Can I just ask; What is UP with the flu this year? It seems like everyone I know who's gotten sick has stayed sick for what seems like decades. Sadly I am no exception. Day three of the flu (not to be confused with day five of the Challenge) was very much the same as days one and two: Tired, headache, nauseated and zero appetite. Cue the pity party!
Annnd, the party is over. Moving on to today's eats. The lack of appetite combined with the vegan challenge limited me to recoiling from practically everything in my fridge and cupboards. Enter a good ol' smoothie to the rescue!
I added 1/2 a scoop of protein to this one. I shouldn't have. I am not a fan of protein powder on a good day and today definitely doesn't get classified as a "good" day. I had to choke that sucker down. All in the name of health right.
Along side the smoothie I had some leftover vegan chili. I smothered it on a spinach wrap. I don't know why but I'll blame the medication. I needs a spoon, a fork and a knife to master this one!
It even looks weird. Again, I blame the drugs!
I am really excited to feature a fellow blogger on tonight's post. The idea for this came about in a Twitter discussion that I started around vegans and their views on honey. I got varied responses from "Its cool" to "No, no, NO!" and thought it would be really interesting to keep the conversation going. Rachel was kind enough to agree to a guest post on the topic and the rest is history...
I've done enough talking for one night and my chili mess is a clear indication that its better to leave it to someone much more coherent. Without further adieu:
Why I’m vegan and why honey isn’t
My journey to a vegan lifestyle began when I was 10 years old and declared myself to be a vegetarian. That lasted about a week! Fast forward three years and 13 year old me gave up red meat and pork, leaving me to consume, and consume I did, poultry and seafood. I wish I could say I had some altruistic reason for giving up what I did, but in reality it was because the news was making a big deal about people dying from eating fast food hamburgers and I was scared, E. coli did not seem like fun. I lived this way for five years, happily eating birds and fish without thinking about the animal that my “food” once was. Then, one night after I had gone away to college my younger brother sent me a link to a video. It was PETA’s “Meet Your Meat” video and it changed my life. At that moment I was a vegetarian and while I don’t agree with PETA and their ways now, I do have to credit them and that video for getting me to become a vegetarian. I remained a happy vegetarian through all four years of college.
After graduating college, I got my first “real” job. While I was doing web-based training classes that require a minimum of time, no matter how fast you actually finish it, I started reading a free download of Erik Marcus’ book “Vegan: The New Ethics of Eating.” I was consumed by all of this new information and could not stop reading. That was it, I had to go vegan. It was the only way to live my life in accordance with my values. I looked at my two dogs, my Hamlet and my Bailey, my little canine loves and realized that there was no difference between them and any animal used for food. Veganism just made sense. And again, while my current views on animal rights issues differ greatly from Mr. Marcus’ I still have to give credit where credit is due and his book is what inspired me to go vegan.
Tired of hearing about me yet? Well, I’m tired of talking about myself. On to the real reason Samantha asked me to guest post: Honey. That’s right, that sweet sticky stuff that bees make. It can be a hot topic in the vegan world and I’m here to tell you once and for all WHY HONEY IS NOT VEGAN.
The simplest way to tell you that honey is not vegan is to look at its definition. The word vegan was first introduced in 1944 by Donald Watson:
“Veganism is a way of living which excludes all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, the animal kingdom, and includes a reverence for life. It applies to the practice of living on the products of the plant kingdom to the exclusion of flesh, fish, fowl, eggs, honey, animal milk and its derivatives, and encourages the use of alternatives for all commodities derived wholly or in part from animals.”
There you go, plain and simple, honey is NOT vegan. But, I know people don’t like to make things that simple. Why not? Isn’t life already too complicated?
So, why, other than that pesky definition is honey not vegan?
1. Honeybees, like other animals, have a complex central nervous system, which means they are able to experience pain and suffering
2. Bees create honey for themselves. Beekeepers take this from them and replace it with corn syrup or sugar water, a poor substitute.
3. Queen honeybees have a natural lifespan of five years but most will be killed every one to two years.
4. Bees are smoked out of the hives to retrieve honey and many are killed during this process either by being crushed or when they sting the keepers.
The list really could go on; if you have a sincere interest in the subject I suggest you check out the Vegetus.org page on the subject here. It is a well thought out, well written, and researched explanation of why honey is NOT vegan.
Honey is not something hard to avoid, there are plenty of alternatives to honey including agave nectar, maple syrup, and Just Like Honey. Am I bummed that the otherwise vegan cinnamon rolls at my local bakery contain honey? You bet! Am I going to eat them anyways? Nope! I can live without honey, but the bees work hard to produce it FOR THEMSELVES, and so they should be the ones consuming it.
Also, a note on vegan nomenclature from Vegetus.org that I find particularly important: