When I cut meat, eggs, and dairy out of my diet three years ago, I was pleasantly surprised by how open-minded my friends and dining partners were about the change — with one exception. "You still eat honey, don't you?" they'd ask, with a let's-bee-real eye roll. Onerous dietary restrictions are one thing, they reasoned, but sympathy for the insect kingdom is a different proposition than compassion for the animals. I agreed, and still do.
But the honey question presents a real conundrum for vegans and, in fact, anyone with an interest in responsible, sustainable agriculture, crop diversity and availability, and the stable functioning of a food economy. Can a vegan eat honey and still tote around that V-card? Let's look at the facts.