Easter is a celebration of life — and what better way to honor this holiday than by choosing animal-friendly foods and activities that everyone can enjoy?
Sadly, many Easter traditions are centered around eggs, the overwhelming majority of which come from birds intensively confined inside tiny wire battery cages for the entire lives. On these egg factory farms, hens are denied the ability to perform many of their most natural behaviors, including perching, nesting, dust-bathing, foraging, and even walking.
While welfare concerns have prompted many countries, including the entire European Union, to ban the use of barren wire battery cages, this cruel system of confinement remains standard practice throughout the US egg industry.
A Cruelty-Free Easter
Thankfully, putting compassion at the center of our holiday celebrations has never been easier. Instead of painting eggs, look for paper-maché, styrofoam, or wooden eggs in craft stores to paint, decorate, and hide. For Easter egg hunts, plastic eggs work great, and you can even hide little vegan sweets — like Dots, Lemonheads, Skittles, or Sour Patch Kids — inside each plastic egg.
You can also make egg-free egg-shaped cookies that are a fun and delicious way to fill your Easter basket with joy!
Miss the “cream-filled” chocolate eggs you remember from childhood? Vegan Treats has you covered with their veganbury “milk” chocolate eggs with cream inside! Looking for treats you can share? Sjaak’s sells a tub filled with organic fair trade vegan dark chocolate eggs.
And if you’re hosting or attending an Easter cookout, why not bring along some of these easy-to-prepare black bean burgers?
Black Bean Burgers
- 1 15-ounce can black beans, drained
- 1/4 cup diced and sautéed onions
- 2 slices multigrain bread, finely crumbled
- 1/2 teaspoon each of garlic powder, black pepper, and onion powder (optional)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
- 1/2 cup cracker crumbs
In a large bowl, mash the drained black beans. Add the sautéed onions, crumbled bread, and spices. Mix thoroughly. Add about 1/4 cup of cracker crumbs (or just enough to be able to form patties from the mixture). Using your hands, form the mixture into 1/2-inch thick patties. For a breaded burger, gently coat each patty with more cracker crumbs.
In a lightly oiled non-stick pan, fry both sides of the patties. Serve with a garnish of lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, and any other condiments on buns or over a bed or rice.
For more recipe ideas—including lasagna, sloppy joes, and mac un’cheese—please visit VegRecipes.org.