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Now, don't get me wrong, I am a simply delightful person and everyone loves me. I certainly wouldn't do anything simply to irritate someone about their dietary choices. However, I have been known to upset the young vegetarian by discussing the origins of the rennet used in the cheese on the pizza they declare a staple in their diet. Not really intending to be mean, but "in for a penny, in for a pound" right?

So I was having a discussion with a vegan the other day. She explained to me that she didn't use any animal products, either created from or by animals including honey and the like. I suggested that would be very likely to result in a very boring diet. I asked how she felt about honey. "Big NoGo!" That's made by bees. I then asked her about milk, to which she said "I don't need to get milk from a cow, I can just drink and use almond milk for anything where you would use/drink milk." Do you see where I am going next?

So I asked, if the poor bees are being subjugated and mistreated by beekeepers to make honey, why would it be okay to use almonds created by those same subjugated enslaved bees? Were the almonds any less a product of the bees? And pretty much every other bee pollinated foodstuff where farmers paid for or otherwise benefited from the working by bees?

Certainly we are no longer using mules and oxen to plow fields and mill corn and other grain. But aren't many of the fields growing such foodstuffs fertilized with a product made by cows too :)
 

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I have been known to upset the young vegetarian by discussing the origins of the rennet used in the cheese on the pizza they declare a staple in their diet.
Used to call these "snackatarians" When I was on ship in the Navy there would be one or two veg/vegans, but in reality with ship food, their diet was junk food and rice.

As for bees, I have heard the arguments, the uninformed often say things like "But your stealing food for the baybeeeeeees!!!!" which is easy to explain away, as if we are leaving the entire colony to starve. The more informed argument is about them being livestock, which is a sound argument and I can respect that.

The almond thing I have actual never really considered! Great point that the almond industry relies on managed bees for pollination. No industrial bees, no almonds. Now out side of that, lots of food relies on pollinators, but wild pollinators you could argue are not being forced into servitude. I know a number of apple growers that stopped having bees brought in to cut costs and they found the natives were doing a great job pollinating for them.

At the end of the day, I think for some, you just cant split every hair. But as beekeepers, I think the almond one is very valid as it is a staple in the vegan diet. I'd love to hear some others thoughts on it.
 

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Now, don't get me wrong, I am a simply delightful person and everyone loves me. I certainly wouldn't do anything simply to irritate someone about their dietary choices. However, I have been known to upset the young vegetarian by discussing the origins of the rennet used in the cheese on the pizza they declare a staple in their diet. Not really intending to be mean, but "in for a penny, in for a pound" right?

So I was having a discussion with a vegan the other day. She explained to me that she didn't use any animal products, either created from or by animals including honey and the like. I suggested that would be very likely to result in a very boring diet. I asked how she felt about honey. "Big NoGo!" That's made by bees. I then asked her about milk, to which she said "I don't need to get milk from a cow, I can just drink and use almond milk for anything where you would use/drink milk." Do you see where I am going next?

So I asked, if the poor bees are being subjugated and mistreated by beekeepers to make honey, why would it be okay to use almonds created by those same subjugated enslaved bees? Were the almonds any less a product of the bees? And pretty much every other bee pollinated foodstuff where farmers paid for or otherwise benefited from the working by bees?

Certainly we are no longer using mules and oxen to plow fields and mill corn and other grain. But aren't many of the fields growing such foodstuffs fertilized with a product made by cows too :)
:):thumbsup:
 

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Good point Absinthe.

I did have a stint as a vegetarian (now abandoned), and at that time joined some online forums for learning, the main one being WFPB, which had a good smattering of vegans. Once people found out I was a beekeeper, some of the other vegans fessed up that they also kept bees, but felt it was OK as they loved their bees, tended them carefully, and did not feel they were exploited. But then the online arguing and exchange of insults commenced, and I was amazed at the avarice and judgementalism that some vegans put forth towards beekeepers.

