‘Tis the season for holiday gift guides from your favorite bloggers. Yeah, well, I claim book deadline and moving across country on this one. So I turned to my good friend and fellow vegan lifestyle coach and educator, Jennifer Gannett to share her ideas on compassionate holiday shopping.
Vegan Holiday Gift Ideas
December! The hustle and bustle, the twinkly lights and (for some) nippy weather! To many, this is simply the most wonderful time of the year. For vegans — or those of you looking for gifts for vegans — this is a great time to find something special to give that reflects the thoughtfulness of a vegan lifestyle. Without further ado, I present to you a carefully curated list full of compassionate choices that will please the vegan in all of us.
Yes, it is true, many vegans love spending time in the kitchen crafting — and consuming — vegan yummies. Many vegans have this fabulous appliance already, but if your vegan doesn’t own one, a Vitamix would be an amazing gift. Another fun choice (and easier on the wallet) for a fun food prep accessory is a spiral cutter. Zucchini noodles, anyone?
Your giftee is more of a baker? Don’t you love the idea of personalized cookie cutters handmade in the USA, just perfect for spelling out “I am not with the FBI” at the next vegan potluck! Not the message-y type? Of course, other options exist. I’m partial to most woodland creatures in cookie form, but these bear cookie cutters have me swooning.
Beautiful, hand crafted glass straws from Glass Dharma are perfect for sipping juices and smoothies (they are very durable and come with a generous lifetime guarantee against breakage). To go with them, how about these lovely cobalt glasses
made from recycled wine bottles? For those on the go, stainless tumblers are a cool and classy way to tote your beverage. My friend brings hers to yoga class and then spreads the love by sharing fresh juice. We all need friends like her!
A big hit these days with the young and old alike is the Soda Stream, a cool gadget that carbonates your tap water and allows you to add syrup to make your own flavored waters and sodas. There are a plethora of syrup choices available but I love the variety of syrup concentrates from Prairie Moon. You can also treat your gift recipient to homemade syrups, such as key lime, grapefruit, herbal or cherry basil.
Ah, the little darlings in your life. Let me kick off this section by telling you about a game called Fur and Feathers.
It is an educational, vegan-friendly game about animals targeted at kids in the early elementary range. Now I will tell you something else about this game. My kid loves it and played it multiple times a day for three weeks straight after receiving it last year. His indulgent omni grandparents played along too, as did his friends when he busted it out on playdates. You can’t get a higher recommendation than that.
There are lots of t-shirts out there for youngsters that are both adorable and offer a message of compassion. Some favorites include Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary’s sweet Friends Not Food, Herbivore Clothing’s adorable Bigger Hearts onesie and Farm Sanctuary’s clever Meet Me, Don’t Eat Me. Fans of law enforcement might appreciate the Humane Law Enforcement t-shirt from the ASPCA. I am also including one of Sick on Sin’s cute Not My Dinner shirts here, though holiday shoppers should note that they are not shipping until January.
If you are looking for a book, there are many terrific children’s books with wonderful, positive messages out there. If you are curious about what titles stand out, then head on over to Vegbooks for a comprehensive look, but a cheater guide to a few great choices for younger kids includes Hubert the Pudge, Granny Gomez and Jigsaw and It’s Raining Cats and Cats. For the tween set, check out Operation Redwood and Hoot. For those in need of some toe tapping movement, music from the Banana Slug String Band fits the bill. We especially love Only One Ocean, with a very strong message of ocean conservation.
Since children are just as interested in seeing animals in real life as they are reading about them, this bird book and bird feeder combo set is a grand idea.
Lots of veg kids are hauling their lovingly made, animal-friendly lunches to daycare and school. The Planet Box lunchbox is just the vehicle in which to do so. Kids really enjoy the easy to open container with it’s separate compartments as well as the option to personalize the lunchbox with cool magnets. Parents will enjoy the ease of cleaning and packing. A win-win!
She gives clear and supportive guidance to everything from social encounters to healthy eating and far far more! Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s Vegan’s Daily Companion provides inspiration and resources for a joyful vegan life. The movie Vegucated follows three omnivores through a six week vegan journey and humorously captures the highs and lows of their experience.
Almost all vegans love…cookbooks! Some great new ones for your vegan to page, er, cook through include Vegan Crunk, Vegan Eats World and Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day. Looking for something more cult vegan classic? Awesome tried-and-true cookbooks that vegans have been loving for years include Veganomicon, La Dolce Vegan and The Joy of Vegan Baking. A VegNews magazine subscription is always a welcome choice for vegans of all stripes (how else to keep up with the latest and greatest in veg news?). And a winning way to top it all off? This rad Vegan necklace!
