The scariest thing about Halloween to me is looking at the ingredients in all that crappy candy. First, most of it isn’t vegan – and I’m not talking about just the milk chocolate. Red candy is often colored with the crushed bodies of the female Dactylopius coccus, an insect from Central and South America.
Watch out for cochineal, carmine, or carminic acid on the label to avoid eating these poor critters. Also, gummy candies are usually made with gelatin- aka miscellaneous boiled animal parts like cartilage, skin, bone and other tissue. Spooky, creepy, cruel and gross!
And even if the candy is vegan, hubby and I don’t want to support the consumption of GMOs (genetically modified organisms). GMOs are foods that have had their DNA altered. They are untested and suspected to cause health problems in humans and animals. Here’s a good place to start to learn more and I highly encourage you to learn more if this is a new subject for you! Unless it’s organic or specifically labeled GMO free, if it contains corn syrup, sugar (other than specifically labeled pure cane sugar), soy, cottonseed, corn or canola oil, (also the elusive vegetable oil which is usually a combo of the four I just listed) it’s most likely genetically modified. If I had to guess, I would say conservatively that 90% of the candy from the big manufacturers is GMO laden.
I’ll be blunt. The traditional stuff most people pay hard-earned dollars for and hand out to our unsuspecting little ones contributes to animal cruelty, poor health and a toxic environment. Three years ago, as new vegans, we just said no to it all and the kids actually thanked us. We found some vegan, non-GMO fruit leather treats at our local Costco.
We also had some little packs of nuts. We let the kids choose. At first I was worried about getting egged, but we heard comments like “Ooh! I love fruit leathers!” and “Yay, nuts! I can’t have (chocolate, sugar, etc…)”. One little girl even mentioned she was glad to see something healthy. She gave me hope for the future and their positive reactions made my night. No cruel eggs or wasteful, smashed pumpkins were smeared on my house either.
So please take some time to re-think Halloween and find a cruelty free, health promoting option to give to your trick-or-treaters this year! It has to start somewhere, so why not start with you?
Happy Cruelty-Free Halloween!!!!