As spring approaches and the weather becomes warmer, we can all expect an overload of one particular candy in our local grocery stores: Peeps. Some people can't stand them, while others hoard the little marshmallow bunnies to eat for the rest of the year. No matter which side of the spectrum you're on, the sugary sweets are an undeniable presence every Easter season.

This year, more and more people have switched to a vegan diet than ever before. Whether you're a full-on vegan, just trying it out, or a non-vegan who loves vegan food, the upcoming holiday might have you questioning whether your traditions are consistent with your new lifestyle. More specifically, are Peeps vegan?

Peeps Ingredients

sweet, cake, pastry, candy, cupcake, chocolate
Kristine Mahan

The nutrition facts label for traditional pink Peeps has a short ingredient list: Sugar, Corn Syrup, Gelatin, Red #3, Potassium Sorbate, Natural Flavors, and Carnauba Wax. It also states that Peeps are gluten-free. As far as being vegan, all of these ingredients check out, except for one.

The Gelatin

cake, tea
Ivy Wanta

Gelatin is an ingredient that is often not vegan, or even vegetarian. It is often made by a process of boiling animal skin, tendons, ligaments, and bones. Definitely not vegan, right? Well, it can be hard to tell if gelatin is made this way just by the label because some gelatin, like in Trader Joe's Marshmallows, is made from a type of seaweed instead.

However, that's unfortunately not the case with Peeps. On the Just Born website it states that "the gelatin used in our marshmallow candies is derived from pork products."

The verdict? Marshmallow Peeps are not vegan.

So What Do I Do Instead?

The good news is that while Peeps aren't vegan, there are still plenty of treats that you can still have this Easter. Many popular candies are vegan, just be sure to check the ingredients for gelatin. Also, you can have these Easter-themed Rice Krispies treats, as long as you use a vegan marshmallow option like the ones from Trader Joe's.

If you really feel like you can't make it through Easter Sunday without the presence of Peeps, have no fear! These homemade vegan Peeps are adorable and 100% cruelty-free.