bees, honey and other sticky subjects

Sunday, February 29, 2004

“There are no bad foods, just bad diets.” Discuss.

Until today, I really only really knew about veganism and vegetarianism, but an article in the Straits Times of Singapore tells me that there is a much fuller range: sproutarians, fruitarians, Buddhist vegetarian, vegan, Hindhu vegetarian, ovo-lacto vegetarian and eaters of creatures with faces. Several of these regimes exclude honey from the diet.

Apparently vegans believe that obtaining honey is cruel to bees. My Shorter Oxford Dictionary defines cruelty as “... disposition to inflict suffering, delight in or indifference to to another's pain, mercilessness, pitilessness, hardheartedness, esp as exhibited in action ...” I'm puzzled. In my part of the world, beekeepers have a vested interest in ensuring that their bees are healthy, well-fed and well-housed. Only healthy bees produce sufficient honey to harvest. Can anyone enlighten me about my supposed cruelty? On second thoughts, maybe not. There are more meaningful and constructive debates to engage in.


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