Is Honey Vegan?

Guess what day of the week it is? It’s Tip Tuesday!

For some reason people don’t think honey falls under the category of “animal by-product.” That’s why if you’re a vegan, you’ve probably been given something with honey, and been told “oh it’s just honey?” So what’s the problem?

1_123125_122975_2180618_2194627_080730_food_honeytn.jpg.CROP.original-originalThe reason I am writing this blog post is because I want people to realize that honey is not vegan. I saw this post on tumblr where a girl went into a vegan bakery and all the treats contained honey. She asked the lady if there was any that didn’t contain honey, and the lady replied “oh, so you’re a strict vegan?”

Uh, no, she’s a vegan vegan.

Vegan’s do not consume/wear anything that comes from a living, sentient being. Vegans also do not support for enslavement or exploitation of a living sentient being. Last time I checked, bees are living sentiment beings.. so why is there controversy?

Well, I guess for starters, people usually argue that bees are insects. I don’t know what their further argument is because insects are still living beings. Perhaps they think bees can’t feel pain?

“But why wouldn’t bees feel pain? They are animals with a large nervous system (Snodgrass, 254) capable of transmitting pain signals. And unlike in the case of plants, pain as we know it would be a useful evolutionary feature since bees are capable of moving to avoid it.” (source:

 Another reason vegans do not consume/wear anything that comes from a living being is because they believe in equality. We do not support the exploitation or enslavement of other creatures. In order for honey to be made, bees need to be held captive and used for the sole purpose of creating something for humans. Now if that doesn’t sound like enslavement then I don’t know what is. Therefore, honey is not vegan.

If you consider yourself a vegan but still eat honey, perhaps you should reconsider using the word ‘vegan’, and perhaps switch to saying you follow a ‘plant based diet’, if you are in fact eating that way for your health. Anyone going vegan for the animals believes and understands the exploitation part of it.

Even when I went vegan in 2014 for health, I still didn’t eat honey because I knew it came from a living being and I wouldn’t be able to consider myself vegan if I ate it. So I just didn’t eat it, and it wasn’t hard at all. It’s actually really sticky and hard to clean off of things, so I’m fine without it. However if you do want honey substitutes, you can use agave syrup or maple syrup.

Not only is it crucial for ethical vegans to cut out honey, but so important for environmentalist as well. People don’t realize that if the Bee’s die off, the whole system collapses. That means no more plants, no more food, no more humans.


I’m just tired of having to explain myself when I say that I don’t eat honey. People give me a strange look at say, “Seriously?” as if Bee’s lives don’t matter. Or when someone tells me, “you can have this, it’s vegan! Just nuts, oats and honey!”

I know people don’t know, and that’s why I’m making this blog post, to help educate people. So please, do your research, spread the word, and help save the Bees <3

Six Ways to Help the Bees:

  1. Plant bee friendly plants, flowers and foods.
  2. Avoid the use of chemicals and pesticides in your garden.
  3. Support local sustainable farmers
  4. Make a bee hotel
  5. Encourage local garden stores to not sell Bee killing pesticides/chemicals
  6. Stop buying honey

Learn more about honey in this very informative video here:

Save-the-Bees 1235487_565030376945505_5052870991188573176_n save bees



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  • Reply
    The Holistic Herbivore
    March 31, 2015 at 9:35 pm

    Great post!!! Well said! I totally agree!!

  • Reply
    Rose M
    May 1, 2015 at 2:13 am

    I like this post:) I recommend this post I found recently and I’d like to hear opinions on it.

  • Reply
    May 3, 2015 at 11:10 pm

    Maple syrup FO LIFE! I like Stevia as my sweetener anyways, even though I know a lot of people aren’t into it!

  • Reply
    Victoria Nissley
    December 1, 2015 at 11:59 am

    Hi Katrina,
    I have read a ton of your blogs today and love everything you have to say! This however I don’t agree with… and yes I call myself an environmentalist. I am a Zoology major and I understand the important link between bees and all plants on earth. This is the reason I think I should eat honey. With so many trees being cut down and urban areas expanding, bees are running out of places to nest. When they nest in public places they are sprayed and killed. By having a bees nest in your backyard and creating a safe place you save them from going extinct! Also, the bees are free to fly wherever they want, and they choose to come back to the safe hive provided to them. Honestly, I don’t see why vegans don’t support eating honey. I really can’t agree with calling this exploitation, I think its enabling the species more than anything. I’d love to hear everyone’s thoughts on this, Thanks!

    • Reply
      December 1, 2015 at 4:51 pm

      Hey Victoria,

      Thanks so much for your feedback 🙂 It’s always great to hear what other people think on certain topics. That’s totally fine as well, we will always agree and disagree about some things.

      If it’s environmentally friendly could be debatable, (though I’m not looking for a debate), however the vegan stance is simple; vegans do not take from others what doesn’t belong to them. Humans are perfectly fine living without eating a bee’s honey, And therefore, if we don’t need to, why would we? 🙂 I get all my vitamins and nutrients from plants. And besides, honey is just essentially bee vomit hehe. That’s my stance on it. xx

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