A sure sign of spring is the Easter holiday making its pastel-presence known in every marketplace. “Easter” is a Christian holiday, but it has become a cultural celebration as well. Easter also occurs in the same time window as Passover and other religious holidays, like the neo-pagan holiday of Ostara. All three of these religious holidays have an egg as part of the seasonal motif, and they all do something to celebrate springtime energies.
Whether it is the secular event or a religious tradition, this is the time of year to celebrate themes like new birth and fresh beginnings. If you have children, they may be seeing their peers celebrate and want to join in. You may have a community or family tradition that celebrates, as well. So here are five ideas for veganizing what I will call “Easter,” though you may call it something else.
1) Use plastic eggs for baskets and hunts. Fill them with vegan sweets. Sites like www.veganessentials.com have whole sections of Easter-basket friendly candy. You can also make your own vegan chocolates or egg-shaped cookies. If your children want to decorate eggs, craft stores sell wooden or plaster versions.
2) Donate to a vegan education and advocacy organization so they can educate the public about Easter holiday risks to animals like rabbits, chicks, and ducklings.
3) Donate (time, wish list items, or money) to a pet shelter or animal sanctuary. These organizations often get flooded with “Easter” animals who have been surrendered or abandoned. Perhaps your family can do a volunteer day or an educational visit.
4) Take veganized Easter or Passover type foods to family dinners, religious celebrations, and potlucks. “Betty Goes Vegan,” by Dan and Annie Shannon, has a whole Easter menu and Passover menu. Mayim Bialik has great, traditional Passover fare in “Mayim’s Vegan Table.” Between the two books we’re talking maple roasted tofurkey, hot cross buns, sweet treats and matzo ball soup. So much of these holiday traditions has to do with “comfort food.” By giving people cruelty-free options, we can help them see it is possible to move away from reliance on items like eggs and ham.
5) Tap into the energy of the season to plan your garden. You can micro-garden inside with containers, or have an edible landscape outside. Two books that might help are “Lasagna Gardening for Small Spaces” by Patricia Lanza, or “Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture” by Toby Hemenway.
Let’s celebrate spring right along with the rest, and be proud our cruelty-free choices. I’m wishing you a happy holiday season and a beautiful, peace-filled spring.