So I jumped in and said there is an elephant in the room, being fruit and other bee pollinated crops. This had clearly not occurred to any of them, and they were unable to come up with a response. Because for some orchards the natural level of pollinators will be enough, but for the majority of commercial orchards there is a big difference in crop if they get honeybees in, or if they don't.

IE, if you buy a bee pollinated product, even at your organic or vegan friendly outlet, odds are there will be a commercial honeybee involvement in there somewhere along the production chain.

I put to the vegans that if they won't eat honey, it would be equally immoral to eat fruit, or any other bee pollinated product. The silence from them on the issue was deafening, and since then I have seen no upgrading of vegan philosophy to exclude bee pollinated products. Probably because as a practical reality, their dull and boring diets would become even more so and be untenable.

So it would seem that even in the self righteous and holier than thou world of vegan doctrine, practicality can in the end, trump principle.

Having said all that, I do know some vegans personally, and seems like being vegan can mean whatever the person wants it to mean. The ones I know personally have not expressed any issues with me being a beekeeper.
 

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At the risk of becoming the whipping boy of this thread, I'm a vegetarian beekeeper. I do agree with the premise that drinking almond milk is very similar to eating honey in terms of its effect on honey bees. I wrote about this vegan/honey issue last year if anyone's interested: https://www.mitecalculator.com/bee-yard-blog/2019/11/17/is-honey-vegan

I kinda make the same case as Absinthe, though my tone is bit more forgiving. :)
 

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At the risk of becoming the whipping boy of this thread, I'm a vegetarian beekeeper. I do agree with the premise that drinking almond milk is very similar to eating honey in terms of its effect on honey bees. I wrote about this vegan/honey issue last year if anyone's interested: https://www.mitecalculator.com/bee-yard-blog/2019/11/17/is-honey-vegan

I kinda make the same case as Absinthe, though my tone is bit more forgiving. :)
I hope my tone didn't come across any stronger than irritating. I a very respective of a person's choices, dietary or otherwise. Religion is what you make it, and for some people arbitrary veganism is a form or religion whether there is a higher power involved or not. But, I do feel it necessary to present a person with information that will either challenge or strengthen their beliefs. I have been full on macrobiotic vegetarian, but now I consider myself ovum-lacto-pesci-pollo-carne-vegetarian. Blind faith can be awesome to see. But informed rational decision making is important.

If a person tells me they won't eat a product that comes from an animal's death, yet they are eating a non-vegetable-based rennet cheese, am I wrong to tell them what rennet is, where it comes from and how it is used in cheese? They have the ability to make decisions based on the information they now possess. It might be irritating to know that their favorite food is actually made with a meat product. But they can choose to ignore it, rationalize or, or choose to use only vegetable based cheeses. I offer no judgement, but I do challenge thought.

The vegan thing is similar. If they won't eat honey, but live on almond milk they do need to be aware of the actual facts involved. They can make whatever decision they like with that information, even if it causes them to change their chosen label. Or simply blocking me on the particular service we were having the discussion. Veganism is pretty tough. Especially, if you don't personally grow all your own foods, and prepare them also.

I have also shared the use and origin the shellac in shiny candies and such. And certainly questioned them about their use of leather belts and shoes.

The topic was meant as a verb describing me. That I have irritated vegan people. Not that vegans are necessarily irritating.

There are plenty of good arguments for not eating meats produced in our industrial farming system. As well there are plenty of medical reasons for avoiding many meat products, and having a more plant based diet. Just doing my part, to help people do what they say they want to do, or decide they don't really want to do it.
 

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Vegan, hmmm As I recall its an "old world " term for poor hunter. :)

Sorry I do not understand the concept of eliminating raw Milk, Honey, Eggs, wild meats, fish, etc from ones diet.
We are in the food chain, if one chooses to disconnect and reconnect to different place, Whatever.
Most Vegans I know had issues later in life, around finding enough quality protein.

