My Veggie-Brain is Exploding

Since renouncing dairy and meat for ethical reasons, I can’t say I’ve missed any of it. Actually, I picked-up a packet of “Tofu Sausages” for a try, and I regret it. Truly. It was far too close to the actual, and I literally found it creepy. Ewww!

The latest dilemma I’m struggling with is a matter concerning honey and wool.

My veggie-brain is exploding!

Honey: The golden fruits of the honeybees’ labor, and what they rely on during the Winter months, when foraging from blossoms isn’t possible.

:: I’m fine not eating honey. I don’t want to eat it. I want to use it for medicine. I’ve used it in the past on burns and scrapes with my Elflings, and it cures nothing short of miraculously.

Wool: The hair/fiber from sheep, and the coat they’d grown from Spring onward, which kept them warm throughout the Winter months.

:: I am a Fiber Artist, and the fiber I use is wool. It’s actually my livelihood. The majority of my hand-knits are soakers (shorts and pants) made for cloth-diapered children, but I also make hats, fingerless gauntlets, and sweaters. My bread and butter income comes from soakers.

I’ve struggled with the above-mentioned items for the past couple of months. I can’t really call myself a Vegan and continue to use honey or wool. My brain has been continuously weighing options to both honey and wool. Sometimes I have trouble falling asleep. For honey substitutes, I like neem (anti-parasitic) and tea tree oil (anti-fungal), but I keep coming up blank for an alternative to wool for soakers.

If I look at this way…

An Ethical Dilemma: I need to choose between honey/wool and their alternatives as moral imperatives;

This works, because I am comfortable avoiding dairy and meat, but feel guilty calling myself a Vegan when I knit-for-hire items made of wool, or cherish the healing abilities of honey. I’m torn.

A Hobson’s Choice: I need to choose between honey/wool and nothing;

This one is totally hardcore, and is infinitely more difficult. *gurgles*

As Logic: A vs B; A ⇒ C; B ⇒ C; Both imply C ∴ we conclude the choice is C;

This one would probably make sense, but I’d really like to know what C represents in my scenario. /sigh

For what it’s worth, I have given away all of my leather shoes, etc. For ages I’ve been only buying products that are not tested on animals, and now I check items for vegan-friendly ingredients only. I don’t miss any of it. I’m just trying to find an alternative that allows me to keep my livelihood/business running in a similarly profitable way.

Maybe there’s something I haven’t thought of yet? I’m still learning…


24 thoughts on “My Veggie-Brain is Exploding

  1. clownonfire says:

    I can’t tell you enough how I value your choices. It’s the good fight, even if I am a far from being there myself.


  2. An Unrefined Vegan says:

    It’s a process. As vegans we are going to be faced with choices just like yours – from places and situations of which we haven’t even dreamed yet! Don’t beat yourself up. Listen, research, trust. You’ll get to the place you want to be!


  3. elle says:

    Mm..pretty thought-provoking post. Makes me feel I should be trying a bit harder! Going vegan poses challenges I never expected. For some, it compromises their livelihood, for me it’s a constant battle to keep it from coming between me and my friendships. So, sometimes I’m too relaxed about it. But, I’m still a baby vegan so I hope it’ll fall into place as a bit more time passes! Impressive how you’re putting so much thought into this though! How long have you been vegan? (sorry for long comment…I babbled coz I was thinking! (: haha)


    • Veggiewitch says:

      It is a process, and I do struggle because we’ve opted-out of dairy and meat for ethical reasons. Honestly, we’ve only been vegan for 3 months. It was an easy step food-wise, because we’d already been semi-veg for the past 5 years. I should give myself more time though, and see what’s around the corner. I’m the first to admit that I’m a little impatient and like to do things properly the first time, if possible. I’ll try not to rush…


  4. saradraws says:

    I don’t suppose you’re breastfeeding or know someone who is? Breast milk was my choice for all ailments. Yes, put it on scrapes, cuts, whatever. Anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, etc etc etc…
    But if that’s not an option, for whatever reason (some people think that’s gross), Tea tree is great, and lavender too. Neem is awesome I hear.
    As for wool, well, it’s a pretty superior product. Tough to replace. Would you settle for ethical, local wool? Where the sheep are treated well? I don’t know enough about ethical veganism to know if something like that would fly.
    If you find a solution, I’d love to hear it.
    p.s. There’s always
    At least there’s no shearing involved…?


    • Veggiewitch says:

      Oh Sara! I love your brain! I relied on breastmilk when I was lactating, but my twins were weaned several years ago. I only use ethical/humanely-raised wool from the dyer I trust ( It’s going to take some time to sort out the best decision. I’ll keep you posted. =0)


  5. The Uncle In The Attic says:

    Okay, VW. I have opinions, so we’ll cut to the chase, together. That said, I respect, and understand, your dilemma.

