Even after doing all the efforts and being extra careful on every move, it is totally impossible for humans to live a harm-free life. Humans for their existence are used to displacing or destroying large and small life forms in each an every activity be it erection of buildings, planting seeds, digging crops, burning wood, flying airplanes, driving cars, or operating factories. Then there are some people who have a difference in their intent, which leads to classification of humans into two major heads – vegetarians and non-vegetarians. Further, there are vegans who consciously strive to do no harm to any sentient life, including insects. This does not mean that vegans do not hurt others inadvertently, but that it is never their aim to do so. Vegans are very specific that they do not consume anything or engage in any activity which causes a direct or indirect harm to any living thing. One of the common debating question faced by vegans is related to honey – “IS HONEY VEGAN?”
Honey which can be essentially termed as bee vomit is something that is collected by the honey bees from sucrose-rich flower nectar. It is then stored in the cells of their hive and used as their sole source of nutrition when alternative food sources are not available. The honey that bees produce is stored in their hives for their own purposes. When humans remove honey from the hive, they take something that is not rightfully theirs. Further, to collect honey, beekeepers temporarily remove the bees from their home and during the process, even the most careful beekeeper cannot avoid inadvertently injuring, squashing, or otherwise killing some of the bees. Although the consumption of honey is not deemed as the most important concern for vegans but the fact worth considering is that it is nevertheless an animal product. Further, the 1944 manifesto of the British Vegan Society, a position consistent with the requirement for full (vegan) membership in the American Vegan Society since its inception in 1960 has also prohibited the consumption of honey by vegans.
The bottom line of the discussion can be concluded that though sweeteners are not at all necessary for humans as they do not have any essential nutrients, but still if vegans want to indulge in sweets, there are many substitutes available like organic, unbleached cane sugar; beet sugar; maple syrup; agave nectar; concentrated fruit syrups; rice syrup; barley malt; and sorghum syrup, among others. We do not need to choose between exploiting humans or bees in order to satisfy our sweet tooth. Concerned vegans can avoid it completely eliminating sweets from their diet or by choosing compassionate alternatives.