Have a Happy, Cruelty-Free Easter

Have a Happy, Cruelty-Free Easter

Image: Vegan Feast Catering via Flickr

Easter is one of those funny holidays that a lot of people celebrate, regardless of their religious persuasion. Easter Sunday has become a time to search for painted eggs, nosh on chocolate, and to gift baby chicks and bunnies to young children. It all sounds a little strange when you put it like that, but there are plenty of ways to enjoy a cheerful Easter celebration without harming animals or the environment.

I like to think that everyone knows that vegan cupcakes are still king. With that in mind, consider all the Easter-inspired cupcakes you can whip up. Any flavor you like it bound to be appropriate, and cupcakes can be decorated with pastel-colored vegan candies and tinted frosting. Voila, an easy and cruelty-free Easter treat!

But, what about more traditional Easter-themed sweets? Don't worry, vegans. You can make them all. With a few good candy molds (now available at pretty much every retailer in your neighborhood, right?) and a little know-how, you can make your own vegan chocolate bunnies, chicks, and even chocolate Easter eggs. Now, I know what you're thinking. Even Cadbury creme eggs? Oh yes, vegan darlings, you can even make your own vegan Cadbury creme eggs, just like the ones you crave from your pre-vegan days.

Vegan Easter Eggs by PETA

If you don't like the idea of sinking your teeth into a cute little bunny, you might want to try your hand at making homemade vegan Easter eggs. Made with non-dairy cream cheese and vegan chocolate chips, you can customize your "eggs" any way you want by adding other treats to the center (like an almond or a vegan caramel), and rolling them in a variety of toppings, including chopped nuts, shredded coconut (which can be colored for more festive eggs), and cacao nibs. Check out this basic recipe from PETA and churn out some edible vegan eggs for yourself and your Easter companions.

Easter Walnuts (Photo by Beth Marshall)

Dyeing eggs, either with chemical-based or natural vegetable dyes, is perhaps the most common Easter activity, next to making your little ones “hunt” for the eggs hidden around the house or in the yard. For a vegan alternative to dyed chicken eggs, you can use wooden or ceramic eggs instead, to be painted or dyed by any method you choose. They both take dye just as well as chicken eggs, and they don’t rot! Natural dyes can be a lot of fun and are a great way to use up kitchen scraps and teach kids a little science at the same time. The cute painted Easter walnuts from Old Dog Ranch (pictured above) are a great inspiration for your own painted Easter "egg" alternatives.

Dip-dyed Vegan Marshmallows from The Kind Life

Last but certainly not the least, marshmallow-y treats are another popular Easter confection. They're easily dye-able just like real eggs. Using vegan marshmallows that you bought or made at home and vegan food coloring or natural dyes like the ones mentioned above, you can create a colorful marshmallow collection of your own this Easter.

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