What do vegan children do for Halloween? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 11-01-2005, 11:39 AM
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I don't have kids but I was curious about how vegan children celebrate Halloween. Do they skip going door to door and do something else or what? Responses might come in handy for the future. Thanks.
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#2 Old 11-01-2005, 11:53 AM
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I think this all depends on the age of the kid.

My son is almost 2. So we went around (My wife, myself, my FIL, my MIL, and my wife's birth mom), three of us dressed up (myself, my wife, and my son), trick or treating.

My son got really excited. He got A LOT of candy, because even though we only hit up about 8 of our neighbor's, they gave him two or three handfuls of what they had.

So my son ended up with a huge bag, heavier than he could carry, full of non-vegan treats.

However, since he is not yet 22 months old, we got to do some subterfuge. My wife (also vegan) looked through his candy bag and diposited the non-vegan candy (90% of it) into another bin, while I distracted my son. At the bottom of his bin, earlier in the day, we had put in a bunch of vegan candies.

My son didn't know the difference, and he happily ate two vegan candies before calling it a night. The non-vegan treats (snickers, etc) we gave away to trick-or-treaters lucky enough to pass by. I think we gave away that stuff with just two kids.

That is how I imagine that it will work out for us for the next two years. I do imagine that the subterfuge is harder when the kids get to be around 4-6. I don't know what we will do then, but we will figure out something!
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#3 Old 11-01-2005, 11:59 AM
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my kids are 5. they go door to door and love it. they know when we get home we separate what is not vegan and they can give it out to other trick or treaters. they are happy to have only the vegan stuff and happy to give away the rest. they, in no way ever, want to eat candy with animal products in it. they know how gross that would be. just not a problem at all.
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#4 Old 11-01-2005, 12:00 PM
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Although I am vegan, my kids are not. If they had been raised vegan from babies, I would probably try and bypass the whole Halloween thing with a party at home, another activity, something to detract from the whole candy-fest (I'm not all that crazy about it for my kids - we didn't "do" Halloween for YEARS, but thats another issue all together).

The subterfuge thing only works for another year or two... (I used to try and "trade" a lot of the snacks for more healthy ones like peanuts and raisins - they LOVED it until they were about...4 or so...)

With older kids, I would probably offer them the choice of trick-or-treating and then "trading" me for vegan candy I already had... possibly even "buying" it from them (yeah, OK, a major bribe, I know) OR doing another very special activity instead, like bumper cars and mini-golf or midnight neon bowling, or a movie and (vegan) ice-cream afterwards... (I bet my kids would have taken me up on that this year if I'd offered, I just didn't think about it 'till now..)

Even though my older (teen) kids aren't vegan - my youngest is pretty close, since I still cook for her - I don't make a huge issue at parties, birthdays and special occasions however - it's still a pretty new idea for ME - I know she has an even harder time comprehending, even though she cares about animals and their lives, she still doesn't quite see the connection in every food item... we're working our way that direction though, but it's all still pretty new...
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#5 Old 11-01-2005, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by xrodolfox View Post

That is how I imagine that it will work out for us for the next two years. I do imagine that the subterfuge is harder when the kids get to be around 4-6. I don't know what we will do then, but we will figure out something!

I imagine that at that point, you'll sit down with them and tell them honestly, in simple terms, why you don't want them eating non-vegan candy. With any luck, they'll understand.

