great candy swap happened.
You may not be familiar with the great candy swap I'm referring to. Two things happen when we discuss how our vegan family partakes in Trick-or-Treat; either people forget completely that we don't consume ANY animal products, including dairy-ridden things like chocolate and gelatin-based gummies, or they think we don't let our kids go out at all because we're completely against the collecting of candy.
The thing is, just because we're vegan and riding the cruelty-free train, doesn't mean we don't like dressing up and an excuse to eat too much candy!
For the last few years after our daughter finished trick-or-treating, we simply swapped out the candy she collected for the vegan treats we had purchased (before you go assuming it's crap like apples and bananas, think again, our daughter got full-sized vegan candy bars from Go Max Go Foods, the company behind vegan versions of your favorite candy bars, like Milky Ways and Butterfingers).
Since our daughter has started preschool, where classroom and birthday parties abound, bringing along homemade cupcakes and ice cream, we've started talking to her about why our family eats differently than everyone else.
She proudly proclaims to anyone that sees her eating that she doesn't have stuff with cows milk, eggs, gelatin or fish. She doesn't understand fully why we eat the way we do yet, but she's starting to grasp it and we've opened the communication lines.
Right now, she's satisfied with the response that we respect all living beings, so we choose not to eat things from them. We also stress to her that just because someone does eat animal products doesn't mean they're bad, they're just different from us.
So far, she's satisfied with those explanations, but it doesn't mean she'll always be. This little girl is constantly keeping us on our toes.
She was over-the-moon excited for her pumpkin cookies, vegan candy bars and vegan gummy bears. It also helps that we take her trick-or-treating in my parents' neighborhood, where her memaw and papaw spoil her with too many vegan chocolates and her great aunt Elaine that lives next door gives out pretzels, oreos and other vegan-approved junk food.
I realize things are easier right now, because she's so little. I know there will come a time when she's probably going to want to sneak a bite of real chocolate. But instead of spending our time worrying about how we're going to handle hypothetical situations, we're just going to take each issue as it comes.
And while our Batmanned-out Braeburn didn't get to partake in much actual trick-or-treating (he got pushed around in a stroller), he did get to enjoy a cookie the size of his head.
Because what's Halloween without a few giant cookies?
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