By Daria Zeoli, Guest Contributor
I have a confession to make – I don’t hand out vegan candies for trick-or-treaters on Halloween.
I know, I know. I deserve the side-eye, the shake of the head, the “Does this woman hate fun?” questions. In my defense, I don’t get enough trick-or-treaters in my neighborhood to justify buying a bunch of candy that I will wind up eating myself. And there is plenty of candy around the office for the children and grandchildren of co-workers – though certainly not vegan.
But I realize that everyone isn’t in my situation, and lest you think I am a Halloween Scrooge, I’d like to talk to you today about vegan candy options for Halloween. After all, I was a trick-or-treating kid once, too.
Yes, there is a plethora of cheap candy at every grocery store right now, and most of it is made of some type of animal byproduct or secretion (more on that later). There’s also plenty of great vegan candies available from purveyors world wide, but much of it gets pretty expensive, especially if you’re handing it out to strangers at the door who don’t appreciate hand-crafted, gourmet treats. But fear not, compassionate vegans! We have alternatives.
Much of the chocolate that is purchased at this time of year isn’t close to vegan; in fact, even for non-vegans, it poses an ethical issue. The Food Empowerment Project details the dark side of the chocolate industry. Before you buy your next chocolate bar, please read up on how child labor, slavery and trafficking are tied to the industry.
Lucky for everyone, there are alternatives. Check out these vegan chocolate products to keep your Halloween candy bowls stocked:
- Justin’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups and Mini Peanut Butter Cups
- Endangered Species Chocolate Dark Chocolate Bug Bites
- Go Max Go Vegan Candy Bars
- Rescue Chocolate
Chocolate, while a mainstay of my pre-vegan diet (ok, perhaps I’m exaggerating a little), is not the only sweet treat given out to trick-or-treaters on Halloween. For the sweet tooth of the non-chocolate kind, here are some options of the vegan candies persuasion:
Ok, let’s be honest: trick-or-treaters don’t want to be tricked – they want treats – sugary candies and salty snacks. They don’t want apples or pennies or pencils. If you aren’t comfortable with the ethical dilemma behind chocolate and don’t want to purchase bone-char refined sugar products, but can’t find the alternatives listed above, you can stick to the following options, which come in snack bags suitable for any plastic pumpkin or other receptacle for Halloween booty:
- Potato Chips
- Fruit Leather
Some companies will also put out a special Halloween assortment of their regular products.
- Nature’s Bakery Fig Bar Halloween Assortment
- Annie’s Organic Fruit Snacks
Shop Online for Vegan Halloween Candy
Save yourself a trip to the store and buy online! You can find a huge selection of vegan chocolate and no-bone-char vegan candy at The Natural Candy Store. As a vegan, I appreciate the detailed information given on the vegan candy. Each candy is specifically labelled as bone-char free- like this Invisible Vanilla Bean Ghost Lollipop for instance.
Halloween Fun for Everyone
Just because we’ve always done something a certain way doesn’t mean we have to continue down that road. On the other hand, traditions evolve as we do, and we don’t have to bow out just because some aspects change. Vegans can celebrate all of the fun of Halloween by making compassionate choices. Have a safe, spooky, and satisfying Halloween!
Pumpkin Photo: summerbl4ck
Ghost Photo: Daria Zeoli
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