Vegan Delights: Enjoy a Cruelty-Free Easter

Easter is a time of joy, celebration, and indulgence, with chocolate playing a central role in the festivities. However, for those who follow a vegan lifestyle, finding cruelty-free chocolate options can be a challenge. Fear not, as this article, “Vegan Delights: Enjoy a Cruelty-Free Easter,” penned by Jennifer O’Toole, is here to guide you through a delightful selection of vegan chocolates that are not only delicious but also ethically produced. From small, locally-sourced businesses to globally recognized brands, we explore a variety of options that ensure you won’t miss out on the sweet treats this Easter. Additionally, we delve into the importance of choosing vegan chocolate, the ethical certifications to look for, and the environmental impact of dairy production. Join us as we celebrate a compassionate and eco-friendly Easter with these delectable vegan chocolate choices.
Easter is a time of ‌joy, celebration, and ‍indulgence, with chocolate playing a central role in the festivities. However, for those who follow a vegan lifestyle, ⁤finding cruelty-free chocolate options can be a challenge. Fear not, as this article, “Cruelty-Free ‌Easter: Indulge in Vegan Chocolate,” penned by Jennifer O’Toole, is here to guide​ you⁤ through a delightful selection of vegan chocolates‍ that are not only delicious but also ‌ethically produced. From small, locally-sourced ‌businesses to globally recognized brands, we​ explore a variety of options that ensure you won’t miss out on the sweet‌ treats this‍ Easter. Additionally, we delve⁢ into the importance of choosing vegan chocolate, ‍the ethical certifications to look for, and ​the environmental impact of dairy production. Join us⁢ as we celebrate a compassionate and⁤ eco-friendly Easter with these delectable vegan chocolate choices.

Author: Jennifer O’Toole :

Easter Sunday is almost upon us and however you choose to celebrate, indulging in some delicious chocolate is usually part of the festivities. As a vegan, we can sometimes feel left out when it comes to sweet treats, but worry not! Here are some of the best cruelty-free, delicious, and vegan chocolate options available this Easter (and all year!).

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Trupig Vegan is a two-person business based in Yorkshire in the UK. Wherever possible they use locally-sourced ingredients and suppliers to lower their carbon footprint and support local businesses. They use Organic Fairtrade, and UTZ / Rainforest Alliance certified cocoa products in all their chocolate creations. They restock every Friday at 12pm UK time but be warned, you have to move fast!

Moo Free is a UK-based company founded by a husband and wife team in 2010. All of their packaging is made from recycled plastic, their factories send zero waste to landfill, and are powered by 100% renewable energy. Moo Free also uses Rainforest Alliance cocoa beans and never uses palm oil. They are available in most supermarkets and online in the UK and online in 38 other countries.

VEGO started in 2010, founded by Jan Niklas Schmidt. All VEGO products are vegan, Fairtrade certified, manufactured under fair conditions, free from child labour, and they do not use soy or palm oil. Inspired by the Scandinavian working week, on average, the team works a maximum of 32 hours a week to be fully charged and ready to go. The company is based in Berlin but their products can be found in over 12,000 stores around the world.

Lagusta’s Luscious, founded in 2003, fosters a deep commitment to social justice, environmentalism, and veganism. They work closely with small farmers and producers in their local town and across the country to source truly ethical ingredients. They create 100% ethical chocolate with 100% post-consumer recycled paper boxes and packing materials. Buy online for delivery in the USA, or in store in New Paltz, NY.

NOMO which stands for No Missing Out, is a dairy, gluten, egg, and nut free, vegan chocolate brand based in the UK. The cocoa used in the chocolate is Rainforest Alliance Certified, sourced responsibly and ethically from Africa, and they do not use palm oil in any of their products. Currently they are available in most UK supermarkets and online and hope to expand to more countries soon.

Pure Lovin’ is located in Victoria, BC, Canada and is run by a mother and daughter team. They do not use any artificial flavorings or colors, are ethically made, fair trade and organic, and produce a full line of vegan, soy free and gluten free products. They are also a monthly sponsor of Petunia the pig at Home for Hooves Sanctuary. Chocolate is available to purchase online and ships to Canada and the USA.

Sjaak’s Organic Chocolates is a minority women-owned and family-operated company based in Petaluma, CA. The chocolate is vegan, all ingredients are organic and non-GMO, and their cocoa is sourced from Rainforest Alliance certified farms. At Sjaak’s it is a priority to pay every team member above market wages. You can buy their products in store and online with shipping throughout the USA and Canada.

