Why do vegans avoid eating honey and using products containing beeswax?
Whilst not always a hugely pressing concern for many vegans, it’s still an issue of animal exploitation. Bees do not make honey for human consumption but they also are not harmed or killed in the process unlike with eating meat. It can be a grey area for some vegans and it’s true we aren’t all exactly the same on our moral stance.
For me personally, I don’t buy honey but I admit I have used makeup products containing beeswax (lips balms and the like). As with reading food labels, you need to start reading ingredient labels on creams and cosmetics too. It’s a complete minefield once you scratch the surface.
Interestingly, I recently did a food allergy/intolerance test. More for curiosity rather then having any inherent issues. It seems that there are a lot of animal products and bi products that I have an intolerance to-one of them being honey! I’m also allergic to bees (their stings)which I discovered as a small child. So if I was ever sitting on the fence in regard to the vegan honey issue, I’m definitely not any more.
When we give up meat, we don’t have a similar natural, organic substitute or replacement. When we give up honey, we have Agave! It’s a really easy swap for the shopping list and if you add it into your recipes, tea, or use as toast spread, no one will really be any the wiser with the exception of it being a little less viscous.
Agave nectar or syrup comes from a plant that looks much like a large cactus. The juice is extracted from the core of the plant before going through a filtration and heating process. It is farmed in Mexico and South Africa-which probably wont suit you if you are concerned with food miles. I definitely am but I have to pick my battles.
The syrup can be used in exactly the same way you would use honey. You can use it for baking and desserts, on yoghurt, in hot beverages. You can find it in a regular supermarket usually next to the maple and golden syrups or with the artificial sweeteners and of course in health food stores.
It’s a simple swap. Give it a try!