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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!

This?

bee

No. More like this:

meanbee

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.
    Eve

  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:
    http://www.vegetus.org/honey/honey.htm
    http://www.vegsource.com/jo/qa/qahoney.htm
    http://www.friendsofanimals.org/actionline/fall-2004/is-honey-vegan.html
    http://www.vegansociety.com/html/animals/exploitation/bees.php

  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. ttfn300 says:

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

  12. 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.

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

  14. 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.

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

    YUM PANCAKES!

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

  17. 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. 🙂

  18. 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)

  19. 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!

  20. Ricki says:

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

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