Stuck for a gift for a vegan or veggie friend/family member? Read on for some tips, ideas and things to avoid…
Some Good Ideas:
- Bath and Body: Vegan body products, such as Lush or Bodyshop (check both for vegan items, as Lush still has a few items with honey, and Bodyshop has quite a few things not vegan – look for the V symbol as this usually identifies vegan items). Other brands I am aware of here in Canada are Pacifica, Love Body and Planet amongst others.
- Cosmetics: Shops such as Sephora, Boots, etc. , should be able to advise you as to which products are vegan and cruelty-free… Most have the V for Vegan logo and the rabbit for cruelty-free.
- Vegan cheesboard/basket – there are heaps of vegan cheese alternatives all over the planet now…Years ago, vegan cheeses used to be pretty horrible, but now there are so many providers of quality cheeses – often made from nuts or legumes. Do a search for ‘best vegan cheese in Canada/UK/US/Your Country 2020/this year’ to find out what the word on the street is!
- Vegan chocolates: Same state as vegan cheese, basically SO MANY wonderful options these days -with many gourmet / artisan options! here in Victoria, we even have our own local-owned vegan chocolatier!
- Vegan shoes/bags: – We have a chain ‘Call it Spring’ here in Canada, which sells only vegan shoes, bags, etc. We also have some local independent sellers. Check online for options nr you.
- Vegan-promoting tees and apparel: I actually recently started a vegan/vegetarian tee and accessories online store: http://www.veggieplanetclothing.com which although is still in the early days, is a lot of fun to do, and all the designs are unique/originally created by your truly… But this post is not here to merely promote my site: There are HEAPS of vegan clothing and accessory products out there – with some truly wonderful designs and messaging. Have a search around and see what you feel would suit your vegan buddy/family member!
- Support your local artists and creatives – the easiest way to find out what something is made of/contains is straight from the maker’s mouth! 🙂
- Donate in their name to an animal sanctuary or sponsor an animal in danger.
- Vegan cook books ALWAYS go down well… and there are literally zillions of them out there now! (I am thinking of adding a reading list to the pages on this site shortly – to share the list of many books I have – and to ask for recommendations from others – so check back shortly!)
Some Things to Look Out for / Avoid / Check:
- Leather symbol: There are plenty of synthetic or alternative versions of leather-look items on the market at the moment, but it is always good to check. If the label has this symbol, it is Real Leather from animal hide. If it has the second symbol, it means synthetic. I remind myself by imagining the real leather symbol as showing animal limbs. Synthetic can be called Pleather, PU Leather or just Vegan Leather. If you see Nubuck Leather – that is usually at least partially real leather/animal hide, so avoid or check.
- Leather Symbol (not OK for vegans/vegetarians):
- Synthetic (not animal/leather – generally OK):
- Textile material (generally OK):
2. Gelatin: Often found in candy/sweets, but can be hidden in other items too. Made from animal bones – so avoid this for your vegan/vegetarian friends for sure.
3. Red food colouring: This is often created by…. crushed beetles (sorry!), but if it says vegetable food colouring, or if the product says it is vegan, then it will probably be using something like beetroot juice, etc. (much nicer!).
4. Honey: Most vegans and some vegetarians avoid honey in products.
5. Bees Wax candles – ask for Soy based or other plant based candles
6. ‘Dairy Free’ – doesn’t guarantee vegan – could include eggs or honey, so best to check.
7. ‘May contain trace elements of” is usually fine for most vegans – it often means the items were created or packaged in a place that also makes other non-vegan items….Again: Just ask if unclear.
8. Silk – not vegan, unless it is an artificial alternative
9. Wool – check with the vegan person you are buying for – as many (‘though not all) will avoid animal derived wool. Vegetarians may be OK with wool… but check, as always. Acrylic wool is usually a good alternative.
10. Leather-bound books: Sometimes ‘special/luxury editions’ can be leather bound. Also check things like belts, luggage, wallets. Even the small product emblem or zipper tag can be leather on an item otherwise vegan-friendly. A lot of items these days tend to avoid this, but older more established companies often keep the leather.
So there are a few tips and some do’s/don’ts and what to avoid, or at least check/research first. Of course, you can always keep it simple and make something yourself! Whatever you get your wonderful vegan buddy – I am sure it will be appreciated, as it really is ‘the thought that counts’. 🙂
HAPPY GIFT-FINDING – HAPPY HOLIDAYS! 🙂