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Do Vegans Eat Honey?


Even the staunchest carnivores know that vegans do not eat meat, dairy, or eggs. Some even know that vegans don’t wear animal-derived fabrics like leather and wool, or use cosmetics tested on animals. But there’s one item that often leaves people confused: honey. Is honey vegan, or is honey OK for vegans to eat?

One of the most interesting things about honey is the fact that a bee produces just a twelfth of a teaspoon of honey in their entire lifetime, according to Perfect Bee. So one teaspoon of honey in your morning tea is actually the life’s worth of 12 bees. Whoa. 

Read on for everything you need to know about honey, and why vegans look at it the way they do.

Is Honey Vegan?

Veganism is defined as a lifestyle that aims to exclude animal exploitation and cruelty whenever possible and practicable, according to the Vegan Society. That said, veganism is a means to an end — that end goal being the demise of factory farming, namely of “farm” animals (of which 56 billion are killed every year) and fish (of which trillions are killed every year). So since bees are animals, no, honey is not vegan. 

However, as the Vegan Bros put it, even though honey is not vegan, quitting honey should never be the central platform of vegan activism — because telling people that ingredients like honey aren't vegan could turn people off from actually trying to go vegan. So if someone wants to go vegan but still eat honey, we should still applaud their actions — because they are still massively reducing the number of animals they eat and lowering their environmental impact.