To use or not to use? Is something that I had asked myself, when I started on this journey. Knowing my use of beeswax would be questioned, and vegans would not buy my Wayfarer’s Magic and Sadhu Rose Comfrey Ointments.
For a start, I don’t eat unethical animal products or support the treatment and misuse of animals for our consumption, production or testing. So how, do then carry my values over into my products and business?
To answer this, I set about researching the question, is beeswax ethical? And should I be using it?
I came to the decision to use Beeswax, and here’s why;
1. Ethical Beeswax does exist;
I get my beeswax from a local beekeeper – it’s a beekeeping family, their native bees and are wild and are free here in central coast wilderness of New South Wales. It’s an excess bi-product of the honey that is ethically sourced; meaning there is always more than enough for the bees. Unlike in hives that are in mass production, and they are not tricked of forced to produce honey/ wax in excess. Happy bees = Happy Honey = Ethical Beeswax.
2. Beeswax is also healing
Beeswax itself it uber beneficial to the skin and the healing process. It’s anti-inflammatory, antiviral and anti-bacterial. Due to this, it contributes to the healing quality of the ointments. It soothes and softens the skin, and forms a protective layer that still allows the skin to breathe and heal. It is also a ‘natural’ product, that has not undergone industry processing.
Since I’ve moved to the Central Coast I’ve also been using the wax from the same local beekeeping family that I get my honey from ‘Suesse Honey‘. If you are ever at the Entrance market be sure to buy some of their honey! Their ‘Raw honey Lemon, Ginger and Cinnamon’ blend – which also has Lemon Myrtle – tastes as good as it is healthy – I am completely unshamedly addicted.
For those that aren’t aware, Raw honey is packing with nutrients, it contains; 22 amino acids, 27 minerals and 5,000 enzymes. Minerals include iron, zinc, potassium, calcium, phosphorous, magnesium and selenium. If you add to this the benefits of Ginger, Cinnamon, Lemon and Lemon Myrtle, you have a most delicious healthy treat.
I do empathise with the dilemma of using or not using animal products.
I remember the moment, that I learned the big-eyed gentle cow in the paddock could end up as a steak dinner. It’s the same moment I secretly vowed to never eat animals again. As soon as I grew up and left home, that’s what I did and I’ve been a vegetarian ever since.
Though, I am not a vegan, and I do have a few pair of leather shoes and a jacket. Which I often get flack for funnily enough from meat eaters. However, as one wise friend once said, ‘is it more ethical to have a sturdy jacket that lasts you 50+years that is biodegradable, or a jacket that is made from synthetic material, that has gone through industry processing to be created and then never degrades and pollutes the environment?’
Tough questions, that we need to face and ask ourselves when we aim to live a conscious life.
While I abhor the way humankind treats the animals on the planet, and how they are treated as a commodity rather than a sentient being. It’s good to see that research is now supporting what many of us already know, that insects have emotions and sentience, as do plants and trees.
I do believe that as Robin Wall Kimmer states so wisely in her @onbeing interview, we should be aiming for a reciprocal relationship with the world around us. I love that idea! It takes sustainability to the next level.
If we work to look after bees and their environment, it becomes a collaboration with them. In taking this reciprocal approach, we can create a better world, for everything – plants, animals and humans. We just need to start asking, how can we contribute – what do we have to give?
When we are not doing this, which we can see reflected in much of the world around us right now, we are out of balance with the natural world around us.
I am thankful for my Ethical Healing Beeswax, from happy bees that share their wares with us. And I hope that we, in turn, can share and work to protect them and their environments and well-being.
We can do this, by asking ourselves how we can contribute to living in a ‘Reciprocal’ way with the world around us. Can this be reflected in our daily decisions i.e. buying heritage seeds, not supporting/using monsanto products, doing bio-dynamic gardening, growing flowers and plants that bees love.
In doing so, we take conscious steps, to live in a conscious way – in balance and harmony with the world around us.
I do have two vegan products:
Bedouin’s Charm: Comfrey+Coconut+Grapefruit Body/Bath Oil
Eternal Serenity: Comfrey+Hemp+Argan Face Oil
All my products and ingredients are Cruelty-free, and not tested on any animals (only myself, and consenting family and friends).