the kind life

How to Have a Kind Easter Celebration

How to Have a Kind Easter Celebration

Spring has sprung and that means Easter is just around the corner. It can be such a fun way to celebrate the season of rebirth and renewal. At my house, we observe Easter with extra kind options, and I’ve got a lot of favorite treats and holiday tips that I’ll share with you here. There’s no deprivation whatsoever! Cruelty-free treats, like dairy-free chocolate eggs and bunnies are so yummy. There are ways to dye eggs without supporting the egg industry and lots of delicious plant-based holiday roasts for dinner. You can enjoy your favorite Easter traditions, do all the fun activities, and eat all of the delicious things without sacrificing a single thing. Here’s how.

When Easter comes around at my house, we like to spend this fun spring day with a delicious breakfast, doing some gardening, and taking a walk where beautiful flowers are in bloom. Easter weather can often be perfect for kite-flying (kites are a great gift, too!). We especially love scavenger hunts. Bear absolutely loves them! Even though Bear now knows that I am the Easter bunny, he’s still really excited about the scavenger hunt. This year he’s getting a t-shirt and a chocolate Easter Bunny. (We sampled a lot of chocolate for this story, so he’s already had plenty of Easter chocolate!)

One of the more popular Easter traditions is egg dyeing. We don’t do this in my house but it’s a fun tradition that children and adults can enjoy. And, you can do this without conventional eggs, either. There are plenty of alternatives to help you enjoy this celebratory craft without using real eggs.

Between all of the chocolate and egg dyeing, and classic lamb or ham roasts, traditional Easter celebrations can be harmful to the planet and the animals — and it’s so important to remember that our bodies suffer from all this unhealthy food, too. But this guide is full of ideas to help you plan a plant-based, cruelty-free celebration.

Alternatives to Egg-Dyeing

  • Paint or dip-dye some ceramic eggs, or use wooden eggs that will also last. 
  • Marshmallow Eggs (marshmallows)  are also really fun to dip dye.
  • For your easter egg hunt, instead of buying and using plastic eggs check out these paper easter eggs that you can paint or papier-mache.
  • Bake and decorate some vegan cupcakes instead of dyeing eggs.
  • You can also set up a creative scavenger hunt for your kids to enjoy, or reverse roles and have the kids get imaginative and the adults do the hunt.  
  • Have fun growing your own grass for your family’s Easter baskets or making it by coloring and cutting scrap paper into small blades.
  • Find some spring-themed pages or illustrations for kids to draw on or color.
  • Build a compassionate Easter basket with healthy items like dried fruit or creative gifts such as a gardening kit, saplings, organic cotton/soy stuffed bunnies or baby farm animals, animal-based picture books, or vintage paper mache eggs.
  • Skip purchasing a bunny or chick even though it may seem fun as an Easter gift. Animal welfare agencies get swamped with thousands of pets gifted during Easter once they are no longer wanted. If you have considered getting a pet, try to adopt from rescue organizations first, and gift your child a how-to book on caring for that pet.
  • Try to avoid going overboard with sugary and unhealthy foods. It’s helpful to feed your child healthy and filling foods prior to the candy-based activities or bring along healthier alternatives.
  • When decorating with flowers, try picking them right from your backyard. If not possible, look for cut flowers that are organic and Fair Trade certified.
  • If you have family and friends who will be hosting with egg-based foods and activities, encourage them to support organic, humane-certified, vegetarian-fed, and cage-free eggs. If you want to go a step further, promote using the egg waste by composting or in other recipes.

Should You Skip Eggs?

In our family, we don’t buy eggs largely because of how commercial chickens are treated. More than 325 million egg-laying hens are forced into laying nearly 100 billion eggs every year. These smart and curious birds live in tightly packed, dark, and dirty conventional factories, which are notorious for their inhumane treatment of the birds, whether it’s depriving them of space, light, and natural interactions, or damaging their bodies with unnecessary hormones and antibiotics.

Vegan Easter
Photo by Jessy Smith on Unsplash

When male chicks are hatched, they are ground up in a grinder (think wood chipper) because males can’t become egg-laying hens, so they have no use to the farmer. How awful that in this Easter celebration of renewal and rebirth, we can be contributing to this horrific practice!

