Are Vegan’s happy to buy Lush Bee related products?
I recently attended a blogging event at the Lush store in Liverpool, it was a great night and the Lush staff are fantastic hosts. The event was aimed at promoting the upcoming festive season and next week after halloween I will publish a blog post with some festive gift buying inspiration. First though I want to share an interesting conversation I had with one of the skin expert staff members regarding the ingredients of honey and beeswax in their products. The lady I was speaking with wanted to make it completely clear that Lush source all of their animal derived products from the most ethical of suppliers and that one of her colleagues who is also a Vegan, was initially not happy to use any products that contained the ingredients honey, beeswax or egg’s but after learning more about where the ingredients came from felt confident enough that he wasn’t buying into cruelty.
Many people often ask why honey and beeswax aren’t considered Vegan?
Well a Vegan by definition is a person who refrains from using any kind of animal products or by products, in food, beauty products, clothing and for any other day to day purpose.
There are however many reasons as to why people these days are adopting a Vegan lifestyle. Some people are Vegan for the animals, some go Vegan for the environment and there are others that become plant based vegan for their health.
My personal motivation is for the animals and I want to ensure that I am not unconsciously buying into cruelty whenever I make a purchase.
Another question people often have is “what’s so cruel about using bee derived products”?
Sadly in any industry where there is profit to be made ethics are rarely considered.
No exception spared for the bee whose survival is integral to our very own survival and the survival of our Earth as we know it.
In manufactured Bee Keeping the Queen often has one of her wings cut or painted with nail varnish to stop them from leaving the hive and flying away, this also prevents swarming.
The culling of drone bees (male bees who don’t contribute to the production of honey).
Bee’s produce honey to feed the hive, many hives have been completely wiped out due to starvation over the winter months as a result of too much honey being removed from the hive and not leaving enough for the Bee’s to survive.
Many Bee’s are also killed during the process of obtaining honey from the hive.
That said I do believe that there are independent BeeKeepers who keep Bee’s ethically and do what they can to help increase their ever depleting numbers.
(Pictured above) David is one of the Lush Bee related product suppliers, this is his take on ethical bee keeping.
David prefers a hands off approach and does not cut the Queen Bee’s wing, or cull male drone bees. His hives are bigger than standard hives to minimise stress to the bees. He will not intervene with a hive unless he feels that the colony is struggling to survive. Over winter he leaves them with enough honey to sustain them, again only intervening in feeding them if there is a delayed summer.
There is no doubt that the reason why honey is used in so many beauty products is due to its incredible beneficial properties.
Of course there are other products out there that can substitute both honey and beeswax but none quite match their almost magic like qualities. So in some way it is understandable that beauty and cosmetic companies still use bee produce. In fact the usage of Bee related products dates as far back as ancient Egypt.
Going back to my original question “are Vegan’s happy to use Bee related products”?
I feel Lush genuinely aims to be ethical and profitable as possible, they have a reputation for being a great employer and generally seeking to have the best practises for animals, the environment and people. It’s easy to see this is why many Vegan’s love Lush, especially considering that they label their Vegan products and approximately 70% of their products are Vegan friendly.
As a Vegan I believe nature shouldn’t need human intervention, still I wonder have humans interfered so much with nature to the detriment of Bee’s and now like many other species they require our help for survival.
Considering this should it be necessary that we continue to take from them in order to care for them when our own survival is very much intertwined.
I would love to hear other people’s thoughts and knowledge on this topic so please feel free to leave a comment below and start a conversation.