Why Vegans Don’t Eat Honey: Why Is Honey Not Vegan?

why is honey not vegan

Ever wondered why vegans don’t eat honey?

If you are thinking about doing a plant-based diet, perhaps you wonder what sweetener you can use for your food.

Vegans, however, skip honey. They prefer to use other sweeteners such as maple syrup, stevia, and others.

So why isn’t honey vegan? Let’s investigate and find out exactly why this is so.

Why Vegans Don’t Eat Honey

Vegans choose to avoid consuming animal products including dairy, eggs, meat, and also foods made from these.

But there are also cases where vegans extend their list of foods to omit when these include the ones made from insects. One of these is honey.

In fact, it is quite controversial among vegans since others do not include insect-made food into the plant-based category.

For instance, they do not always see any difference between animal farming and bee farming. But for some, they are well aware of certain unethical practices that commercial bee farmers do, which are not up to vegan standards.

Moreover, there are practices involving the queen bees’ wings being clipped. Hence, they are unable to flee from the hive. The entire colonies may also be killed, as a means of preventing the disease from spreading.

With these unethical practices in place, it is not surprising that vegans choose to not eat honey. This also includes bee pollen, propolis, royal jelly, honeycomb, and other bee products.

Why Isn’t Honey Vegan

Many proponents of the vegan lifestyle believe that honey farming can negatively impact bees’ health. This is why they choose to avoid eating it.

Basically, honey provides bees with key nutrients and carbohydrates, as well as natural antibiotics, antioxidants, and amino acids. They also store honey for months, especially in the winter, which gives them the energy they need.

However, bee farmers collect the honey and take it away from the bees. Instead of honey, bees get high fructose corn syrup and sucrose. Unfortunately, these do not contain much of the beneficial nutrients that honey contains.

It is also worth noting that these artificial sweeteners tend to harm the immune system of bees. In addition to that, genetic changes tend to minimize the bees’ abilities to defend themselves from pesticides. Eventually, this can damage an entire beehive.

Alternatives To Honey

With all these being said, vegans opt to consume plant-based alternatives to honey. These include maple syrup, blackstrap molasses, brown rice syrup, date syrup, and barley malt syrup. Although these do not taste the same as honey, they are great for sweetening any dish or beverage and without any unethical exploitation of animals or insects involved.


Overall, vegans don’t eat honey because of the exploitation involved in its production. With the bees suffering along the way, those who follow a plant-based diet opt to use other types of sweetener. After all, these are just as sweet and without any cruelty involved from the sourcing, production, and manufacturing process.

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