Thursday, December 8, 2011

Honey-What's the buzz?

When I first went vegan in the fall of 2010, I didn't consider insects a part of my circle of compassion.
Why should, or would I?! Bugs are annoying, at best! When asked by my fellow belly dancers, how I felt about honey, I wasn't sure what to say. I didn't know much about bees or how the honey was collected. I think I said I was fine with honey.
Then I read a few articles and vegan books that talked about the problems with keeping bees.
Course, I can't recall where I read what!<eye roll>
But, I have learned, and since grown. As I'm sure I'll continue to grow as I learn more! Ahh living.
Fuck, I love living!
As I was saying(I get side-tracked), I did learn that bees have central nervous systems. They can feel!

I do remember, quite distinctly, when I was about 7 or 8 years old, I had somehow captured 3 or 4 bees in a glass mason jar. I was delighted!
I also knew that I had to let them out, or they would die. I was too afraid of the bees stinging me to let them out. They died. It was a tough day for me. I remember this event, twenty-odd years later!
Never did that again! Boy howdy!

Bees can and do, inevitably, also get injured or killed when their honey is collected.  The queen bee is also 'replaced' (killed) every 2 years.
I learned that bees are in the phylum Arthropoda-the same as lobsters and crabs! While, it may be true that lobsters and crabs are insects of the sea, lobsters and crabs can also feel. In fact, Whole Foods decided they would no longer carry lobsters because keeping them in captivity is too inhumane! It is tempting to say that I shouldn't be following the ethics of a corporation and, fair enough! But at the same time, if a multi-million dollar corporation has a problem with keeping live lobsters, shouldn't that tell us something?!
Another great thought on honey, is that honey is bee vomit.(Gary Yourofsky was the first person I heard that called honey 'bee vomit'.)
There are many different plant-based liquid sweeteners out there: agave nectar, brown rice syrup, and maple syrup to name the ones I can say off the top of my head. And I have a severe brain injury! See-you can learn this stuff! Easy. I did!
I have changed my position when it comes to bees, honey, and beeswax. I purposely avoid it. It still wrinkles my brain that bees can feel! I buy different crackers now. Instead of the honey graham crackers, I buy amaranth graham crackers. I no longer purchase goods with beeswax.
I do still use my old vitamin E cream, that has beeswax. I bought it prior to becoming vegan. Namely for my tracheotomy scar. Today I get professional photos taken for my vehicle insurance to assess how much money I get for my scarring. It's been two years. Craziness!

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