A Vegan Easter

Easter is a pagan festival. The date is not fixed but governed by the phases of the moon. The familiar symbols of Easter also hark back to pagan customs. The Easter bunny is thought to be from the pagan festival of Eostre, a northern goddess whose symbol was a rabbit or a hare. The exchange of eggs and hot cross buns are also ancient customs with the Old Testament telling us that Israelites baked sweet buns for an idol despite religious leaders trying to stop them. It wasn’t until later that religion adopted Easter and made it about resurrection.

However, nowhere in my research could I find mention of big feasts centred around the roasted flesh of a young animal.

For me, as for many others, Easter is a celebration of Spring. A celebration of Nature reawakening after the long winter;  of trees bursting into blossom, of the first green shoots in the garden, of the sun’s warmth and of wildlife busily preparing for the birth of their young.

However, Easter also brings deep sadness and despair.

I feel no joy at seeing all the lambs, calves and piglets in the fields, knowing their short lives are destined for a terrifying and violent end, to satisfy humans’ incessant greed for their flesh.Easter has become a time for loved ones to come together and enjoy a special meal but I struggle with the hypocrisy of it all.

On the one hand, the public are bombarded with images of new born lambs and chicks around Easter time, there’s a new TV series live from a lambing shed that will be shown early enough for children to watch and yet, when they are seated at the table for the Easter Sunday dinner, it is often  part of a lamb or a whole chicken that is served!

This is known as Cognitive Dissonance and is how people disassociate the image of the new born lamb playing in the field from it’s dismembered leg on their table. My whole family gets together at Easter to share a meal and, as the only vegan at the table, it is heart-breaking.

In this current situation, my trip to be with my family for Easter has been cancelled and, of course I am disappointed. Still, we will all be together having our meal on Easter Sunday via a video chat link, but, I won’t have to see or smell what they are eating!  Every cloud…!!

This Easter, why not challenge your friends and family about their cognitive dissonance and maybe use this opportunity to provide the link between those cute images and what’s on their plate!

Wishing you all a very Happy Vegan  Easter.