Thursday, April 1, 2010

A Happy Vegan Easter!

Ah Easter! Spring has sprung, birds are singing beneath a flawlessly blue sky, flowers are madly blooming all over the place and the grass is a rich emerald green. I may hold a special place in my heart for Halloween, but I love the feeling of rebirth and starting anew that spring brings!

And, of course, I also love the pastel-colored treats this time of year brings us! Walk into any grocery store and you'll see dozens upon dozens of creamy colored packages holding a variety of candy. Unfortunately, many of these treats aren't vegan, but, lucky for you, the Spooky Vegan has compiled a few lists of vegan goodies you can enjoy this Easter! And I also address some concerns about some of the holiday's traditions that vegans usually encounter (but can easily avoid!).

Happy Easter!

First things first - let's discuss the candy situation! There's a lot more out there for vegans this year, you just need to know where to look:

Vegan Essentials has the cutest Organic Chocolate Basket filled with an Easter Bunny and Eggs! They also have some dark chocolate mini eggs! Unfortunately, since it is so close to Easter both of these are sold out, but they just go to prove that with a little effort, you can find vegan substitutes for Easter candy!

Chocolate Decadence has some of the cutest chocolate vegan bunnies! Is it just me or do these have that home-made, old-timey feel? They also have a whole Easter section, with lots of dairy-free dark chocolate! Yum!

Pangea also carries a lot of Easter goodies, including vegan chocolate boxes, British-made Whizzers (the vegan M&M!).

(Thanks to for most of these suggestions - original article here!)

My personal recommendation? Check out Sweet and Sara's for a wonderful selection of vegan marshmallow products. I had a weakness for Peeps (you know, the sugar-coated marshmallows that appear around every holiday in adorable shapes - for Easter its chicks and bunnies) before going vegan and while Sweet and Sara doesn't quite have a Peep facsimile yet (CORRECTION: I hear that they DO exist...but are probably all out of stock by now...awww shucks), they have some delicious marshmallow-based desserts! Yum yum!

Not enough candy? Check out PETA's list of vegan-friendly treats for the perfect Easter basket:
  • Airheads taffy
  • Atkins peanut butter bars
  • Blow Pops
  • Charms lollipops
  • Chick-o-Sticks
  • Cracker Jack
  • Cry Babies
  • Dem Bones
  • Dots
  • Dum-Dums
  • Fireballs
  • Goldenberg’s Peanut Chews
  • Hot Tamales (my personal favorite!!)
  • Hubba Bubba bubblegum
  • Jolly Ranchers (lollipops and hard candy)
  • Jujubees
  • Jujyfruits
  • Lemonheads
  • Mambas
  • Mary Janes (regular and peanut butter kisses)
  • Mike and Ike
  • Now and Later
  • Pez
  • Ring Pop lollipops
  • Smarties
  • Sour Patch Kids (another fave of mine!!)
  • Super Bubble
  • Swedish Fish
  • Sweet Tarts
  • Tropical Source mini chocolate bags
  • Twizzlers
  • Zotz

Looking for some vegan goodies that aren't candy to round out that Easter basket? Check out one of my favorite stores, LUSH Cosmetics, that sells all sorts of products for your bath, like heavenly smelling Bath Bombs, luscious shower gels, lovely lotions and much, much more! AND most of their products are vegan and none are ever tested on animals! They have a lot of cute Easter-themed soaps, bath bombs, etc. Check out The Yellow One (which is a chocolate-toffee bubble bar slice with a slice of their mouth-watering best-selling soap all nestled within a sweet yellow Bath Bomb shell shaped like an egg!), Honey Bun Bath Bomb (despite its name, it doesn't contain honey and is vegan...yay!) and the Fluffy Egg Bath Bomb (smells like jelly beans and candy floss!). You can order online or step into one of their delightful stores.

Now that I've taken care of getting you on your way to assembling an awesome vegan Easter basket, I'd like to take a moment to discuss some of the unfortunate "traditions" Easter encourages and alternatives available that are cruelty-free!

A major issue with Easter are all the chicken eggs used in Easter egg hunts. C'mon people! First off, it's wasteful and secondly doncha just hate it when the eggs that were never found on the Easter hunt start stinking up the joint (and you still can't find them)?! Well, peeps, just don't buy 'em (this should go without saying to all the vegans out there)! Hopefully nowadays people are using plastic eggs instead (bonuses: they are cheaper than the chicken abortions traditionally used, they can be re-used year after year and kids prefer them because the hollow plastic eggs can be stuffed with goodies!), but try to dissuade your family, friends and neighbors from buying unnecessary and wasted chicken eggs and instead encourage them to use plastic eggs!

We all know how cute bunnies and chicks can be, but adopting them for Easter is a big no-no. Lots of chicks and bunnies get abandoned, given up to shelters or even killed once Easter is over and their new owners decides they are too much hassle to take care of. Ugh! I hate stuff like this! Unless you are going to be responsible for these beautiful animals, have plenty of room and know how to care for them, just don't bring them home for the kiddies/family on Easter! I've heard of programs where you can "rent" rabbits for the day (still, I think this would be pretty stressful for the animal, but it's your call), so check your local area to see if this option is available if you INSIST on recreating the Cadbury bunny ads. Or, you know, just buy a cute stuffed animal! If you are ready to adopt and live in SoCal, check out The Bunny Bunch organization!

This post is a little all over the place, but the spectacular VegNews has a fabulous article on veganizing Easter that you NEED to check out!

Happy Vegan Easter, everyone!

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