We’re headed towards the end of October, and the beginning of the gifting season, which means it’s time to make your gifting list, check it twice, and see if there are any vegans on there. There are some people who are easy to gift for — like your wife who loves jewelry, your boyfriend who desperately needs some new clothing, or your dad who always appreciates the latest gadget upgrade. There are other people who are harder to shop for, like your brother who has picky taste, new moms who could want anything from booze to bibs, and, of course, vegans.
Vegans don’t just make dinner parties more complicated, there are also a few extra things you should consider when picking out a gift for one of them. Vegans obviously have certain dietary restrictions that take popular food items like meat delivery services and meat thermometers off the table, but there are also many products that contain surprisingly non-vegan-friendly ingredients. Being vegan is also about a lot more than subbing beef for tofu, there are lots of great clean beauty gifts, vegan-friendly candles and plant-based cookbooks out there that would make great gifts for vegans. In this piece, we’re going to cover a few general product categories you should avoid when gifting to vegans, and offer a handful of our favorite vegan-friendly gifts that would make any animal lover very happy this holiday season.
Tips for Giving Vegan Gifts:
Avoid Anything Leather
Sure, faux leather is a thing, but I’m guessing if your loved one is staunchly against leather, they’re probably against faux leather that still glorifies the style. We recommend choosing another fabric when it comes to clothing, and another material for bags, toiletry kits, laptop sleeves, and wallets.
Choose Clean Beauty Products
The beauty and grooming space is another area where avoiding animal byproducts can be tricky. Many perfumes, nail polish, lipsticks and other makeup can contain animal byproducts that are not vegan-friendly. When gifting these products to a vegan, pay extra close attention to the ingredient list and double check that the brand is vegan-friendly.
Read Foodie Gift Ingredient Lists
Speaking of, when gifting food there are obvious no-go’s for vegans, but there are also less obvious non-vegan-friendly foodie gifts like candy or chocolate that can contain animal fat, gelatin or other non-vegan ingredients. Food brands tend to make it pretty obvious when something is vegan, but double check to be sure.
Double Check Musical Instruments
This is a weird one. Violins, violas and upright bases, surprisingly, can contain animal byproducts. These instruments may use a strengthening cohesive taken from the intestines of sheeps and goats to create durable, elastic strings that don’t break. Double check with the manufacturer that they use plastic instead, which many modern brands do.
Mind the Art Supplies
An art set would make a great gift for a vegan, as long as the paint brushes aren’t made using animal hair, and the crayons aren’t produced with animal fat. Both of these ingredients are present in some brands, like Crayola, for example, but there are vegan-friendly alternatives you can opt for instead.
Liquor Can Be Tricky
Unflavored liquor, and most beer and wine that hasn’t been flavored should be fine. Anything that’s been flavored, like a milk stout beer for example, isn’t vegan and shouldn’t be gifted to a vegan person. Since alcohol brands aren’t required to disclose their full ingredient lists it can be tricky to tell precisely what’s in a certain mix. Look for brands that specify themselves as vegan and you should be good to go.
1. Purple Carrot Meal Subscription
Purple Carrot is one of the best meal delivery kits for vegans. They specialize in delivering plant-based, sustainably-made meals that are delicious and entirely animal-free. On average, Purple Carrot meals result in 72% less carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere and may contribute to a reduction in LDL cholesterol after a few weeks. They offer breakfast, lunch, dinner and “plantry” options as part of their meal kits, and you can buy everything in 2 or 4-person servings. Some recent selections from their always-rotating weekly menu? Scallion mushroom dumplings, roasted sweet potatoes & beluga lentils and buffalo cauliflower quesadillas. Delicious! Plans start at just $9.99/serving, and you can give 1, 2 or 4-week subscriptions.
2. Sweet Potato Soul Vegan Cookbook
Vegan cookbooks are great gifts for everyone, not just vegan individuals, because delicious, plant-based recipes are meals everyone can and should enjoy regularly. We could all use more greens, and getting help from experts to make them delicious makes the whole process more fun. This cookbook from Soul Food expert Jenné Claiborne takes delicious, decadent soul classics and makes them vegan-friendly. Who wouldn’t want to try Friend Cauliflower Chicken and Sweet Potato-Tahini Cookies? Gift this to your favorite vegan chef and hopefully you’ll reap some of the rewards.
3. Vegan Snacks Care Package
Vegan snacks are like regular snacks but better, since they’re delicious and better for you. This care package contains 20 different plant-based options from popular and familiar brands like Lesser Evil, Beanfield’s and Nature’s Bakery, and would make a great gift for a snack lover, college student or anyone working from home. Each box is hand-crafted, detailed with fake grass and comes with a selection of chips, bars, candy and desserts so anyone will find something they enjoy.
