THE TRUTH BEHIND EASTER
It is the time of year in the spring when I gather with my family for wonderful food and company….or as some know it – Easter! I was technically raised Catholic, but religion was not much of a focus for my family especially when it came to traditions. For a very long time, I was clueless that lamb was eaten on Easter…and other spring holidays…as a sacrifice and as to signify life. Realizing this as a vegan was horrifying.
From my understanding, the spring religious holidays are a celebration of life and often include the “sacrificial lamb” on the dinner table. Regardless of the religious significance, killing a baby animal to celebrate life is an awful contradiction to me. Our world is full of suffering and death. Commemorating life should not include either of those things. If only everyone used the holidays to actually honor life with more compassion…what an improvement on our society that would be.
This continued tradition is bizarre to me as it is out of line with our cultural fondness of lambs. They are found in all things related to kids – books, stuffed animals, clothes, toys, décor, rhythms and fairytales. We connect them with our children as they are full of innocence and life, and there are actual reasons for this.
Sheep have a deep bond with their young, and lambs are known to follow their moms around. Sheep, like all maternal parents (human and nonhuman), get distressed when they can’t find their children. So for sheep used for lamb “production,” they have their babies taken from them year after year during their shortened lives. Lambs are killed as young as one month old. Some, such as karakul lamb, are taken from the womb of their recently slaughtered mothers*. The term “lamb” describes a baby sheep under one year old. Consuming lamb is actually eating a baby.
If springtime holidays are for new hope and life, then lambs should be a symbol in our hearts not on our forks. They certainly represent life and should be kept where we cherish them most, in our culture alongside our own children.
Celebrate a Cruelty-Free Easter