Also is not bread, beer, wine, and spirits, made by enslaving Yeasts, and forcing them to do the predigestion for us, hmmm that sound mean....
Yeasts are living things are they not.

GG Proudly Omnivore, emulating, my spirit animal the Bear
 

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I have also shared the use and origin the shellac in shiny candies and such. And certainly questioned them about their use of leather belts and shoes.
Shellac is an interesting one. I am a furniture maker by trade, specifically in period furniture. Shellac is often my go-to for a lot of things. It is collected from trees so not really a product that requires the death of an insect to produce, but still an animal product that many might not be aware of, and used in many products they also might not be aware of. I think it is in the same vein as honey as far as how it is produced (and a fantastic material as well!)

We also use what we now call "protein based glues" aka "Hide glue", which is a traditional animal based glue and is still very relevant today in furniture making. Today it is really just un-refined gelatin. We even have some "food grade" glue which is really just clear gelatin. Side note, I bet a lot of people don't know that Jell-O is not vegetarian as well!

I am very careful when talking about our processes and using this glue. A colleague of mine was telling a client all about the traditional glue "hide glue" and how it used to be made from horses (along with other things, but you know the saying about sending a horse to the glue factory) Turns out the client was a horse farmer... not a good look. But it does bring up the moral implications of letting them know that their custom furniture might not be vegan at all! We even have some applications for rabbit glue and fish glue, although those have very specific use cases, mostly in luthery.

It's a strange thing really. I haven't run into a client that had an issue with it, but I also avoid the gory details. But I am sure it could happen. I think veg/vegan focuses mainly on food, and while some will think about other products (leather being the easy one) I think many don't consider how many products use animal byproducts as well. I think you would go insane trying to be 100% pure vegan and I am not sure in today's world you really could be.

So for many, there might be some hypocrisy in their belief system, but one might just have to accept the fact that no perfect system exists and just do their best to get as close as they can. The idea might not be to be a perfect vegan, but to at least lessen their environmental impact as much as they can. I can agree with things like how factory farming is an ethical and ecological issue. Where almonds might need commercial bees to be produced but the ethical impact is less than the meat issue.
 

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Shellac is an interesting one. I am a furniture maker by trade, specifically in period furniture. Shellac is often my go-to for a lot of things. It is collected from trees so not really a product that requires the death of an insect to produce, but still an animal product that many might not be aware of, and used in many products they also might not be aware of. I think it is in the same vein as honey as far as how it is produced (and a fantastic material as well!)

We also use what we now call "protein based glues" aka "Hide glue", which is a traditional animal based glue and is still very relevant today in furniture making. Today it is really just un-refined gelatin. We even have some "food grade" glue which is really just clear gelatin. Side note, I bet a lot of people don't know that Jell-O is not vegetarian as well!

I am very careful when talking about our processes and using this glue. A colleague of mine was telling a client all about the traditional glue "hide glue" and how it used to be made from horses (along with other things, but you know the saying about sending a horse to the glue factory) Turns out the client was a horse farmer... not a good look. But it does bring up the moral implications of letting them know that their custom furniture might not be vegan at all! We even have some applications for rabbit glue and fish glue, although those have very specific use cases, mostly in luthery.

It's a strange thing really. I haven't run into a client that had an issue with it, but I also avoid the gory details. But I am sure it could happen. I think veg/vegan focuses mainly on food, and while some will think about other products (leather being the easy one) I think many don't consider how many products use animal byproducts as well. I think you would go insane trying to be 100% pure vegan and I am not sure in today's world you really could be.