*this space not for sale*
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#6 Old 11-01-2005, 01:59 PM
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Thanks for the replies. I didn't realize children could understand it enough to allow candy to be taken away from them without crying about it or feeling hurt.
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#7 Old 11-01-2005, 02:15 PM
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i remember that when i was little (not veg or vegan), my parents would sit with me and we would sift through the candy. i would often 'keep' what i liked and 'give away' what i didn't like.

if we change or give a definition for 'like' as 'vegan and nonvegan' as in 'we like vegan candy, non-vegan candy doesn't taste good' then it's easy to get gets to forgo it.

my husband and i think about this in terms of our children eating candy in general. we do not eat a lot of candy, and my mother was joking with me the other day about how my halloween candy would still be hanging around by new years. quite frankly, i don't have that much of a sweet tooth. Neither does my husband. We eat chocolate occassionally, and that's it.

so, we also wonder what we are going to do for halloween, and i'm thinking that a party inside would be more fun than trick-or-treating. there are things about halloween that i've always loved, and those are the parts that i want to share with my kids:

1. carving pumpkins--i love to do this. i first love the scooping of the seeds part, then the planning of the design, and then the actual work of carving. we always saved and shelled the seeds and made sweet and spicy pumpkin seeds.

2. carmel/candied apples--i've really gotten back into this over the past few years. i found tiny 'pink lady' apples at the HFS and i love to dip them in dark chocolate. because you can't give this sort of thing out to trick-or-treaters, i gave them to my friends and clients. They enjoyed them because the apple is tiny (like 3-4 bites tops), and it has the granny smith sort of tanginess to it. i also like to make HUGE carmel apples and chocolate apples using big granny smith's. I like to cut them up with a knife.

3. celebrating various aspects of death--i really like the various esoteric elements related to the holiday, such as the contemplation of death, the celebration of death (and new life thereby) and so on. i love skeletons and the concept of 'the day of the dead' as celebrated in many latin cultures. this is, for me, more exciting than some of the more commerical stuff that is done. So, i think that celebrating these things would be fun.

4. enjoying harvest moons and nnite skies--my favorite part of trick-or-treating was being outside at nite. today, we do nite-time hikes with local naturalists who tell us about the nocturnal world in the woods around us. it's a real blast to be outside on a chilly nite. this year, we missed it, but we were hoping to do the one that also had a hay ride and bon fire--two of my favorite things during the halloween season.

so, i think i can successfully help my kids avoid most of the candy and such--and still dress up and do other fun things.
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#8 Old 11-01-2005, 02:25 PM
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Zoebird, that sounds like a really neat way to celebrate Halloween and get back a little closer to its roots! I would LOVE to go on a nocturnal nature hike! And a party at home seems like a good way to help vegan kids avoid the temptation of non-vegan candy. (Not to mention a great chance to do some vegan outreach with the neighborhood kids.)
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#9 Old 11-01-2005, 02:42 PM
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Wow, what great ideas! Thanks Zoebird.
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#10 Old 11-01-2005, 03:33 PM
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If I have kids the plan is to give them the option to sell or trade non-vegan candy to me if they want to. I don't think a fun size snickers is going to be the end of the world and I would rather they feel like they have some choice in the matter. I will of course give them the option of a party, etc. but I always felt like trick or treating was the best and a party was what you had to do when you got too old.
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#11 Old 11-13-2005, 09:45 PM
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There's so much delicious vegan candy, I can't imagine kids would ever have to feel deprived.

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#12 Old 11-14-2005, 06:06 AM
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The whole vegan thing wasn't any sort of any issue in my house until recently, and my kids are actually getting a little old for the Halloween thing, but I've always been a little weird about what other sorts of scary stuff might end up in Halloween candies (my Mom too) so this is two generations of how our family has handled the holiday:

We decorate the house to the nines... With giant spiders crawling all over giant webs in the trees and grave stones and ghosts and whatnot. We put up a bunch of blacklights and generally make things as creepy as possible. We put out cauldrons of water of dry ice to make fog on our front walk. Then the kids and hubby and I (or mom and dad and me and my brother when I was little) all get dressed up in our scariest garb and stay home and scare the trick or treaters! Bonus points for making the older ones cry! Then we just eat our own candy and don't have to worry about what anybody else has handed us... Just a thought. Our neighborhood has also started a big, communal hand out stuff on the culdesac thing. They do a pot luck dinner and whatnot... It's right in front of our house and they usually set up tables in our driveway so it's another excuse to stay home.
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