Posts Tagged With: veganism

Should Vegans Eat Honey? – Vegan Life Issue 3

When you tell somebody you’re vegan and they ask you what it entails the honey aspect is usually what tips them over edge to thinking you’re ridiculous. “What harm can a bit of honey do? The bee’s give it to us for free!” is one of the most common arguments I hear. It’s not just between vegans and meat eaters either, I’ve seen many vegans arguing about honey online. So what’s the real answer?


Vegan Life Magazine have tried to tackle the controversial argument in their January/February issue by comparing the for and against arguments. As usual they have left it up to their readers to decide what to believe but I don’t think this is a difficult decision at all.

The yes camp use the argument that not eating honey is what gives vegans such a bad name. People think we’re pedantic and over the top. Why do we care about bees? It can’t have escaped your attention that bees are in dramatic decline all over the world. Colony collapse disorder is causing hives to literally become empty shells overnight and scientists are baffled as to why. It is thought that it could be pesticides which are killing off our bees or possibly the changes to their natural environment. What is certain is that the extinction of bees would be extremely dangerous to human kind with many of our foods disappearing with them as they are not being pollinated.


Honey is a natural food and can be harvested without harming the bees but unfortunately that usually isn’t the case. Bee’s create honey so that they have food to eat over the winter when pollen is hard to come by. If we take that honey we have to then feed them with an artificial alternative so that they can still feed. This is usually made with processed sugar, a very unnatural alternative. Honey is extremely nutritious which is one of the reasons we take it, can you imagine what happens to the bees that are fed this ridiculous alternative?

To keep up with the demand for honey beekeepers often add new layers to the hives so that the bees carry on reproducing and therefore produce more honey from their offspring. This is not natural and causes increased stress and often death. A bee would rather work itself to death than let it’s offspring die and yet the honey isn’t going anywhere near the young but being taken for humans to enjoy instead.


The vegan lifestyle is about caring for animals and not taking advantage of them for our own benefit. While people may argue that keeping bees is stopping them from becoming extinct, nothing could be further from the truth. Keeping these vulnerable insects in hives and stealing the food they would give to their children is not what I call care. Someone who exploits bees by eating their honey cannot call themselves a vegan.

Categories: Vegan Life, Veganism | Tags: , , , | 7 Comments

Vegan Mofo #5 – A-Z of Gluten Free Veganism (Calcium)


Welcome to day 5 of vegan month of food! We’re carrying on with our a-z of gluten free veganism with C – calcium.

All vegans are probably used to the question “where do you get your calcium?”. It’s well known that vegans are more likely to be calcium deficient which can lead to brittle bones, increased fractures and even osteoporosis. However it is a common misconception that dairy is a crucial source of calcium.  Studies have shown that dairy (cheese in particular) is not as effective at increasing calcium levels in the body as some other plant based sources. Although dairy foods have a large amount of calcium, when in the body they can also cause calcium loss which means they are not the best source for this essential mineral! Studies have also shown that high salt levels, large amounts of protein and lack of potassium can cause calcium loss. It’s therefore not as easy as it sounds to increase the amount of calcium in your diet.


A vegan diet does have its benefits. Many types of fruit and vegetables are high in both calcium and potassium which means that calcium loss is not as big an issue. Green leafy vegetables such as kale and spring greens are particularly good for this as they also protect and strengthen bones with their vitamin K and vitamin C.

Protein also effects how calcium is absorbed. The right protein levels are essential for bone growth but too much protein can cause calcium loss, as can the wrong kind. It has been shown that increasing protein intake using white meat or fish can cause calcium loss whereas increasing protein intake using dried beans and pulses has a neutral effect. This means that a meal including beans and kale is more beneficial in terms of calcium intake than a meal of chicken and cheese.


Other good sources of calcium in the vegan diet are almonds and enriched soya based, coconut or other nut milks. Tofu and tahini can also be good calcium sources depending on how they were made and how much salt they contain. Salt is extremely bad for calcium absorption so low salt alternatives should be used instead.

The Vegan Society have an extremely useful page on how to keep up calcium levels on a vegan diet. It includes advice and recipes so be sure to check it out here!


Source – Vegan Society


How do you keep your calcium levels up?


Categories: Vegan Mofo | Tags: , , , , , | 7 Comments

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