11.03.2012

How these vegans get Halloween done

When people find out we're vegan, one of two things happen.

They shrug their shoulders and don't really think twice about it  (they just throw us into that category of 'weird people' or 'going through a phase'). 

Or, the questions start coming. Oh, the questions.

To be honest, I absolutely adore when people are curious about our lifestyle. It gives us a chance to explain to people what we DO eat and how our daughter actually isn't malnourished (despite not living off of cows milk and junk-filled chicken nuggets), contrary to popular opinion, uninformed opinion, closed-minded opinion and much of the general populous. 

My husband and I try not to parade our dietary and lifestyle choices to everyone. While vegan works for us, I realize it might not for everyone else in the world. We've kind of adapted the thought process of, you live your way, we'll live ours and we won't really talk about it, unless you start asking questions or start crapping all over our choices, then, we're going to fight back.

Once people have known us for a while, they kind of stop asking questions, mainly because they know the answer is probably "no, that has XXX hidden ingredient in it" or "you don't want to know I used beans as a binder in those brownies so just eat them and continue thinking they're delicious." 

Sometimes though, random things pop up and it reminds people that our veganism doesn't just touch our dietary choices, but our lifestyle, moral, personal and ethical ones as well. 

Halloween, is one of those things. 

"Well Pearyn can't eat most of the candy she gets trick-or-treating, so do you guys even bother going?"

Yes, yes and yes. 

Trust me, we realize most of the candy she collects contains a plethora of animal-ridden products, so no, she doesn't really get the opportunity to gorge herself on your run-of-the-mill Snickers and Reese Cups. (Hold on, don't go calling child services on us just yet). Instead, we raid our local health food store (the one that carries less-than healthy vegan candy options) and wipe them clean of all the vegan candy we can get our hands on.

The most popular with Pearyn? Definitely the Go Max Go Life vegan versions of all your favorite candy bars -- from Cleo's peanut butter cups to the caramel, nugget and nuts of the Jokerz bar -- we replace all those silly "fun size" regular candy bars with full-size (and seriously full dollar) vegan ones. 

We sneak in other regular, vegan-approved candy, like Sweedish Fish or Twizzlers too. (I realize some vegans avoid anything with uncharted processed sugar, I don't have enough money in my wallet or time in the day to start doing this too, we try to limit the amount of sugar we eat, however, if it makes us only 99% vegan then fine, I don't want to start any wars here). 

So honestly, Pear's trick-or-treat adventure really isn't a whole lot different from any other child's.

She gets to pick out whatever costume her little heart desires, she has two parents and a dedicated grandmother that have spent her last two trick-or-treats walking around the neighborhood with her while she runs up to houses whispering "Trick-or-treat" and then shouting out "thank you" when they put some kind of goody in her basket. 

Once she's tuckered out, we head home and "pull the switch." We take all the candy she collected from the evening and throw it into a grocery bag, while swapping in all the vegan-approved stuff. 

Honestly, it's not that much different than any other regular parent sifting through their child's goodies, looking for homemade stuff you can't trust or treats that might choke your small child. Instead of rifling through our daughters basket, we just make the switch. Last year and this year we've donated the candy to programs that send it to soldiers overseas. 

This year she asked why she couldn't have a few things, we just explained to her that we don't eat that food but she could have a piece of whatever she wanted from her bucket. 

And you know what? She ate a few homemade buckeyes from grandma and then pushed her candy aside.

She wanted noodles.

How many parents of toddlers can say their child opted for dinner before tearing into their treats? 

It was a proud, proud moment for us. 

5 comments:

  1. What a lovely post, and such sweet pictures!

    I hear so much good stuff about Go Max Go Life stuff - I really hope they come to the UK before too long!

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  2. I wish I could tell you everything you hear is a lie, but they're really SO amazing. I like dark chocolate, but it's so nice to be able to have a "milk" chocolate alternative for candy bars.

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  3. Yay, for Pearyn! What a lovely little doll she is. You guys are doing a great job. I love your attitude and confidence. I've got an award for you over at my blog. :-)

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  4. Thank you so much you are too sweet! I'm going to continue the blog love tomorrow ;)

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  5. Love your strategy for Halloween! (And love the minnie costume!)

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