Easter has certainly become a time to treat ourselves — perhaps this year more than ever. The temptation to allow ourselves those few extra calories and indulge in some chocolatey goodness is rife; but is there a way to do it guilt-free?
Put simply, the hidden cruelty of commercial Easter foods and activities is unmistakably awful.
With ‘stay at home’ measures in place during this time of COVID-19 outbreak, perhaps some of the cute bunny rabbits usually found in petting farms — or bought and sold as pets this time of year — have been spared; along with the usual fair of baby chicks dyed pink, green and blue to be sold as quirky Easter gifts, or the baby lambs usually featured in petting zoos and live animal contests and events over the long Easter weekend that undergo enormous amounts of stress in the process.
One can only hope.
But what of the lambs usually admired in the fields as spring commences, only to find themselves facing slaughter at just ten-weeks-old, to be served up as lunch on Easter Sunday? I imagine that in many cases, their fate will remain the same – regardless of a nationwide lockdown.
Unless we can make the connection between a living, sentient being, and the meat we see being carved at the dinner table.
Go Vegan for Easter
As countless hours of hidden footage and multiple accounts from former slaughterhouse workers has revealed; there is no such thing as ‘humane slaughter’. Death in a slaughterhouse is as brutal and frightening as death can be.
In this strange new pandemic-based world that we find ourselves in, there is certainly a more stark and obvious connection between animal consumption and public health than ever before.
If initial investigation is correct, the possible host for the Novel Coronavirus (and origin of the current pandemic) was a pangolin sold in a wet market in Wuhan, China, to be eaten by a human. Imagine how the world might be right now, if instead a plant-based alternative was chosen.
With a multitude of alternative options and vegan-friendly choices available in supermarkets and online – and a wealth of fantastic vegan cookbooks and free online recipes to help us make delicious Easter lunches of the cruelty-free variety, swapping out meat and dairy this Easter is easier than ever.
The same goes for Easter eggs. Approximately 80 million chocolate eggs are sold annually in the UK – imagine the positive impact on the environment (and how many lives would be saved in the name of compassion) if those Easter eggs were dairy-free.
Dairy cows suffer tremendously in the dairy industry; from forced impregnation to having their newborn babies taken away from them within 24 hours – before being sent to slaughter once they are no longer producing enough milk to be ‘commercially viable’.
Make no mistake about it; dairy is scary.
Environmental impact of Easter
Aside from the meat and dairy industries’ very clear connection to animal cruelty, one of the hidden costs of animal agriculture is the environmental impact.
From clearing vast swathes of land for livestock to live and graze on (and to grow animal-feed), through to greenhouse gases released by cows; animal agriculture is responsible for 14.5% of greenhouse gas emissions – that’s more than the combined exhaust fumes from all transportation across the globe.
As Racing Extinction (the documentary that persuaded me personally to remove meat and dairy from my own diet) states: “go vegetarian, and you’ll cut more emissions than if you stopped driving your car.”
Easter, with its focus on roast meat, intensive chick farming and dairy chocolate is one of the biggest culprits in the holiday calendar for encouraging hidden mistreatment of our planet.
Win Dairy-Free Easter Treats!
To celebrate Easter this year, I’ve teamed up with the brilliant vegan treats company, Ananda Foods, to support and encourage as many people as possible to have a cruelty-free Easter.
Ananda Foods are a small family business of artisan sweet makers established in 2008, whose products are 100% vegan and Vegan Society Certified.
They produce the yummiest marshmallows and vegan waggon wheels (Round Ups) — which are certified non-gmo and are wonderfully free from gelatine, wheat, gluten, nut, dairy, egg and soya. They also produce a Gluten free version of the Round up for customers who avoid gluten or are coeliac.
What’s more, their packaging is almost all recycled and recycle-able, and they upcycle and recycle over 90% of their waste, and re-use outer packaging wherever possible.
“We hope that by working ethically and sustainably, eliminating allergens, animal products, non-food additives and environmentally harmful packaging, everyone will be able to enjoy eating our Marshmallows,” Ananda explains.
TO ENTER: If you’d like to win an Easter Vegan Marshmallow Selection Box and Lemon & Lime Waggon Wheels (pictured in the above 2 images), simply answer the following question:
In what way/s will you be having an ethical Easter this year?
Leave your answer in the comments below by Tuesday 7th April 2020. One lucky winner will be chosen to win this prize bundle, and notified on 8th April 2020. Competition open to UK residents only. Good luck!