    Wool: Isn’t it okay because the sheep aren’t killed, just shaved? I like a good haircut now and then, as well as man-scaping. I mean, it’s not like veal. (Which is gross even for a meat-eater.)

    Honey: The Saturday Fresh Market honey guy, who comes down with his mountain honey (yummy!) every weekend, said that he rotates his bee thingy’s, helping them in the winter. I can’t remember, exactly how, but he addressed this issue, and it sounded good at the time. Maybe ask that question of your local bee guy in your fresh markets, or in your organic stores that buy local. Why not eat nature’s sweetener and natural antibiotic? If it’s local, I say yes, while doing your due diligence.

    Meeting adjourned!


    • Veggiewitch says:

      Dear Uncle,

      I agree with your thoughts, and it’s what I’m comfortable with for the time-being.

      All of the wool I use is from the same dyer. She doesn’t raise the sheep, but her sources are humanely-raised. I trust my dyer.

      I only buy Organic honey, and hope to find a local source at our Farmers Market. It’s a “new-to-us” Market, and honey wasn’t on my radar so I didn’t look for it. I’ll cross my fingers.


  6. toxicvegan says:

    It’s definitely a process like everyone says. I never liked wool because it itches me – I guess I was born to be vegan! It was probably the easiest thing for me to give up – that and goats cheese *bleugh*
    Honey I thought I’d miss but I so much prefer maple or date syrup. That’s for eating though. For healing I rely on vitamin c as it’s only ever colds that get me. Not had a burn for a while. Shit, have I just jinxed myself?!!
    Good luck with the journey :-)


  7. Rachel in Veganland says:

    Thank you for this post! This is something that I have struggled with as well. I recently cut honey out of my diet entirely and have not bought leather or wool since god knows when. Agave is my best friend in the sweets department, even before I gave up honey. I love its light taste and flavor. As for the wools-I have a suggestion to make. You can easily find local items made from sustainable sources. For instance, many spinners are now using bamboo fiber to make an eco friendly and suuuuper soft yarn. Also, cotton is just about the best fiber there is in my humble opinion and there are many people would likely spin and dye that in your area too! Good luck!


    • Veggiewitch says:

      Thank you so much for visiting my blog and posting. =0)

      Agave is divine! It reminds me of candy-apples from my childhood. =0)

      Wonderful suggestions! Thank you! I’ve thought of bamboo, cotton, and even spun banana fiber as substitutes for the fiber I use. It does wonderfully for all aspects except soakers (/sigh), but solid alternatives are just that. Woot!


  8. Cakes McCain says:

    Great post. I have struggled with similar issues myself. I am concerned with animal welfare and I call myself a “quasi-vegin”. It’s a tailor made label as I find it daunting many of us try and insert/pigeon-hole ourselves into ‘absolute’ categories/labels. I think evey sacrifice we make, is a good thing. I personally love wool because it is a quality, natural and warm fiber. I order my sweaters from a company in the UK, as where I live the garments sold are mostly made in China and are acrylic or other synthetics. Yet another issue being sweat shops in Asia – therefore I prefer to boycott goods made there. Environmental polution from man-made goods – another issue.
    The honey issue is new to me so I am going to do a little investigating on the current organic brand I buy.
    I think all we can do is try to be as informed as possible about food and goods and go from there. ( this blog is a great place to start as there are great suggestions on alternatives here from others – I am so glad I ended up here!)


    • Veggiewitch says:

      Welcome and thank you! =0) *happy dancing*

      I’m so glad you found my blog, I’ll have a look at yours, too. It’s a relief that others are just as conflicted about similar things that perplex me. I really do appreciate your comment. =0)


  9. Jiontari says:

    I was raised on Birnendicksaft, I think in english it’s known as concentrated pear juice. It’s available in many whole food shops around the UK, though I don’t know about Canada. It works great in cakes and other tasty desserts.

    Thanks for this post, I found it really interesting. As someone who spends a lot of time thinking about animal rights and human rights, I often find the world of retail/consumption a difficult one to navigate. I’m beginning to accept that it’s impossible to completely buy out of all ethically questionable products, all of the time – fairtrade for example isn’t always a viable option. I think it’s great for people to be thinking about and debating these issues – hopefully the more dialogue there is out there about this stuff, the more ethical options will spring up.


    • Veggiewitch says:

      Welcome and thank you so much for posting. =0)

      I’ll have a look around for that. It sounds wonderful! *happy dancing*

      There does seem to be a resurgence of Farmers Markets around, and more whole food stores, which is awesome and does help when buying produce. I think we need MORE of them, though. =0)


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