So for many, there might be some hypocrisy in their belief system, but one might just have to accept the fact that no perfect system exists and just do their best to get as close as they can. The idea might not be to be a perfect vegan, but to at least lessen their environmental impact as much as they can. I can agree with things like how factory farming is an ethical and ecological issue. Where almonds might need commercial bees to be produced but the ethical impact is less than the meat issue.
I do love glue talk. There is a recipe around in the amateur luthier circles for using knox blocks to make a glue. I will use hide glue from time to time, but I prefer the one that is always liquid. I hadn't heard that you could just use salt with your already pot softened glue to keep it that way, but I came across some recipes that suggested getting some urea from the garden center. So unaware of the consequences I went to the SS and asked where I could get some urea. Things got quiet and I started getting some looks. The person made a quick phone call, and a 3 piece suit manager comes from somewhere and says "Walk with me..." He continues to ask me all sorts of odd questions. I answered him appropriately I guess until he asked how much I need. When I told him about "this much" and showed him with my hand, he kind of chuckled. He reached behind one of the counters and grabbed a plastic bag and continued having me follow him. We came to these huge dump bins in the back of the store. where they had mulch, and crushed stone and rock salt then finally there was one with the cutest little white pellets in it. He reached in and grabbed a handful and tossed it in the bag. Then wrote $1 on it with a sharpy and sent me back into the store to pay for it. Weirdest experience ever...

I am also a soap maker. And some of the best soap is made with lard, and some equally good stuff is made with beef tallow. The normal recipe is made with palm oil. So when I found that many of my Muslim customers were opposed to anything involving pigs, I happily switched from lard to beef tallow. When I found vegetarian/vegan folks not being happy with the beef I moved to palm oil. Then all the sudden, people became very concerned about palm oils and how the harvest of it was damaging the habitat of the orangutan. Well, shoot, I just stopped worrying. I make a soap that I like, and if someone is interested in buying it from me, I will sell it to them. If someone wants something very specific, I will make it, but they have to buy the whole kilogram batch. It is funny. some of the best ingredients are the least expensive. But they tend to be more offensive. Funny thing, as long as you make no claims other than that it cleans, you don't have to label all the ingredients that go into soap. It is protected as a special product that way. So now I just make soap, and unless someone asks what is in it, I don't offer the details. Mostly they care about the smell and perhaps the color.

Sometimes it is just better not to know how the sausage is made. :)
 

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As with everything, one should look back and ask - so what was happening the last 100K years? 1M years?
Well, the human species was always an omnivore, no IFs and no BUTs.

That's what we are and this is how we are built and this is what required for our optimal performance and health - the variety of foods - both meat and veg in various shapes and sizes.
The omnivores that we are.

PS: last night I made a nice batch of pressed drone brood/honey mix and just had some this morning;
hehehe, this one usually irks some of the beekeeping colleagues.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Vegan, hmmm As I recall its an "old world " term for poor hunter. :)

Sorry I do not understand the concept of eliminating raw Milk, Honey, Eggs, wild meats, fish, etc from ones diet.
We are in the food chain, if one chooses to disconnect and reconnect to different place, Whatever.
Most Vegans I know had issues later in life, around finding enough quality protein.

Also is not bread, beer, wine, and spirits, made by enslaving Yeasts, and forcing them to do the predigestion for us, hmmm that sound mean....
Yeasts are living things are they not.

GG Proudly Omnivore, emulating, my spirit animal the Bear
I believe the justification for yeasts is that they consider them plants rather than animals. Although my kombucha that I make uses both yeast and bacteria in its SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast)... Yumtastic.

I do get the vegetarianism thing. But and I still haven't found one, there is no actual culture that is truly vegan. So there's that. And how many vegans have cats? Dogs can actually live on a vegetarian diet. Cats can not.

If you weren't supposed to eat animals they wouldn't be made out of meat.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Shellac is an interesting one. I am a furniture maker by trade, specifically in period furniture. Shellac is often my go-to for a lot of things. It is collected from trees so not really a product that requires the death of an insect to produce.
Not so quick. according to http://thegreenvegans.com/what-is-shellac/
Shellac, or E904, is a glazing agent made from the secretion of female lac bugs. After fertilization, the female lac bug finds a spot on a tree and creates a layer of shellac that covers herself entirely. In this cocoon-like place, the lac bug lays her eggs, which will be protected thanks to the shellac. Later the eggs will hatch and the new lac bugs will come out from under the shellac.

