I've never eaten a lamb, it wasn't part of the food repertoire in my family, not immediate or extended, but I know the celebrations of Easter and Passover includes an uptick in the consumption of these babies.
My understanding of Easter is that it is celebration the resurrection of Jesus, of life reborn. Passover is also the celebration of life as well as liberty as this holiday celebrates the Jews freedom from slavery in Egypt. Both holidays also take place as Spring begins (in the Northern Hemisphere anyway) which is also a celebration of life as baby animals are born, trees bud with leaves, and plants begin bursting with greenery and beautiful flowers.
So, I ask, why is there so much death? Millions of lambs are slaughtered each year just for Easter. At the time of slaughter, lambs are typically between 7 - 10 months old. Sheep can live about 12 years. In their incredibly short lives, these babies know nothing but suffering, pain, and anguish. This is not me assigning "human" emotions to the lambs, anyone who has seen footage of any animal in a factory farm setting or video of animals in line to slaughter and then on the killing floor know that what these animals are experiencing are very real emotions.
We don't question when the dog or cat we live with is exhibiting emotion we recognize, why would we deny this in other sentient beings?
There is a kinder way to celebrate this weekend. You can take animals off your plate right now and embrace a new, compassionate approach to what you eat and how you interact with the world around you. Check out a previous blog with some Easter recipes
Celebrating Passover this weekend? Visit Plant-Based on a Budget for a complete guide to a vegan Passover.
If you traditionally eat pigs while celebrating, there are vegan ham options available at many standard grocery stores. Check out this blog from VegNews which includes both products you can buy and some recipes if you're inspired to make one yourself.
I hope you'll consider a more compassionate holiday this weekend, once that celebrates all life, human animals, other-than-human animals, and nature all around you.
I haven't settled on the dinner I'll make be making to share (my in-laws celebrate Easter) but I am planning on 2 desserts. Lemon Poundcake from Cinnamon Snail and Carrot Cake Cupcakes from Isa Chandra Moskowitz's Vegan Cupcakes Take over the World. I wasn't able to find the cupcake recipe online but this carrot cake recipe from Isa will no doubt be incredible.
I made the poundcake recipe I linked here last week and it is incredible. Because you use lemon zest and real lemon juice, the lemony flavor is vibrant and delicious, no lemon "flavoring" here. Since we don't keep alcohol in our home I followed one of the substitutions Chef Adam suggested but instead of just soy milk to replace the elderflower liqueur, I added in a splash of vanilla extract, like he mentions in the recipe, do not substitute an extract 1:1 for the elderflower!
If you have a favorite vegan recipe or food you like to include in your Easter or Passover celebrations please link them in the comments below. As always, if you have questions about taking animal off your plate, post them here too!
Thinking about going vegan?
If you're interested in going vegan and would like expert guidance, check out my Vegan Voyage 12 week one on one coaching program. We go deep and get into a lot of what I've mentioned above and more. Each week builds upon the last so you're regularly implementing and taking actions where at the end of the 12 weeks you'll be confident in your choice to have adopted a vegan lifestyle, nourish yourself - body, mind, and soul, and address any comments or questions from those in your life who haven't yet made the switch. Get more info here and schedule a free discovery call here to connect with me and see if this program is a good fit.