Ask A Vegan: What do you think about not eating honey and small seafood such as prawns, mussels, etc?

There has always been much debate on whether vegans should eat honey or not, and I never quite understood it.  Put simply, bees are animals.

Bees make honey to feed themselves.   The honey they create throughout the year is used to feed the colony throughout the winter.  When the hive feels threatened, guard bees release a pheromone that tell the others there is an intruder, thus attacking.  When a beekeeper takes honey from a man-made hive, they puff smoke into it, dulling the guard bees senses so there are no pheromones released.  The smoke also has another effect.  It puts them in “panic mode” which causes them to eat their honey in the case of relocation to build another hive.  Creating man-made hives and stealing their food is nothing short of exploitation.  The bees not only have to work harder to create more honey (after the taking of humans, and eating of confused bees), but this will inevitably result in a shortage of food for the winter.  I realize bees aren’t the first animals people think of when exploitation comes to mind.  But the reasons are valid why honey should be avoided.

As for marine life, to the chagrin of seafood eating “vegetarians,” fish are animals.  They have central nervous systems which can cause them to feel pain.  Therefore, prawn and mussels would be capable of feeling pain, just like any other aquatic animal.  Evolutionarily, it makes sense for them to feel pain.  They will know what to avoid to stay alive.


5 thoughts on “Ask A Vegan: What do you think about not eating honey and small seafood such as prawns, mussels, etc?

  1. Thank you for this reply.
    Have you ever seen the “BEE MOVIE”? I watched it a while ago, before I started thinking about veganism, and just thought it was hilarious… bees fighting against the humans, for their own rights. Now I think a bit differently about it.

  2. Yeah I watched that before I went vegan as well, so didn’t really look at it as anything but a horrible film, lol. Seriously, I can’t believe with all the hype behind it (Jerry Seinfeld pushing it in promos every 60 seconds), that is was such a bomb. Or at least I though it was.

  3. I just embarrassed myself arguing, with someone I didn’t realise was a biologist, that bees can feel pain. Oops – no it’s not proven they can. So went back to re-read this article. 😮

    • Get used to arguing with people, but always make sure you have your facts. There are a few studies in which bees have shown evidence of pain reception. Here is one. In fact this whole website is pretty handy. All of the arguments are backed up with sources, which is always very important when making a case with an omni :).
      You never want to get to the point where arguing becomes just about who’s right and who’s wrong. Make sure to make your valid points, tell them evidence that has been found, and if they disagree, then that is their perogative. If there are so many arguments about whether or not bees can actually feel pain, wouldn’t the best thing to do be simply avoid using them? It is far easier to avoid honey than sausage, and if undoubted evidence actually comes out that bees do in fact feel pain, I think it would be safer to err on the side of caution.

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