Could Bee Pollen, be Vegan?
Every respectable vegan knows that honey is not vegan due to the exploitation of the bees in the process of honey 'manufacturing', but is pollen vegan?
Well there is no easy straightforward answer here, as it is a personal choice, based on how you treat and live your veganism. Some vegans are stricter than others, while some are quite relaxed with how they choose to act as a vegan.
Within this article, we shall look at the leading points as to why pollen may or may not be vegan, and why some vegans will use pollen and while other will not touch it with a large pole.
Let's first define what a vegan is for those non-vegans reading along:
"Veganism is a way of living which excludes all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, the animal kingdom, and includes a reverence for life. It applies to the practice of living on the products of the plant kingdom to the exclusion of flesh, fish, fowl, eggs, honey, animal milk and its derivatives, and encourages the use of alternatives for all commodities derived wholly or in part from animals. "
Donald Watson, 1944
The Arguments For And Against Bee Pollen Being Vegan
As you can see being a vegan involves boycotting all forms of animal exploitation, but you still have to ask is pollen vegan. Since determining whether the harvesting or pollen could be classed as a form of exploitation?
On the one hand, it is because the bees are normally kept strictly for the purpose of fertilizing fruit orchards and are often rented out to fertilize the flowers. Thus, humanity is exploiting the skills of the honey bee, and as such, it makes pollen non-vegan.
Yet, on the other hand, this pollen is a waste product, the bees have not collected it for their own purpose, nor have as humans encouraged or exploited them to collect the pollen. Furthermore, not all apiaries are kept for human necessities; some apiaries are developed for the benefit of the environment. In parts of the world with minimal bees, apiaries are set up to encourage the local flora to grow and flourish, and the pollen from these ventures is incidental, not manufactured.
Ultimately, It's A Personal Choice
Both the reasons above are valid; it certainly is a personal choice when it comes to deciding, is pollen vegan or not?
Though, for those who are only vegan for the dietary benefits as compared to the ethical quandaries, then pollen can most assuredly be considered vegan in your situation.
This is due to its minimal effect of your calorific intake, more so, pollen is loaded with all those natural enzymes, vitamins and minerals that your diet will be missing since you became a vegan. By taking pollen, you will find all of those minerals and vitamins that you lost out on when you cut meat, eggs and dairy out of your diet.
Overall, I have to, once again reiterate, the answer to 'is bee pollen vegan?' Is a decision based upon your strictness as a vegan and adherence to the quote above. However, if you personally decide that pollen is not vegan, then you will lose out on the opportunity to take a natural daily supplement that has more oomph than an energy-drink and multivitamin combined!
With such a limited diet, taking such a powerful supplement as pollen, is a wise move, for those vegans looking to remain as active as possible while still avoiding though high energy non-vegan foods.