Halloween is around the corner
With Halloween fast approaching many vegan parents are already starting to stress about their little ones being exposed to non-vegan candies. But there is no need to prevent your little ones from celebrating Halloween or lose sleep over what you are going to do because Vegan Rhapsody has you covered. Here’s your simple guide to a worry-free vegan Halloween!
What do you mean candies are not vegan?
Many candies contain hidden animal products and the reason is quite simple. No one wants to think about dead pig skin when they are munching on a hand full of gummy bears. It is sometimes hard even for veteran vegans to find out what is vegan and what is not. Unfortunately, the animal agriculture industry is adept at maximizing their profit margins by selling every part of the animal they just slaughtered and hiding it from the general public. From industrial strength glue to fine bone china these products can be found virtually everywhere. To find out more about some of these products, you can reference “Warning! Animal Products Ahead!”, a blog post I wrote a few months ago.
What do I look for?
According to the “People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals” (PETA), when it comes to Halloween candies you have to look for these three non-vegan ingredients:
- Gelatin (which is generally made from animal skin, tendons and ligaments)
- Carmine (a red colouring agent made from the cochineal insect)
- Confectioners Glaze (also made from insects such as the shellac bug)
It’s important to note that many sugar producers also use bone char in their manufacturing process which makes it nearly impossible to find vegan certified sweets. Candy makers can use multiple suppliers when producing their goods which means it is harder to go up the supply chain to find out whether it’s vegan or not.
Ok so what do I do now?
Well you have a few options, here’s what I have in mind:
- Host a Halloween party – That way you can control every facet of the festivities. From what treats the kids will get, to the activities and games you and your little guests will play. The possibilities are endless. You can get a few vegan-certified candies at Wholefoods Market, bake vegan Halloween-themed treats and even cut up fruit and vegetable platers in “spooky” ways. Use your imagination and have fun with it.
- Go out trick-or-treating the traditional way – Simply sort through the candies at the end of the evening looking for the above mentioned non-vegan ingredients. Many organizations such as the YMCA have candy buy-back programs to promote good health and to raise money for local causes. So keep a few candies and donate the rest. It’s also a great opportunity to teach your kids to become socially conscious and to take an interest in their own health. It’s never too early to teach them.
- Partner with a local animal sanctuary/shelter – Use Halloween as a time to fundraise and canvass for animals. You would be surprised how altruistic kids can be when it comes to helping out others. Just make sure you still make it special for them. Get everyone dressed up in their favourite costume and get a few vegan treats for them to munch on afterwards.
Above all else…make it fun!
Halloween is a time for kids to have fun. The experience is more important than any candies and treats your kids will indulge in. So get involved, participate and have a spooky old time!
*As always we value your comments and suggestions… please let us know how you plan to spend your Halloween in the comment section below 🙂
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