The raw vegan lifestyle is becoming more and more attractive to thousands of new people every year, but some people wonder about whether or not bee products count when it comes to being categorized as a vegan.
Bee products are technically not vegan, but their use by many people who otherwise are has given birth to the new term, “beegan,” which denotes someone who consumes honey and perhaps other bee or insect-derived products.
Since bees typically aren’t harmed during the creation of honey and it is something eaten widely in nature by many other animals, many people have the philosophy that it is is ethically okay to eat bee products despite their overall vegan leanings. Such beegans generally will buy their bee products from local organic beekeepers as a way to support the stewards of this all-important resource of the animal kingdom, who pollinate so many thousands of vital crops and keep nature in balance and harmony.
The term beegan is relatively new but is just another in a long line of monikers for people as they experiment with new diets and new ways to define their eating style.
Why Labels like “Beegan” are Counterproductive
While it is noteworthy that people are using the term beegan to describe their eating habits, it is generally not a good idea to categorize ourselves, especially as eaters.
Staying true to the eating habits we’re supposed to represent can be a difficult job as many people have a tendency to cheat. There are likely hundreds of thousands of people across the world who proclaim themselves to be vegan, a noble way to live for sure, but have likely slipped up and eaten cheese or some other non-vegan product at some point recently.
Similarly, there are probably a lot of vegans out there who eat completely unethical and environmentally destructive foods derived from genetically modified corn and other products, which ultimately does a ton of harm just as eating factory farmed meat would do. I’ve known one myself who is neither healthy nor an ethical consumer in any way.
The challenge is to stop defining each other as this type of eater or that type of eater and simply strive to do our best each day in relation to our current situation. For example, if you’re mostly vegan, be more concerned with buying from ethical companies rather than whether or not you may slip up and eat a piece of cheese every now and then. If you’re a meat eater, be more concerned with reducing your consumption over time and buying from ethically raised, grass fed or pastured small farming sources.
And if you’re a vegetarian or vegan, or even the newest term out there, a “beegan,” try your best to be a positive example rather than forcing your beliefs on others. It generally works better that way, especially when you leave the labels like “vegan” or even “beegan” out of the equation.