Beeswax – Is It Vegan?
Q: I am trying to go vegan and have found myself in some tough situations. One involves products with beeswax. Is this considered as bad as honey? Thanks!
I am vegan, and I became vegan for many reasons, and although I do avoid beeswax and honey, I never found out why I really should be. Is there cruelty somehow involved in it? I usually buy from my local greenmarket and its hard to imagine that the vendors would partake in some sort of cruelty like that. I just wanted to know if someone knew more about this.
VegFamily readers reply:
Every product which is the result of advantage taken of others regardless of species, is to be avoided. Because another of another species is not killed in the gathering of their useful materials is not reason enough to justify our taking the product of their labors without consent. Within our own species it is known as theft, for a bee, we are wrecking their homes and taking something they’ve worked a lot to get and are willing to sacrifice their individual lives to protect.
I am a big fan lip balms. I love Burts Bees but they use beeswax so I am giving them up. Hemp balm is a nice option.
Bee’s wax is vegetarian. Vegetarian products contain no animal flesh. Because there’s no dead animal in bee wax it is acceptable to (most?) vegetarians.
Bee’s wax is not vegan, at least not to many vegans. It is an animal product but some vegans do use honey and bee’s wax because they have no problem with the products produced by bees to be consumed. So some who call themselves vegan still consume bee’s wax.
Tom’s of Maine claim their products contain no animal ingredients. However, they use beeswax some of their products, like their dental floss. According to the company, “Both the beeswax and propolis are bee products. These ingredients are removed from the hive and neither the bees nor the hive are harmed in any way during the process. While some people do consider these ingredients to be animal derivates, others do not.”
However, according to the Vegan Society, veganism is a lifestyle that avoids exploitation or cruelty to animals. So while the process of removing the honey and wax may not harm bees, it is exploitation of ther production.
A bee colony requires 200 lbs of honey a year to survive. If humans remove honey from a hive is that not exploiting the bees?