4. Sephora Favorites Sparkly Clean Makeup Set
This makeup set from Sephora contains travel-friendly makeup samples from a bunch of clean brands that prioritize ingredients that are better for you and the planet. The set comes with six products including a lip balm, a cream blush, a highlighter, mascara and products from ILIA, Tacha and Saie. All the products are free from phthalates, formaldehyde, oxybenzone, triclosan and other potentially harmful ingredients. You can also find a full list of the included ingredients on the product sales page.
5. FLY BY JING Sichuan Chili Crisp Vegan Hot Sauce
Just because something is vegan doesn’t mean it lacks flavor, and this hot sauce would ensure all your vegan friends never go without potent taste in their meals. This is the first 100% all-natural, vegan, sugar free Sichuan chili sauce made in Chengdu. It’s been made with high-quality ingredients and is one of those sauces you can put on pretty much anything — from eggs to dumplings, pizza, salad, noodles and even ice cream.
6. Hamilton Beach Juicer
Juicing fruits and vegetables is a great way to drink your nutritional benefits quickly throughout the day. A juicer is a super vegan-friendly cooking appliance that creates almost exclusively vegan-friendly mixes your loved one will savor. This one has an extra-large, 3-inch feed chute for putting the cut up fruits and veggies in, and all the parts are removable and dishwasher-safe so it’s super easy to clean. It’s got a powerful electric motor with 800 watts of power and has a super large pulp bin for catching the byproducts of the juicing process.
7. Diaspora Co. Single-Origin Spices
There’s a lot to love about the spice brand Diaspora Co., and a lot your vegan friends will appreciate about the way they do business. All their spices come straight from family-run farms in India, and they’re committed to direct-trade practices that benefit both the farms and you as the consumer. Their partner farmers earn an average of six times more for their work, and all their spices are guaranteed same-year harvest. This pantry pack comes with their smoky Nagari cumin, a lemony-nutty coriander, pepper with notes of citrus and fig, Makhir ginger, bright turmeric and Kandyan cloves with hints of pine and butterscotch. All of these spices are guaranteed to infuse their vegan dishes with fair-trade flavor, and will look great on their spice rack as well.
8. Baby Rubber Plant
A plant is also a great vegan gift that’ll brighten up your loved one’s space, contribute fresh oxygen to the air and definitely align with their plant-friendly lifestyle. This one from The Sill is easy to order, simple to take care of and known for its thick, succulent-esque green leaves that don’t need much to grow and thrive. With a lot of tender love and care, it also may sprout white flower spikes once a year, an extra special display.
9. Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Vegan Soy Candle
Candles are another popular gifting category that can contain non-vegan-friendly ingredients. Mrs. Meyer’s, the popular household cleaning brand, makes great soy and vegetable wax candles. This one is made using their delicious honeysuckle scent, and has a wick that burns for 35 hours. It comes made in a recycled glass jar, making it a super sustainable gift pick that your vegan friend will appreciate, and all of the brand’s products are cruelty-free.
10. Package Free Zero Waste Starter Kit
Veganism and a zero-waste lifestyle tend to go hand in hand, and this kit comes with all sorts of items that make reducing single-use plastics easier, including a 16 oz. mason jar with a lid, a reusable bamboo cutlery set, a package-free bamboo toothbrush, a beeswax food wrap variety pack, etc. The entire kit also comes in a reusable tote bag so you can bring all your zero waste items with you wherever you go, and avoid single use plastics in coffee shops, restaurants, airports, etc.
11. No Whey Foods Vegan Chocolate Truffle Collection
Vegan chocolate is a no-brainer for vegan gifts for coworkers, family members, or anyone who has a sweet tooth. This collection comes with five different delicious flavors including “milk” fudge, coffee, salted caramel and Grand Marnier. All of the chocolates in the box are vegan, free from artificial flavors and colors and kosher as well. They come in a delectable little box in both 15 and 24-chocolate sizes.
12. OXO Good Grips 3-in-1 Avocado Slicer
Everyone loves avocados, but vegans tend to have a certain affinity for this delicious, creamy seeded fruit. This slicer is made to cut, pit and slice avocados using one tool. It’s got a stainless steel pitter for removing the pit in one fell swoop, and the slicer lifts the fruit off the skin in seven toast-perfect pieces. The tool is from OXO, which means it’s got a soft, comfortable non-slip grip and it’s top rack dishwasher safe so it’s easy to clean.
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