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Start a New Easter Tradition

Easter is meant to be one of those great holidays in which Christians share quality time with their families and celebrate their religion in a festive and peaceful manner. But somewhere along the way, the message got skewed and animals have paid the price for it.

Growing up, tradition was an important part of my family. Despite the family bonding that happened around Easter, I always felt as though some aspects of our Easter tradition just didn’t quite fit the compassionate message that Jesus seemed to stand for.

As far back as I can remember, my mother would wake me up every Easter morning, and I’d excitedly get dressed in a pastel, floral getup—the kind that includes frilly socks and a pink woven wide-brimmed hat. I’d slip into my purple wool cardigan while my mother donned her massive black mink coat.

We would then go to church and come home for the long-established Easter egg hunt (using real eggs that we’d dyed the day before). Afterwards, my sister and I would tear through our Easter baskets, which were filled to the brim with milk chocolate coins. Easter dinner would typically consist of a gigantic roast, potatoes with turkey gravy, bread and butter, dirty rice, and seafood gumbo.

Years later at 13, I began questioning everything. I asked myself why we ate foods that cost animals their lives and why animals were killed to make coats. I began to research how animals are exploited and quickly went vegetarian after I discovered the gruesome truth that I had searched for.

Now as an adult, I still celebrate Easter but put my own twist on the traditions so that no one has to suffer for my celebration. On Easter morning last year, I slipped on a cute lavender summer dress with a cotton cardigan. I donned my new pleather wedge heels and walked a few blocks to church. For Easter dinner, I cooked up a savory vegan gumbo (a recipe that my mother was excited to come up with from scratch!), and for dessert, I enjoyed a vegan dark-chocolate bunny that my parents had mailed to me.

Cruelty-free Easter? I think the peaceful Jesus that I’ve grown familiar with would agree with that sentiment.

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  • Celeste Billett says:

    Don’t also forget at Easter-time the poor bunnies!

  • Laura says:

    i liked this article im the only vegan in my family and i got a lot of them into vegan meals, everyone from the ages 72 to 3 enjoyed them!

  • Suzette says:

    I so agree with you! Great article! There were many a great prophet that believed in not killing life. Thanks for writing!

  • elaine says:

    I do completely get the point you’re tying to make about a compassionate Jesus and making compassionate Easter choices.

    HOWEVER…to answer your question WWJD: Jesus ate meat, fish, surely eggs, honey, etc. Clothing was likely made from animal skins/hides and wool.

    If you want to ask what a contemporary, enlightened, educated, relatively privileged person can do (who has access to fresh produce and human-made materials), that is a different question.

    If you want people to act as Jesus did, then I think you’d actually get a result you don’t want.

  • MA Moore says:

    I am sure Jesus was a vegitarian. Thank you for the great article.

  • sally says:

    several religious sects Believe Jesus is veggie.
    a lot of bibles are written in old english and the words “at meat” or to give “meat” just mean to give food- if people are “at meat” it means they are having a meal- it could be a salad!
    the fish things is symbolic but the old testament says we are given all the green stuff and seeds and fruit etc to eat. the animals were mentioned to st peter “kill and eat” as a reference to converting gentiles not tucking into a kfc…

  • Constance says:

    Amen Christine! It’s a choice, and it’s the compassionate choice. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should-regardless of Jesus eating fish-I do not believe our Lord would want us to choose cruelty.

  • Tina says:

    Thanks Christine. I couldn’t agree more. Christians’ teach about the compassion Christ had/has. I am certain this is extended towards animals too. They shouldn’t suffer for Humans pleasure. The way you pur your message across was very effective. Thanks once again for sharing. Tina

  • Christine Dore says:

    Hi Dara, I’d recommend that you check out for an in-depth answer to your inquiry about Jesus eating fish.

    What do you think Jesus would say about the way fish are bred and factory farmed for consumption during this day and age? His overall message was love and compassion, and there’s nothing remotely loving, compassionate, or even slightly dignified about the frightning and horrible conditions of a factory farm.

    Every time I sit down to dinner, as a human and as a Christian, I have a choice. I can choose to eat something that suffered and and struggled and feared for his/her life before he/she was brutally slaugthered … or I could choose my meals to come about without harming any living creature. I know which one the peaceful Jesus I’ve grown to love would agree with.

  • Dara says:

    I’m pretty sure that Jesus eats fish in the Bible….

  • Kim says:

    We do a Tofurky or vegan ham. I make mac and Teese, and mashed potatoes and gravy. I order Easter candy from We have awesome cruelty free Easters.

  • Aurora says:

    If you’re still interested in decorating eggs, you can buy ceramic and plaster eggs at craft stores. They last longer and can be put on display for years to come!