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Millennials, here's some bad news for you. Avocados might not be suitable for vegans after all.
I know what you're thinking - they're a bloody fruit, of course they are suitable for vegans. Well, that depends on how far you're willing to take this.
So, by definition, a vegan is someone who abstains from using any animal products whatsoever. That obviously involves not eating meat, no eggs, no honey. Sounds easy, but actually avoiding animal products completely is more difficult than it sounds.
Outside of the stuff that contains animal derivatives that you might never have realised, there are also ways in which animals are exploited to make some of the stuff you'd absolutely have down as vegan-friendly. Stuff like avocados, butternut squash, broccoli, melons, kiwis, and almonds.
You see, some of the places where these things are made involves keeping a few hives of bees around so that the crop can be pollinated.
This is called migratory beekeeping and it's used in the commercial farming of loads of vegetables and fruits. It helps out when there simply isn't enough of a population of bees there to keep it going.
It's particularly popular in places like California. Basically, it's someone's job to transport hives of bees around between farms on the back of a lorry, unpack the bees, let them go about their business, and then drive on to the next job.
So, if you're a really hardcore vegan, this will probably not be sitting that well with you.
If you're dead against eating honey because it exploits our friends the bees, then you must also be against the exploitation of those same bees to grow vegetables.
Does that mean that vegans can't eat avocados? Well, it's a personal decision. Just remember that some of them will have been grown with bees used.
Of course, it's not all vegetables, fruits, and nuts that use this method. If you buy locally, or know where you're buying from, then you can make the choice a bit easier.
In the UK, migratory beekeeping is not actually that common. That means that as long as you get decent British fruit and veg, you have a better chance of not exploiting any bees.
That being said, there is absolutely no way that you can be completely sure that all of the food that you eat hasn't in some way been pollinated by a bee that lives in a hive.
It just depends how far you're willing to take it.
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