Nowadays shellac is mostly produced on special shellac plantations in Southeast Asia. There lac bugs live in trees and are harvested periodically. This happens by scraping off the layer of shellac from the branches of the trees, which kills many lac bugs and their eggs. Usually enough branches are spared to ensure that the lac bug colony survives and can continue to reproduce and make more shellac.
 

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As with everything, one should look back and ask - so what was happening the last 100K years? 1M years?
Well, the human species was always an omnivore, no IFs and no BUTs.

That's what we are and this is how we are built and this is what required for our optimal performance and health - the variety of foods - both meat and veg in various shapes and sizes.
The omnivores that we are.

PS: last night I made a nice batch of pressed drone brood/honey mix and just had some this morning;
hehehe, this one usually irks some of the beekeeping colleagues.
So you eat the raw drone brood crushed into the honey? I have heard of a French dish where it is harvested and fried. But not raw. How does it taste? Do the varroa add anything to it?
 

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So you eat the raw drone brood crushed into the honey? I have heard of a French dish where it is harvested and fried. But not raw. How does it taste? Do the varroa add anything to it?
Pressed drone brood is an expensive nutritional supplement sold in Eastern Euro.
In Russia they have even the official federal standard designed for this particular product:
http://docs.cntd.ru/document/1200125975

Some beeks specialize exclusively in producing this product - forget the silly honey (why move tonnes when you can move pounds for the same money).
Here is one such producer:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBoOHddHX_Ui6pihnZuszew

Tastes great.
I mix it with honey 50/50 and keep in the freezer (it is highly perishable product).
I take it directly from the freezer as the mix stays liquid and administer by a table spoon once in AM.
One reason why I even run the bees - the eco-clean pressed brood is impossible to find in the US.
 

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I think people often embrace such idealistic behaviors for a sense of identity and often with a bit of virtue signalling involved. Lots of worse things they could be doing in search for a identity. If they dont get too missionary about it I can forego my need to alter their way of thinking.
 

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I do love glue talk. There is a recipe around in the amateur luthier circles for using knox blocks to make a glue. I will use hide glue from time to time, but I prefer the one that is always liquid. I hadn't heard that you could just use salt with your already pot softened glue to keep it that way, but I came across some recipes that suggested getting some urea from the garden center. So unaware of the consequences I went to the SS and asked where I could get some urea. Things got quiet and I started getting some looks. The person made a quick phone call, and a 3 piece suit manager comes from somewhere and says "Walk with me..." He continues to ask me all sorts of odd questions. I answered him appropriately I guess until he asked how much I need. When I told him about "this much" and showed him with my hand, he kind of chuckled. He reached behind one of the counters and grabbed a plastic bag and continued having me follow him. We came to these huge dump bins in the back of the store. where they had mulch, and crushed stone and rock salt then finally there was one with the cutest little white pellets in it. He reached in and grabbed a handful and tossed it in the bag. Then wrote $1 on it with a sharpy and sent me back into the store to pay for it. Weirdest experience ever...
Yah! We have experimented with lots of recipes to change the characteristics of the glue. We use hot hide glue 99% of the time, started from granuals. But we also really like "Old Brown Glue" which is urea stabilized glue. We have tried the salt thing, as well a glucose to make it more flexable, and some other additives to see how water resistant it can be. Fun stuff.

There is a book, I can't seem to find it. Might be "Hide Glue, Historical and practical applications" or simply "The Hide Glue Book", I forget. But it has lots of recipies, not sure how well any of them work, but fun to mess around with.
 

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BTW: the grains were added to the human diet only 10K years ago - basically yesterday.

This raises a valid question, do the grains and beans even belong in the proper human diet?

