by Ali Berman
Categories: Eats, Vegan
Tags: .
Photo: Helga Esteb /

For most holidays, what food you put on your table is optional, but during Passover there are some traditions that many Jews like to honor. Unfortunately, a few of them aren’t vegan, making it a challenge for those who choose a cruelty free diet.

In a NY Times article Karen Barrow explores this dilemma and gives us insight into the problem, and how “Big Bang Theory” star, Mayim Bialik, handles it. Barrow notes that during the holiday all leavened foods are forbidden as well as grains, beans and corn. Bialik said about the restrictions, “I’m already used to giving up things I like because the values of veganism are critically important to me.”

One can get around that and find foods that work, but what about the six foods that are supposed to be on the table to symbolize the Exodus? Those foods are horseradish, parsley, romaine lettuce, a mixture of apples and wine, a shank bone of lamb and a hard boiled egg. Those last two are definitely not vegan, and one isn’t even vegetarian.

How does Bialik handle it? Instead of a lamb bone she opts for a roasted beet due to it’s bloody appearance. That symbolizes the blood used to mark each home’s door to keep their first born child safe from the plague.

For the hard boiled egg, Bialik brings her mom’s wooden darning egg to the table and gives her an kids egg-shaped musical shaker.

We love that she has found ways to keep the spirit of the tradition alive while sticking to her ethical diet.

So vegans, what do you put on your Seder plate in place of lamb and egg?


About Ali Berman

Ali Berman is the author of Choosing a Good Life: Lessons from People Who Have Found Their Place in the World (Hazelden) and Misdirected (Seven Stories Press). She works as a humane educator for HEART teaching kids about issues affecting people, animals and the environment. Her published work can be found on her website at In early 2012 Ali co-founded flipmeover, a production company with the mission to use media to raise awareness of social issues.

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