In a few short days, Halloween will be upon us. Of the many yearly traditions, this one travels light. It has no luggage. It doesn’t come encumbered with religious importance or the weighty privilege of thanking those who’ve sacrificed much for our benefit. It’s the Sweden of holidays, totally neutral and based simply upon fun. Well, that. . . and candy.
Vegan options are on the rise in the confectionery world. Hershey’s and Reese’s both produced plant-based chocolates that are getting decent reviews. Some items, like Skittles and Dum Dums, have always been quietly vegan. For a more comprehensive list of candy options, see this list from VegNews.
But what about costumes? Is there such a thing as a vegetarian costume? Are there things that vegans should avoid? (Lady Gaga’s meat dress notwithstanding). I suspect the easiest statement piece would be dressing up as an artichoke or pea pod or bowl of hummus. Nothing particularly clever about these, but it might spark conversations that provide a gateway to enlightment and get folks asking about your superior dietary choices. Nah. Just kidding. No one but vegans want to hear that you’re vegan. I tried this once at a costume party, showing up as head of broccoli. The host, knowing that I was vegan, smiled a slightly-too-big smile and said, “Well, aren’t you clever?” I can’t say the comment was dripping with sarcasm, but it was certainly moist.
Whether we like it or not, we are ambassadors to a meat-consuming world. And as such, we have an incentive to keep those conversations civil and enlightening. There is a bigger agenda at stake than simply venting our frustration. Animals will not thank us for creating even more entrenched carnivores. So be gracious. Plant a seed. Maintain social decorum. But if you’re having one of those days when you’re feeling a decided lean toward the cynical side, you could cover yourself with masses of small, light, yellow balloons drizzled with big globs of Elmer’s glue. Then when asked what you are, you simply smile sweetly and reply “I’m the heart valve of a meat-eater. Happy Halloween!”