So, Your Vegan is Really Passionate About Animals
There are many sanctuaries that depend on monies generated by tours, donations and memberships to support their operations as they provide homes for neglected and abused animals. These include Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary in Maryland, Oregon’s Lighthouse Farm Animal Sanctuary, Catskill Animal Sanctuary and Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary (both in New York). Renowned Farm Sanctuary has operations on both coasts. The book Ninety-Five is a beautiful compilation of stories and photographs of rescued animals. Multiple farm sanctuary founders have penned inspirational and touching stories of their journeys. Check out Farm Sanctuary founder Gene Bauer’s book, Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary founder Jenny Brown’s book and Catskill Animal Sanctuary founder Kathy Stevens’s book.
or this Go Vegans! message. Maybe your recipient is more of a tote bag toter? Check out Our Hen House’s funky limited edition, ethically sourced tote — and score an I Don’t Eat Chicken Periods button to accessorize it.
Arty and/or Crafty
Yes, taste in art is very subjective, but you cannot go wrong with this great little print from My Zoetrope entitled Bird Friends I Will Protect You. And as always, it is tough to choose between these fabulous prints from Herbivore – Only Kale Can Save Us Now or What I Eat? A more offbeat but extremely neat idea is this cedar waxwing from Vegan Taxidermy.
I love these so much, they are always perfect for adding a bit of bright cheer all over the place.
The Habitat for Humanity ReStore is a great place to pick up all sorts of crafty stuff for projects big and small, and their commitment to reuse is admirable.
Of bath and body
It’s not difficult to find a wide array of vegan friendly bath and body treats and they are always nice to have on hand. Check out this gift basket of cool wintertime products, featuring a bath bomb, soap and soap dish. This great Aromatherapy Roll On Stick
is a very welcome present. This Body Scrub of the Month idea is awesome because we can all use a little extra indulgence sometimes during our post-Christmas months. Remember that the Leaping Bunny logo is a shortcut when it comes to figuring out whether or not a product is vegan-friendly. You can also check out this searchable database from PETA to ensure you are buying a cruelty-free product.
There are many really good homemade gift options that would touch a recipient deeply. One great resource is the new book Homemade Vegan Food Gifts, featuring yummy and appealing homemade gift ideas. Cookies are nearly always a surefire hit — try these sugar cookies, these mexican hot chocolate snickerdoodles, these magical coconut cookie bars (maybe double the batch and send some to me?) or these lemon cornmeal cookies. Yummy!
If a combination of alcohol and baking is more your speed, consider this make your own vanilla (and vanilla sugar).
You may prefer to make some body scrub or life changing, all natural coconut oil-based deodorant (it really works!). Here is a recipe for DIY vanilla body cream — how divine, right? Maybe you have a toddler on your list? Homemade fingerpaints and a big pad of paper are a simple but appreciated present. No matter what you choose to make, poke around Cape Bottle Company for simple and attractive glassware in which to package your creation.
Your environmentally aware recipient probably is already concerned about the impacts of plastic on the planet, right? Check out Beth Terry’s Plastic Free Life book and DVD gift pack,
featuring the book Plastic Free: How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and You Can Too and a DVD of the movie Bag It, both packaged together in a colorful reusable cotton bag.
This Bird Project soap is a unique gift beyond the usual fancy soap — this special soap and sculpture set is meant as a visual reminder of all of the creatures impacted by the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, with the black soap bird giving way to a handmade ceramic keepsake as it is used.
Not to stereotype too much, but it is often true that vegan greenies love their greens! This Microgreens Kit is a fantastic choice for the home gardener with little space or who wants a taste of something homegrown during the winter. Also check out the UrBin Garden and toss in a gift certificate and membership to the excellent Hudson Valley Seed Library.
Another excellent choice for small scale gardening — indoor or out — are these ingenious wall planters called Woolly Pockets. Important note for vegans: they are not actually wool!
Christy Robinson Designs is known for their simple, lovely statement jewelry, most with earth- and vegan-positive messages. Green folks will LOVE with the polar bear that says, “I Am for Global Cooling” (scroll down).
Reducing waste on your loved one’s mind? How about a little composting? This Bokashi composter allows for quicker breakdown of food and is small space compatible.
Finally, your green-minded giftee knows how essential bats are to the ecosystem. Bat Conservation International runs an Adopt-A-Bat program, or you can skip the plush toy and give a membership. Either way you will be helping support important work.
There are many amazing opportunities to let our grace and kindness shine in this season. Do you have any additions, suggestions, thoughts? I would love to hear about them in the comments section.
Jennifer Gannett is a mom, animal lover, vegan dessert fan, book reviewer and Vegan Lifestyle Coach. She coordinates outreach for Vegbooks in between messing up her Zumba moves, doling out hugs, reading kids’ books, crafting clients’ menu plans, sweeping up fur and perfecting her raspberry chocolate chip bars to provide for bake sales.
Thank you, Jennifer, for this incredibly robust and creative list of holiday gift ideas! Is it wrong that I want most of these things for myself?! Readers, I hope you find this vegan list of vegan holiday gift ideas as helpful as I do!