

    Bee’s hate me. I don’t know why, but they do. They go out of their way to sting me! One of the times I got stung, I was sitting in the middle seat of a car. A bee came in the window, flew by the driver, past me, flew around the person in the passenger seat, back to the driver then made a beeline (har har) for my arm, stung me and flew back out. ARGH!!

    Hope the sting feels a bit better soon!

    And those pancakes. Mmmm have some of those to make you feel better!!

  37. Shelby says:

    I hate running into Spider Webs! Gross.

    But I’ve never been stung by a bee *knocks ono wood*

  38. miz says:


    Im making those for the toddler tonight.

  39. Erika says:

    Just got stung by something too! I had a huge welt on my arm for a couple weeks! Love nature, but at a distance please! :)

    Those pancakes look amazing. Making my stomach growl.

  40. Organic Dreamer — here’s a very good write-up of why vegans don’t eat honey…

  41. Julie says:

    Hi Katie !

    I think you should do what is best for you. I do understand how you feel when you say a blog is hard-work and takes lots of time. But filling a blog should be fun not part of worries. Anyway, even though I can’t follow your blog everyday, I try to read most of your posts ! I really love your blog !

  42. Julie says:

    Sorry I posted in a wrong way ! Silly me !

  43. Marianne says:

    Nature is always out to get me, usually in the form of rocks/roots/logs/holes tripping me and causing me to lose skin. Obviously I’m okay with this relationship, because I keep going back for more. HA!