When you talk about animal cruelty, there is a pretty obvious list of arguments that call for by vegetarians. From the merciless hunting of animals to the conditions of factory farming, and not to mention health issues, the industry of meat production and other animal by-products is certainly arguable and controversial. And as far as vegetarians are concerned, such actions conducted for animals are unforgivable.
But the production of bees and honey is excluded from that debate. Like in milk and some dairy products, vegetarians do eat honey. It’s those who are vegans that do not consume honey, as they strictly do not patronize or tolerate any kinds of products from animals.
How is honey produced?
Bees use nectar, which is mostly water with complex sugars, from flowers to make honey. They restore the honey in their “honey stomach”, which is different from their regular stomach for foods. They fill it, which requires many flowers (hundreds to thousands) to visit. Then worker bees are going to suck the nectar from the stomach of the honeybees via their mouths and transfer into the beehive. During this transfer, the complex sugars become simple. Also, the water of the nectar evaporates in the honeycombs, which produce a much thicker syrup.
The process alone does not have any issue regarding animal cruelty. Bees do not have to suffer when honey is extracted from them. The only problem is that in bee farming, these insects live in an enclosed cage and not in their own hives. Some producers also use chemicals and antibiotics.
Regardless, honey is a by-product of plants, particularly flower pollination. Plus, this syrup is healthy. It does not have saturated fats, but antioxidants, enzymes, and other healing properties.
The following are health benefits of honey:
1. It has antiseptic properties that help fight off diseases and infections, such as cold, sore throat, eye infection, and athlete foot.
2. It treats digestive issues, including diarrhea, stomach ulcers, indigestion, constipation, and gastroenteritis.
3. It cures wounds and cuts.
4. It reduces scarring and inflammation.
5. It detoxifies and cleanses skin.
Other than those benefits, honey has a big role in food supply. Many vegetarians also prefer having honey as a sweetener than sugar, as the latter can be produced with some animal fat.
The bottom line is that there is no animal harm when extracting honey. But it is not also right if you get them from beekeepers that do not really take care well of bees. Make sure you get honey from the best producer.
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