Pascha Chocolate is certified vegan, USDA certified, organic and uses UTZ / Rainforest Alliance certified cacao, in fact, Pascha is one of the most certified chocolate companies in the world. Pascha chocolate is available online and in many retailers in the USA. It can also be purchased at Vitacost.com which ships to over 160 countries and at Natura Market in Canada.

Ombar chocolate is vegan and certified by the Vegan Society. All the ingredients used are natural, organic, and minimally processed. It is also certified fair trade by Fair for Life. The outer layer of paper used to wrap the chocolate bars is fully recyclable. Ombar is available to buy in many UK supermarkets and online, as well as in more than 15 other countries, including France, Germany, and Japan.

Why choose vegan chocolate?

Most chocolate is made using cow’s milk. Contrary to common belief, cows do not just produce milk, a myth that is perpetuated by the dairy industry themselves. Like every other mammal, they first have to become pregnant and give birth, and like every other mammal, the milk they produce is intended to nourish their baby. However, in the dairy industry, cows are forcefully impregnated, they carry their calf for around 9 months, but once they give birth, their calf is taken away. There are many documented cases of mother cows chasing vehicles as their calves are driven away, or loudly calling out for their baby for days and days. The milk intended for a calf is stolen by humans completely unnecessarily.

The cycle is repeated over and over again until their bodies can no longer function and at which point they are sent for slaughter. The average lifespan of a dairy cow is just 4-5 years a fraction of their natural 20-year lifespan.

Additionally, the number of calves born into the dairy industry far exceeds the number required by farmers to become ‘milking cows’ or ’veal’. Female calves suffer the same fate as their mothers or are killed shortly after birth. Male calves are destined for the ‘veal’ industry or just as likely are killed as unwanted surplus.

To learn more about the dairy industry, check out this blog: Cows are mothers too

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Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance, and UTZ certified

While it’s important to choose cruelty-free products, it’s equally important to make sure those products are produced ethically and sustainably. That’s where labels such as Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance, and UTZ certified come in. But what do they mean?

The Rainforest Alliance is an international non-profit organization with a focus on business, agriculture, and forests. Choosing to purchase products with the Rainforest Alliance Certified seal means you’re supporting the conservation of biodiversity as well as the creation of more sustainable livelihoods by transforming farming and business practices. The standards set out by Rainforest Alliance are designed to protect ecosystems and the environment.

The UTZ label also represents more sustainable farming practices and improved opportunities for farmers, their families, and the planet. In 2018, the UTZ certification was incorporated into the Rainforest Alliance program and from 2022 began a gradual phase out. This is why the Rainforest Alliance certification is seen much more commonly now.

When you choose to buy products labeled Fairtrade, you are actively helping farmers and producers to improve their lives and communities. In order to qualify as Fairtrade, all ingredients need to be produced by small-scale farmers or meet specific economic, environmental, and social requirements. While Rainforest Alliance focuses more on environmental and sustainability issues, Fairtrade focuses more on protecting workers’ rights.

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Dairy and climate change

The dairy industry is contributing hugely to the climate crisis facing us. A single cow produces between 154 to 264 pounds of methane gas per year or 250-500 liters a day! According to the United Nations, animal agriculture generates a third of human-generated methane emissions. Durwood Zaelke, lead reviewer of the IPCC sixth assessment said methane reductions were probably the only way of preventing temperature rises of 1.5ºC above pre-industrial levels, otherwise extreme weather will increase and several planetary tipping points could be triggered, from which there is no coming back. Methane has a warming potential 84 times more powerful than carbon dioxide on a 20-year timescale, so it’s imperative that methane emissions are drastically reduced. Ending animal agriculture would go a long way towards reducing emissions overall. Additionally, dairy production uses around ten times as much land, two to twenty times as much freshwater (each cow in the dairy industry consumes as much as 50 gallons of water every day), and creates much higher levels of eutrophication.

See these charts for a comparison between dairy milk and plant-based milks: https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/environmental-footprint-milks

When armed with the facts, it’s easy to make more ethical and sustainable choices in our day to day lives. There are no excuses for choosing cruelty when we have such an abundance of delicious and cruelty-free options available to us. Have a happy, vegan Easter!

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