Halloween has quickly come around to haunt us again, and as the world begins celebrating by dressing up as characters from films they’ve never watched (all the Uma Thurmans from Pulp Fiction, I’m talking about you) we don our houses in cobwebs and gift candy to strangers.
But with the skyrocketing rise of veganism, can we celebrate this tradition ethically? The short answer is yes: and here’s the ultimate guide on how to do so.
1. Horror Movies
No Halloween is complete without scaring/ scarring yourself by sitting through some classic scary films: think Nightmare On Elm Street, Scream, or for the more fearful amongst us: Hocus Pocus.
But there is nothing more horrifying than the reality of animal agriculture – and staying in the dark about where your food comes from is like having your eyes closed throughout Beetlejuice.
Dressing up for Halloween has become the epitome of fast-fashion. According to Fast Company, Americans will spend $8.8 billion on cheap, disposable costumes, decorations, and candy this year – most of which will be discarded the very next day.
However, there are ways to reduce your environmental footprint and still have fun dressing up. Shopping at second-hand stores, swapping last year’s Halloween costume with your friend, or even creating your own (my mother once cut holes in an old bed sheet and made me go to the school disco as a ghost).
One of the best parts of Halloween for children is knocking on strangers’ doors and demanding food. But many sweets contain animal-derived ingredients such as gelatine, beeswax, and honey.
It can be difficult to navigate your children into only accepting vegan sweets – so if that idea seems completely unfeasible – here’s another idea: at the end of the night sort out all of your treats into two piles (vegan and non-vegan). You can take your non-vegan sweets and donate them to your local food shelter or food bank.
If you’re expecting trick or treaters to visit your house – give out vegan-friendly sweets. It could spike demand for them if the children love them. And of course, you can eat any that are leftover.
PS. Instead of buying a single-use plastic Jack-O-Lantern to store your candy, why not take a Tupperware box, paper bag, or even a used tote bag (you could even paint it Halloween-themed)!
Halloween-themed food is a great idea no matter how old you are. And, some delicious treats you can make from scratch can actually be pretty healthy.
If you’re looking for some Halloween/ fall-themed dishes, check out some of these recipes: Easy Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread, Ghost Meringues, Creamy Pumpkin Pasta Bake, and Spiced Pumpkin Muffins with Peanut Butter Frosting. If you’ve taken some snaps of your questionable pumpkin-carving skills – you can reduce your waste by using the vegetable in your cooking.
You can of course, take advantage of some of the great vegan options served in popular eateries – such as Starbuck’s Pumpkin Spiced Latte and ‘Phantom Frappuccino’ with Dairy-Free Whipped Cream.
We’ve all painted our faces as green as Frankenstein or white as Dracula – or smeared fake blood all over ourselves. But many cosmetics out there still test on animals and contain animal-derived ingredients.
But don’t worry, because PETA has created a list of cruelty-free and vegan makeup brands that will still help you achieve that ‘killer costume’.
Remember, nobody is perfect. Have fun. Stay safe. And think of small things you can change to make your Halloween more ethical and environmentally friendly.