By Megan Vick
At Shorganics, and at home, one of the favorite sayings is “That’s not vegan…” Whether we’re watching a pride of lionesses hunt, or watching what’s-his-face devour some unseemly burger on The Travel Channel, it’s always said as a statement of the obvious and all in good fun.
But what happens you have a dish labeled vegan, but there is honey it (baklava, anyone)? What happens when you find a fashion brand who claims all items are vegan, but uses wool? These are some of the ambiguous situations people find themselves in everyday. I was once told by a “staunch” vegan, “of course I eat honey! Bees aren’t animals.”
While bees most certainly and irrefutably are animals, the argument remains, if the bees don’t get hurt in the harvesting of honey, what’s so bad? The same can be said for many other things. Have you seen an unshorn (unsheared?) sheep in the summer? They are not happy critters. Sheep need to have that excess winter wool removed to be happy and comfortable in the warmer months. The question is? What to do with all that wool? If the farmer shears the sheep in a non-threatening and harmless way and the sheep is not raised for wool, would you wear something made from that particular farm?
Don’t take “That’s not vegan” too seriously. The attempt to reduce and remove animal products from your life is wonderful and every little bit helps the planet. No matter what vegan conundrum plays out in your life, it’s important not to judge others who might incorporate wool or honey into their lives.
I do give you full permission to point out to anyone that bees are, and always will be, animals.