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83. "Non-violent" Honey
Once when Gandhiji made a reference to "innocent honey," which he was fond of advertising among his friends, one of them asked him what he meant by the expression. Gandhiji's answer was as follows:
"Honey scientifically drawn by scientific bee-keepers. They keep the bees and make them collect honey without killing them. That is why I call it innocent or non-violent honey. That is an industry which admits of great expansion."
But can you call it absolutely non-violent? You deprive the bee of its honey, as you deprive the calf of its milk," demurred the friend.
"You are right," remarked Gandhiji, "but the world is not governed entirely by logic. Life itself involves some kind of violence, and we have to choose the path of least violence. There is violence even in vegetarianism, is there not? Similarly, if I must have honey, I must be friendly to the bee and get it to yield as much honey as it will. Moreover, in the scientific bee-culture" the bee is never deprived of its honey altogether."