Very well one can argue that the grains/beans don't even properly belong in our daily eat.

As well, one can argue that most modern deceases come from the excessive consumption of grain-based foods (ESPECIALLY refined grain-based foods. This is abnormal per the very basic human biology - human body is not really tuned well to consume lots of grain products.
 

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I do love glue talk. There is a recipe around in the amateur luthier circles for using knox blocks to make a glue. I will use hide glue from time to time, but I prefer the one that is always liquid. I hadn't heard that you could just use salt with your already pot softened glue to keep it that way, but I came across some recipes that suggested getting some urea from the garden center. So unaware of the consequences I went to the SS and asked where I could get some urea. Things got quiet and I started getting some looks. The person made a quick phone call, and a 3 piece suit manager comes from somewhere and says "Walk with me..." He continues to ask me all sorts of odd questions. I answered him appropriately I guess until he asked how much I need. When I told him about "this much" and showed him with my hand, he kind of chuckled. He reached behind one of the counters and grabbed a plastic bag and continued having me follow him. We came to these huge dump bins in the back of the store. where they had mulch, and crushed stone and rock salt then finally there was one with the cutest little white pellets in it. He reached in and grabbed a handful and tossed it in the bag. Then wrote $1 on it with a sharpy and sent me back into the store to pay for it. Weirdest experience ever...

I am also a soap maker. And some of the best soap is made with lard, and some equally good stuff is made with beef tallow. The normal recipe is made with palm oil. So when I found that many of my Muslim customers were opposed to anything involving pigs, I happily switched from lard to beef tallow. When I found vegetarian/vegan folks not being happy with the beef I moved to palm oil. Then all the sudden, people became very concerned about palm oils and how the harvest of it was damaging the habitat of the orangutan. Well, shoot, I just stopped worrying. I make a soap that I like, and if someone is interested in buying it from me, I will sell it to them. If someone wants something very specific, I will make it, but they have to buy the whole kilogram batch. It is funny. some of the best ingredients are the least expensive. But they tend to be more offensive. Funny thing, as long as you make no claims other than that it cleans, you don't have to label all the ingredients that go into soap. It is protected as a special product that way. So now I just make soap, and unless someone asks what is in it, I don't offer the details. Mostly they care about the smell and perhaps the color.

Sometimes it is just better not to know how the sausage is made. :)
In case you were curious as to why the manager appeared when you asked for urea, it is because it can be used as a major component of explosives.
 

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Yah! We have experimented with lots of recipes to change the characteristics of the glue. We use hot hide glue 99% of the time, started from granuals. But we also really like "Old Brown Glue" which is urea stabilized glue. We have tried the salt thing, as well a glucose to make it more flexable, and some other additives to see how water resistant it can be. Fun stuff.

There is a book, I can't seem to find it. Might be "Hide Glue, Historical and practical applications" or simply "The Hide Glue Book", I forget. But it has lots of recipies, not sure how well any of them work, but fun to mess around with.
For the time being, I am mostly happy with TB I, II, III and Cyanoacrylate (used when using toothpicks for frets on Canjos) canjo.jpg I have been staying way away from any reproduction, and repair work lately. I am just not that good at it, and I don't really enjoy it. My wife does refinishing and that sort of thing, but she is also not doing major repairs, just good enough for something usable based on the pricing model we can get at our booth.
 

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In case you were curious as to why the manager appeared when you asked for urea, it is because it can be used as a major component of explosives.
I understand now, how the high nitrogen of the urea could possibly become a component in some diesel and fertilizer bomb, but in wanting a handful of the stuff to me seems like thinking someone buying 1 pill of pseudoephedrine to try and make meth. Especially when they have bags of 10-0-0 sitting right there in the middle of the floor. I am pretty sure this was not long after the "Timothy James McVeigh" incident which may have had people on a bit of heightened alert. But never, since nor before had I ever seen anyone in SS with a three piece suit on. So there's that. :)
 
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