Thursday, July 31, 2008
Interesting article on Slate, exploring the debate within (and without) the vegan community about whether vegans should eat honey.
On the one hand, the harvesting of honey seems to cause no apparent harm to the bees. It's not like we're harvesting their eggs or their milk.
Or is it? The article points that commercial honey-harvesting subjects bees to inhumane (in-bee-mane?) circumstances: removable racks that force construction of uniform hexagonal chambers, a "queen excluder" which imprisons the queen bee in one part of the hive so she doesn't lay eggs everywhere and make a "dark comb" whatever that means... and let's not forget the constant smoke spraying which inhibits the bees' alarm system. Isn't honey the equivalent of cow's milk? Bee-milk? Aren't we stealing from bee babies?
I suppose that's the problem when you take any eating principle and follow it down to the 't'. You're left with such an absurdly restricted diet... one that would induce suicidal thoughts in my carnivorous brain.
I think we're kinda screwed no matter what -- the cruel truth about our existence is that there is a food chain and we're on top (until sharks grow legs and lungs). So all of our food comes at the expense of the organisms we're torturing to get it.
I am not a vegan. I am a proud meat-eater -- I don't like animals to suffer, but in the grand scheme of things, I believe God put cows on the earth so that we could have some delicious steak every now and then. I can't even imagine the kind of delicious steak God has cooking in His kitchen. Oh man!!!
But I believe that God did want us to treat animals with respect. After all, He made them! I try not to eat a lot of it, and when I do buy it, I try to buy only organic, grass-fed, shiatsu-massaged stuff, because thank Goodness, I am able to afford the stuff. And now, after reading this article, I am inspired by Michael Pollan's mantra: "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants."
So I am going to try my hand at eating meat in fewer than half of my meals.
What do you do? How much meat do you eat? Do you think that eating honey is ok? Do you want to try this experiment with me?
at 11:32 AM