Avocados Aren’t Vegan

Yes, it’s in the news, a new cancelation policy focused mostly on the millennial-favorite fruit, the avocado, but this news also affected almonds, kiwis, and several other fruits and vegetables by claiming that they are not vegan. 

This “news was brought to public attention after someone shared a video from the BBC comedy quiz show, QI.

In the video, host Sandi Toksvig asked: 

“from the following list what can be eaten by “strict vegans”, the choice was avocados, almonds, melons, kiwis, or butternut squash,.” When one contestant answers “any of them,” host Sandi Toksvig informed him that he was wrong.  Of course, the surprised guest asked Why? “The same reason as honey,” Toksvig said. “Because they’re so difficult to cultivate naturally, and all of these crops rely on bees. The bees suffer when placed on the back of trucks and taken long distances across the country. an unnatural use of animals and there are lots of foods that fall out because of this reason.”

However, multiple vegan experts and activists do not agree and consider avocados and almonds are still vegan.

 It’s In The Definition Of Veganism

Looking at the description by The Vegan Society, the creators of the words ‘vegan’ and ‘veganism’, we understand that veganism “is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.”

In a utopian world, we would live entirely independent of animals, and would not take advantage of them. But, the definition recognizes it is not possible for all individuals to completely avoid all forms of exploitation.

We need bees to pollinate avocados, as well as many other food crops, ‘natural’ local-bee pollination, or migratory bee pollination. Some have natural pollination others have no choice. In large areas of the US, there are not enough local bees for the pollination of the massive fruit, vegetable, and nut-farms needed to feed the population.

We have smaller farms that do not use commercial beekeeping for pollination, we should buy from them as much as possible. But every individual can’t access naturally-pollinated produce found at some farmer’s markets.

Average shoppers can’t avoid produce that involves migratory beekeeping.

We live in a food system that relies on large-scale produce-farms all of which use bees, unfortunately, our modern society and overpopulation make us dependent on food produced this way. Nevertheless, vegans will continue to do their best with the fruits, vegetables, and nuts available.

If Avocado’s Aren’t Vegan, Neither Are Most Crops

According to the New Agriculturalist and the American Beekeeping Federation, beans, tomatoes, apples, broccoli, melons, carrots, onions, and hundreds of other fruits, vegetables, and grains are being also pollinated by bees bred for this commercial purpose. 

It is difficult to determine whether or not a crop was grown using commercial beekeeping, plants.  Eating them is well within the ethical bounds of veganism.

Every year, more than 50 billion animals are bred for their meat, milk, or eggs. Even though we cannot guarantee bees have not been exploited in the process,  no avocado or almond farm comes close to the destruction that animal-related agriculture comes to.

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