Thursday, May 8, 2014

My Vegan Life - Why I don't eat honey

My Vegan Life - Why I don't eat honey
My healthy life includes
a plant-based diet
I've thought a lot about why I don't eat animal products ... you know the stuff ... things, like milk, eggs, and honey which don't require the death of an animal to produce.

Initially, I gave them up for health reasons. Things like butter, cheese, and eggs contain saturated fat and cholesterol, which I try to limit. I also gave them up because raising farm animals is hard on the environment.

My Vegan Life - Why I don't eat honey
Factory farms focus on profits,
not the welfare of animals
Later, I became concerned about the conditions on factory farms. Contrary to the images of milk cows grazing in beautiful mountain pastures, and chickens roaming free, most of these animals are crammed into small spaces where they live out their lives ... very little (if any) exercise, fresh air, or sunshine.

To me, giving up dairy products and eggs made sense.

My Vegan Life - Why I don't eat honey
Honey has antibacterial
and antioxidant properties
But what about honey?

Honey has health benefits and has been shown to boost our immune systems. Bees roam about, gathering nectar while, at the same time, pollinating plants. Bee keepers maintain nice hives, repairing them and ensuring that the bees have a secure home. So what's the problem?

Have you ever wondered what happens to the honey if we don't harvest it for our consumption?

Honey Bees store it as a primary food source in wax honeycombs inside the beehive. Yes, bees produce honey in order to feed themselves and their young.

When a bee keeper removes honey, care must be taken not to remove too much. Enough is left in the hive so that the bees don't starve.

But here's the thing, that means that the bees work extra hard. We, in effect, limit their populations by taking their primary food source.

My Vegan Life - Why I don't eat honey
Bee populations have suffered
in recent years
Bees have suffered a lot in recent years, mostly due to the use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers. It somehow doesn't seem right to add to their burden by expecting them to provide for us as well as themselves.

Our food choices are personal. I make no judgements about what others consume. For me, though, excluding animal products is the right path. It's a choice I can live with!

What factors play into your food choices?

Sneak Peek: Join us next week for May's Meet & Greet.

Some images courtesy of iosphere & koko-tewan /