Making an Ethical Easter Basket

Easter is a holiday of rebirth and new beginnings—an opportunity to wipe the slate clean and strengthen your resolve to focus on what really matters. What better way to begin anew than to make a conscious effort to care for critters?

Easter baskets can be a great way to impart to your kiddos the importance of kindness to animals. By nixing milk-based chocolates and tossing in a few cruelty-free items this year, you’ll give your kids a chance to show compassion while they celebrate. Here are 10 items that I recommend:


Give your kids a message that will stick with them with animal-friendly stickers. Try a variety pack of stickers from the PETA Catalog.


Art Supplies

The more kids know about animals, the likelier they are to treat them well as adults. Give the artist in your family animal-themed art supplies, like Doug Lindstrand’s How to Draw Animals Realistically. For drawing supplies, opt for art products that are free of animal ingredients.

Vegan Lip Balm

With a swipe of vegan lip balm, your kids will be speaking up for animals in no time. It’s delicious in all four flavors: “Go Faux’-Fabulous” Fruit Smoothie, “Animals Out of the Act” Tangerine, “Viva Las Vegans” Vanilla Bean, and “Cut Out Animal Experi-mints” Peppermint.


Fur and Feathers Board Game

Keep the festivities going well after Easter is over with the Fur and Feathers Board Game. In the quest to “save” five animals, your kids will learn how humans’ everyday choices affect animals, from what we eat to how we care for farmed animals.


Let animal love shine with a silver animal-themed necklace. There’s PETA’s Bunny Recycled Aluminum necklace, the Let Them Be Free (Elephant) necklace, the Vegans Have Heart necklace, and a slew of other options on, where you’re sure to find your kid’s favorite animal.


Books and Comics

Polish off a happy holiday with a bedtime story featuring furry friends. In the PETA Catalog, try A Chicken’s Life or V is for Vegan. Or check out Ruby Roth’s That’s Why We Don’t Eat Animals: A Book About Vegans.

Accidentally Vegan Candy

A slew of candies are what we at PETA call “accidentally vegan.” They don’t necessarily set out to be cruelty-free, but we’re happy that they are. “Accidentally vegan” candies include Airheads, Dots, Dum-Dums, Fireballs, Hubba Bubba bubblegum, Jolly Ranchers (lollipops and hard candy), Lemonheads, Mike and Ikes, Runts, Smarties (U.S. brand), Sour Patch Kids, Swedish Fish, Sweet Tarts, Twizzlers, and Zots. Fill plastic eggs with your kids’ favorite candy for a colorful, conscientious treat.


Cruelty-Free Clothes

Early Christians wore white robes all through Easter week following their baptism as a symbol of their new lives. Put a modern day twist on an old-school tradition with animal-friendly clothing. Surprise your kids with a cool shirt, with slogans like “We Are Not Nuggets,” “I’m a Veggiesaurus,” or “Animals Are My Friends.” For babies or toddlers, try a crew-neck shirt that sticks up for animals with a friendly phrase like “Be an Animal Friend—Don’t Go to a Circus.”


A Kid’s Guide to Going Vegan

For every person who goes vegan, 100 animals are spared each year. Multiply that by the number of members in your family, and that’s a heck of a lot of lives saved. Help your kids get started with A Kid’s’ Guide to Going Vegan!

Kids Guide to Helping Animals Cover

Do-It-Yourself Treats

One way to make sure your Easter treats are cruelty-free is to know exactly what goes in them! Whip up a batch of chocolate-peanut butter cups, then drop them into Easter grass for a homemade treat that knocks the socks off the store-bought stuff.


Vegan Dark Chocolate Bunny

What would Easter be without some yummy, bunny-shaped, cruelty-free candy? PETA Cottontail has arrived just in time for spring! This adorable and delicious vegan treat from Sjaak’s Organic Chocolates will be the star of any Easter basket.




One of the biggest traditions of Easter is decorating eggs. But the 305 million chickens—called “laying hens” by the industry—who are used each year for their eggs endure a nightmare that lasts for two years. Now there’s no reason for crafty vegans to miss out on the excitement of dyeing Easter eggs! EggNots™ are the perfect, easy-to-use solution for celebrating the return of spring, without supporting the cruel egg industry.


  • Contains one dozen EggNots
  • Realistic (They look and feel just like a real egg.)
  • Inedible (No refrigeration is needed, and there’s no mess or smell.)
  • Convenient (They can be dyed without the hassle of boiling and disposal!)
  • Includes a recipe and instructions for dyeing
  • Made in the U.S.A.


Now you’re all set to play Easter bunny. Get gifting!


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  • Aurora commented on April 6, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    This is a recipe for bird’s nests, which taste amazing on their own but look super cute with vegan jelly beans in them as eggs.

    You’ll need a package of LaChoy dry noodles, a package of Ghiradelli’s semi-sweet chocolate chips, a bottle of Smucker’s Marshmallow Topping, and 1/2 cup of peanut butter. Put the chocolate chips, marshmallow topping, and peanut butter in a large bowl. Microwave in 30 second increments, stirring each time, until everything is liquid and blended. Then, add the LaChoy noodles. Once the noodles are covered in the chocolate mix, form them into little balls and place them on a cookie sheet with wax or parchment paper laid onto it. Place the birds nests in the refrigerator until the chocolate mix has hardened and the birds nests are firm, then enoy!

  • Vania commented on September 6, 2014 at 7:29 am

    This website certainly has all of the info I wanted about this subject and didn’t know who to ask.

  • Cristina Economides commented on April 6, 2015 at 11:56 am

    Awesome idea helping animals.

  • Nancy Furstinger commented on July 27, 2015 at 3:13 pm

    My picture book, “The Forgotten Rabbit,” would make a great Easter basket addition. Rabbits are the third most popular house pet, with more than six million rabbits in the United States. Written so that children five and up can immediately grasp the story, this children’s picture book offers an insight into the frequent fate of rabbits purchased on impulse, as well as the proper care of a rabbit as a companion animal. The 24 pages of color illustrations depict Bella’s journey with beautiful detail. The story is suspenseful, and, in the end, joyful. The language is active with evocative descriptions. The final page of the book offers information for parents and other adults and lists online resources. You can read more about this book on my publisher’s website:

  • Nancy commented on November 7, 2015 at 8:27 pm

    I am related to vegans so am curious about PETA. I do not understand why the rabbit made of chocolate will be eaten. Seems like it would promote eating animals. Maybe a different shape like a carrot would be better…

  • Liliana commented on June 8, 2016 at 5:58 pm

    Sooooooo CUTE