Monday, March 29, 2010

Easter Eggs

Nothing makes me feel more guilty than when someone goes out of their way to accommodate us (it's a Jewish thing), but inevitably, once they think they've got the vegan thing down, something comes up that I have to point out isn't quite right. Like when someone makes a salad for us so we'll have "something to eat" at the party, but it's made with Caesar dressing (mmm, anchovies!). Or when a good friend buys me a beautiful scarf, but it's made of wool, or silk (oooohhhhh... um, thanks!). Or someone buys my kids tickets to the circus (no, I'm sorry, we're busy protesting circus abuse that day). Or when my daughter gets invited by a friend to decorate Easter eggs.

My daughter is lucky enough to have an adult female in her life who is an amazing support and mentor to her. I absolutely love her "Big Sister" (thank GOSH for Big Brothers Big Sisters of America!), and she is wonderful and fabulous and all-around amazing! I constantly feel guilty for knocking plans she's made for her and my daughter. So when I got the super sweet email this morning that she and her family would like to invite Kayla to decorate Easter eggs, I considered it.

I considered it because I didn't want to make her Big Sister feel badly. I considered it because I wanted my daughter to have a opportunity to have fun decorating eggs, a happy memory I have from childhood. I considered it because I feel guilty always telling people they got it wrong. I considered it because I get tired of being the freaky vegan who always makes an issue out of everything. I considered it because I feel badly that our lifestyle inconveniences others.

Maybe this is all in my mind, and others really don't feel this way. I can honestly say that Kayla's Big has never said or done anything to make me feel like I was inconveniencing her, and for the most part, nobody really has. But I still can't always shake the feeling that I am letting people down or disappointing them when I have to ask for accommodations because of our veganism.

So, as I said, I considered it. For about 5 minutes, until I realized, what kind of lesson was this teaching my daughter? That it'a okay to use animals if it's fun? That it's okay to use animals so that we don't slightly inconvenience other people, or disappointed them? I pictured my daughter face as she struggles between enjoying the activity and thinking about the birds who were locked in jails, as her favorite veg book depicts. And how sad it would make her, because I have raised her to know where her food comes from, and I have raised her to be compassionate and know right from wrong. And I thought about the chickens who laid those eggs. I thought about them crammed into tiny cages, or living in an overpopulated, dark room, filled with filth, disease, and death. And I realized nothing in the world is worth contributing to that. Especially for an art project. And it was reaffirmed that being vegan is the right choice, even if it's a little tough sometimes.

So, a quick google search produced this:
Alternatives for Easter eggs! So I sent back what I hope was a benign 'thank you, but since we're vegan, we don't eat or use anything that comes from animals, including eggs' email with a link to the alternative eggs. Hopefully this doesn't come across as rude. I think it's important to always offer alternatives, so we vegans don't seem deprived :-)
Anyways, if anyone is looking for an alternative to the egg coloring tradition, here are some ideas courtesy of PETA!



  1. Hi! I just heard about your blog on the most recent "Vegetarian Food for Thought" podcast, and had to check it out. I'm a vegan, with an incredibly supportive less-than-vegan partner, and a very vegan 21-month old daughter. I'm so proud of our decision to raise our little bear to respect ALL animals, not just the furry ones that live with us, and am so happy to find like-minded parents out there! There are definitely struggles involved, but they're worth every effort.

    Our little vegan's a bit young for egg-painting this year, but we've bought some reusable plastic eggs for her to hunt for tomorrow morning ("hunt for" may be a tad optimistic, but she'll enjoy it anyway), and I'm hoping we can paint them together in the years to come - just as fun as "the real thing" in my opinion.

    Anyway - thanks for posting about this - I look forward to future posts!

  2. Thanks for posting the good ideas, and honesty about sometimes feeling like a vegan lifestyle can feel inconvenient. I often feel the same way, and I can't quite put my finger on it either. It is good to know I am not alone. We came up with out own Easter "egg" tradition, and paint or color wooden eggs. I haven't tried dying them, but it would probably work just fine too. If you are interested in checking them out there is a post on my blog. We picked a similar blog name :-)

  3. Hi Allison, welcome! So glad you found us! Your little girl is super adorable!

    Hi Celeste! I like the name of your blog!! : )
    Your Easter eggs came out SO cute!! Way better (and less gross!)than the 'real' thing!

    Happy Easter!


  4. One option is to superglue plastic eggs together at the seam (after filling with treats if you want) and spray painting with matte white paint. Then you can dye them just as you would a hen egg. Granted it is not eco but it is a great option if you want to dye eggs the "traditional" way.