31 July 2008

The Agony of the Vegans

“There is no more contentious question in the world of veganism than the one posed by honey. A fierce doctrinal debate over its status has raged for decades… Does honey qualify as a forbidden animal product since it's made by bees?

The hard-liners argue that beekeeping, like dairy farming, is cruel and exploitative. The bees are forced to construct their honeycombs in racks of removable trays, according to a design that standardizes the size of each hexagonal chamber… Queens are imprisoned in certain parts of the hive, while colonies are split to increase production and sprinkled with prophylactic antibiotics. In the meantime, keepers control the animals by pumping their hives full of smoke, which masks the scent of their alarm pheromones and keeps them from defending their honey stores. And some say the bees aren't making the honey for us, so its removal from the hive could be construed as a form of theft…

From a practical perspective, all this back-and-forth doesn't help anyone (or any animal). You either eat honey or you don't; to debate the question in public only makes the vegan movement seem silly and dogmatic…”

(Text extracted from Slate article; image credit to Wiki commons)

1 comment:

  1. ummm, I'm all for animal welfare. I'm a vegetarian not a vegan but I still see their point. The thing is. I've known bee keepers and as far as I'm aware the bees are free to leave and make a new colony any time they like so its not the same as dairy farming is it? Cows can't pick up and move on but if the bees get pissed off with a giant human stealing their honey then they can just up and leave. Wheres the debate?


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