Martha Stewart, Honey and the Great Vegan Debate
By Michael dEstries, ecorazzi
According to Vegansaurus, during Martha Stewart’s taping of her veganpalooza special, the 69-year-host caused some in the audience to gasp a bit when she added honey to a recipe she was preparing.
“The honey connection is not obvious to everyone so I think she JUST DIDN’T KNOW,” wrote Megan Rascal. “SO this should be viewed as an opportunity to EDUCATE, not an opportunity to attack her.”
I’ve heard that honey is something of debatable foodstuff among vegans, though just going by the standard definition of “consume no animal products” seems to make it a clear-cut no-no for the lifestyle. Upon further digging, however, and some polling of my vegan friends, it appears that consumption of honey, while hush/hush, does happen in the vegan community. In fact, there are some that believe it’s not as big a deal as others would make it out to be.
Full disclosure: I’m not a vegan – just a vegetarian working his way up to it – but I do own two hives. I love my bees, pamper them, use no insecticides or other chemicals, and always leave them much more honey than they need. I know this isn’t the case with some commercial beekeepers, but for me, I consider being a part of their world a privilege. My hives are also free to come and go as they please – so if they ever swarm in search of greener pastures, so be it.
There’s some interesting debate out there over whether honey should be excluded from the “thou shalt not consume” list. Over on CompasionateSpirit.com, Keith Akers wrote an article in 2006 arguing in favor of relaxed sentiments towards those vegans that consume honey. On Vegan.org, the general rule of thumb is to always err on the side of not including honey, though they admit that some vegans do not consider insects as “conscious of pain”. I don’t buy that last part – but to each their own.
So I’m curious – where do you stand on honey? You don’t have to be vegan to answer obviously – and please be respectful of other people’s opinions. I know this can be a heated subject, but let’s try and bee a little sweet, ok? (Bee puns never get old. Never.)