Many people visit this website by searching for “beeswax candles” on Google, or because you used to buy beeswax candles from me. I originally made and sold only two products: beeswax candles and three kinds of soap. Then I began making other things and added them to my shop.
It’s life…things change
One of the most profound changes for me was becoming a vegan rather than only vegetarian. Learning more about the dairy, chicken egg and bee product industries was the impetus. Isn’t it interesting that when one searches for information rather than accepting what you grew up with, one’s thinking often changes?
Aside from no longer eating dairy cheese, my biggest challenge came after learning more about bees and the production of honey. Beeswax candles were my biggest shop revenue source. Most vegans do not use beeswax or honey. My perspective changed after learning more about bees: they make their hives, combs and honey for their own ‘families,’ not for humans to take; rather obvious when you think about it. Therefore I choose not to use beeswax any more, and to use plant alternatives to honey.
Some information sources about bees and beeswax
Native Bees of North America “The honey bee, remarkable as it is, doesn’t know how to pollinate a tomato or an eggplant flower, while some native bees are masters at this. The same thing happens with a number of native plants, such as pumpkins and watermelons, blueberries and cranberries, which are more efficiently pollinated by native bees than by honey bees.”
The Vegan Society: Why honey isn’t vegan
Pros and cons: From slate.com
The Kind Life: Alicia Silverstone
Ethical bee keeping: Dylan Kendall
The Ultimate Guide to British Bees: Clive Harris (mostly pertinent to bees anywhere)
Beeswax alternatives include candelilla wax (this is what I use in the skin creams and lip balms I make), sustainably-harvested carnauba wax, non-GMO soy wax and bayberry wax. Alternatives to honey include maple syrup, organic agave nectar, pure organic cane sugar and coconut nectar.
Cheese has addictive qualities, which is why it’s so difficult for many to become truly vegan. After about three weeks, the addiction disappears and it tastes mostly like pure fat. That was my experience. I also tried some commercial vegan cheese alternatives. Although I understand that there are some good ones available elsewhere, in my area there are very few and I don’t like them. However…I found some interesting alternatives I can make myself. More about that in a future blog post.