Vegan Peeps: Just What We Do (Or Don’t) Need

Maybe you’re not not religious or Christian, so Easter is not a holiday you celebrate. But perhaps you still enjoy some of the more light-hearted traditions (in the U.S.), such as the brightly colored marshmallow bunnies and chicks called Peeps.

If you’re avoiding meat and any products made from animals, Peeps are on the “no thank you” list. Marshmallows look innocuous enough. But they can sometimes contain eggs and most commercially-produced ones use gelatin, which is derived from the hides and bones of animals (which could have been taken from pigs, meaning that many brands of marshmallows are not halal or kosher). In addition, gelatin has been reported to transmit bovine spongiform encephalopathy — Mad Cow Disease).

Fortunately, there’s more than one way to make a marshmallow than with artificial colors and animal-based ingredients. Inhabitots has instructions for making vegan and organic Peeps, using agar agar (red algae flakes) instead of the gelatin.

Or, you could make vegan marshmallows (this site has a number of recipes) and substitute them in these recipes for DIY Peeps (one has instructions for using a pastry bag to get the proper chick-shape and another suggests using cookie cutters). You can leave your creations white or color them in non-neon shades with organic food coloring.

Most commercial Easter candy comes wrapped in as much plastic packaging as electronic devices. So piping your own Peeps enables you to cut down on this and avoid adding to the amount of plastic waste from discarded Easter baskets and plastic Easter eggs.

With all this said, is it really worth it to make meat-free imitation candy? People have of course been celebrating a Peeps-free Easter for ages. Perhaps we don’t need a vegan alternative or equivalent for something, but would do as well to seek out other Easter treats not derived from animals. Here are some†suggestions to†have an ethical Easter. You can also make sure to avoid†Easter eggs made with palm oil and even have a dairy-free, egg-free Easter egg hunt.

Easter, whether and however you celebrate it, doesn’t have to be Peeps- or treats-free, unless you’d prefer it that way.


Related Care2 Coverage

Donít Adopt a Rabbit or Chick for Easter

5 Ways To Have a Plastic-Free, Egg-Free Easter Egg Hunt

10 Ways to Use Peeps This Spring

Photo from Thinkstock


Jim Ven
Jim Venabout a year ago

thanks for sharing.

Oleg Kobetz
Oleg K3 years ago

Thank you

Kyle N.
Kyle N4 years ago

WTF? Just another way for a company to charge more for basically the same thing. It's a way for companies to take advantage of the gullible consumer. I'll stick with the regular peeps... MMM so nice and marshmallowy : )

stacey t.
Stacey Toda4 years ago

Cool idea

Nirvana Jaganath
Nirvana Jaganath4 years ago


Patricia H.
Patricia H.4 years ago

thanks for sharing, VEGANS ROCK

Diane L.
Diane L4 years ago

Oh, and the late nite talk show hosts are having a field day with these things............even shooting them out of paintball guns as "ammo".

Diane L.
Diane L4 years ago

Good info, Dale. I quite agree. I wonder why all these self-respecting vegans just don't realize that there really is no such thing as a completely animal-free diet or even an animal-free way of living. Why do they have to INVENT imitations that look like animal products? Do they envy those that haven't succumbed to the "mantra" and propaganda of being vegan so much that they have to pretend?

rene davis
irene davis4 years ago


Yvette T.
Past Member 4 years ago

Yay everything vegan!