And even if the eggs are labeled as “organic” or “pastured,” the birds still aren’t given the kind of life that all creatures fairly deserve. In The Kind Diet I discuss eggs in detail. There is no legal definition of “free-range” eggs, and the only certifications that are upheld are the “Certified Humane Raised and Handled” (and it must say exactly that on the package!) or “Certified Organic”, which only upholds some of the relatively humane standards. I’ll stick to the marshmallows and wooden eggs, thanks!

Ethical Easter Chocolates

Another consideration when filling up your Easter basket or easter eggs is choosing ethical chocolate. Many chocolate brands are sourcing cocoa from farms and plantations that exploit workers and use child labor — and can also include incredibly harmful ingredients like palm oil or milk. Did you know that orangutans and other wildlife suffer as a result of palm oil? They are displaced and often killed when forests are cut down to build palm plantations, which are also among the biggest emissions producers in Indonesia and Malaysia – the palm capitals of the world.

If you are unsure whether the brand of chocolate you are buying is ethical, you can check to see if it is recommended by the Food Empowerment Project (FEP). This fantastic California-based nonprofit organization is working to end the worst forms of child labor in cocoa production. FEP compiled this handy list of vegan chocolate companies that do not source cocoa from regions where the worst forms of child labor are common.

But there’s good news — all of my favorite chocolate companies on the list are all on the recommended ethical list If your favorite company isn’t on this list or isn’t recommended by FEP, reach out to them and urge them to make their practices sustainable and to get on FEP’s recommended list!

The companies below all make ethical Easter chocolates. My absolute favorite Easter chocolate is between Happy By Chocolate and Divine Treasures, but there are so many good ones to choose from.

1. Lagusta’s Luscious’ has a bunch of Easter chocolates, but it’s best to order in advance as they sell out super quickly. They always have Maple Honeycomb — it’s not special for Easter, but it is the best, yummiest chocolate they have and it couldn’t hurt in an Easter basket. The floppy-eared Dark Chocolate Bunny is very yummy and very cute! We didn’t see the Matzo Toffee listed yet for Passover, but if it’s available, it’s also quite delicious.

2. Lake Champlain has a very nice Dark Chocolate Truffle that also comes in Raspberry flavor. The Dark Chocolate Bunny is also very yummy and fun for kids.

3. Sjaak’s is a popular dairy-free chocolate brand and it makes a delicious dark chocolate Peanut Butter egg. 

4. Amore Di Mona is one of my favorite chocolate brands and the easter Sel Mignardise flavor is very nice. I also love the Carmella Plain.

5. Divine Treasures makes some of my favorite Easter chocolates. Everything we tried was delicious but some of my favorites in the Cottontail Treasures Box include the Chocolate Yuzu Rabbits, Robin Eggs with Coconut, and Peanut Butter Eggs. And in the Spring treasure box, we love the Robins Eggs, Blonde Caramel, Crunch N’ Munch, Cookies and Creme Bark and PB Melt. There’s also a Peanut Butter Bunny: Yum! It’s not in the Easter box collection above but makes a great Easter treat.

6. Another great vegan chocolate option comes from Happy By Chocolate from Chocolate Inspirations. They make delicious chocolate for year-round indulging. I mean come on, look at this line-up: Handmade, artisan vegan English Toffee, Vegan Espresso Toffee, Vegan Salted Caramels, and more. Of course, they also do some great Easter chocolate including eggs, and bunnies. (They also make conventional milk chocolate, too, so you have to make sure you are in the right section on the website when ordering.)

Vegan Easter
Photo by Michal Balog on Unsplash

Another simple way to get your sweets in on Easter is to bake some vegan treats to celebrate with your loved ones like these:

Easter Dinner Recipes

If you are looking for cruelty-free vegan recipes to make for a celebratory Easter dinner for your family or friends, my book has great recipes to check out. Or you can try this Seitan in Balsamic Wine Reduction, or King Oyster “Scallop” recipe from the blog!

A perfect Easter to me is spending time making a lovely kind brunch, taking a walk enjoying all the flowers and pretty trees in bloom and especially smelling fresh jasmine in the air, working on the veggie garden, and maybe dyeing some vegan marshmallows as a fun alternative to eggs (way yummier, too!), and maybe visiting an animal sanctuary enjoying beautiful, kind moments with the wonderful animals. Of course, visiting adorable rescued bunnies on Easter is festive, but you can also love on the cows, turkeys, sheep, chickens, and all the other cute rescue farm animals! You can also donate to a bunny rescue organization or print out a rabbit photo and explain to your children how the donation supports their well-being.

I hope these ideas inspire your celebrations.


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