It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. And so begins the gift-buying bonanza of the next three weeks. Buying cruelty-free is the best way to stop yourself short of contracting the full-blown consumer virus that comes along with repeated plays of Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You. Use your Christmas gifts as a platform for spreading the message of compassion at this tender time of the year — and you never know, maybe the recipients will consider veganism as their New Year’s resolution.
A subscription to The Vegan Box
This goes without saying. Even non-vegans will get a huge kick out of receiving a surprise box of goodies on their doorstep each month. If the cruelty-free issue doesn’t concern them (yet), they will enjoy the experience of discovering new healthier treats and environmentally-friendly products. Plus you don’t have to go anywhere near a silly season frenzied shopping centre carpark to purchase one of these subscriptions.
The Vegan Beauty Box
Luxurious, organic, cruelty-free beauty products that are kind to the animals AND your skin. ANYONE who wants to look good and feel pampered will love this box. And they’ll appreciate being introduced to a service that allows them to sample the latest trending beauty products without having to leave their house. Plus, once again, you don’t even need to leave your computer or your creamy rum-filled vegan eggnog to have this gift sorted.
Edgar’s Mission Calendar
This is a great gift for the $20 limit office Kris Kringle. The money helps Pam Ahern and her team of volunteers to keep doing the amazing work they do providing sanctuary for over 300 abused and abandoned animals. Plus PIGS ARE SO FLIPPIN’ CUTE OKAY? Perhaps by December 2016 Jimmy from Accounts will have changed his mind about his before-work bacon sarnies.
Bed & Broccoli IOU Voucher
If you really want to spoil someone, get them an IOU Voucher to stay at Bed & Broccoli, Australia’s first vegan B&B. Tucked away in peaceful Victorian bushland, the B&B was set up to fund the costs of sheltering the animal community that call the B&B home. With your own private island to explore and cruelty-free nosh to warm the cockles of anyone’s heart, this is an experience that vegans and omnivores alike will adore.
Fancy Vegan Chocolates
I often hear: “I couldn’t go vegan, I couldn’t live without chocolate.” Christmas is the perfect chance to show your favourite chocaholic that going vegan doesn’t mean a chocolate-less existence. In fact, vegan chocolate can even be mind-blowingly delicious. Booja Booja’s luxurious chocolate truffles line will convince anyone that cruelty-free can taste like an angel’s kiss. There are also the dark chocolate coated brandy truffles by Constant Craving. Hummina Hummina! Or the chocolate covered turkish delight by Vegan Made Delights. Or for the littler cocoa bandits in your life: Sweet William, Mini Moos and Bonvita all do Chrissie themed chocolates in the shape of Santa, reindeer or snowmen. Hooray! Here’s a link to all the chocolatey goodness at the cruelty free shop online
The Lush Scoop Magazine
Anyone who appreciates beautiful design, exquisite photography, stellar writing and divine recipes will love a copy of The Lush Scoop Magazine. You can get both printed editions bundled for $30 — a great gift for someone who admires pretty things. http://www.thelushscoop.com/shop/
Matt and Nat
Matt and Nat make very cool, very durable handbags and wallets. They are 100% vegan and the linings are made of recycled bottles. I got one for Christmas last year and I have received comments on my handbag all year long. The Cruelty Free Shop sells a few from their line or you can check out the Matt and Nat website here.
A vegan cookbook
Even non-vegans will look at a beautifully put together recipe book and feel compelled to give the delicious-looking dishes a try. There are a million and one to choose from now and they are in every book store. I especially love any by Isa Chandra Moskowitz because they are fun, vibrant and include engaging prose. Even if you still eat dairy you’re not going to be able to resist baking something from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World. Another favorite is The Vegan Cookbook by Adele McConnell (aka Vegie Head) it’s full of beautifully photographed recipes, drawing inspiration from cuisines around the world to help you create healthy, balanced meals effortlessly. From Mushroom & Roasted Beetroot Polenta Nests to Chinese Spring Onion Pancakes with Ginger Dipping Sauce, you’ll find dishes that will tempt the veg curious, new vegans, and long time vegans alike.
A voucher for a swish vegan restaurant
This one’s a no-brainer. Step 1: recipients get voucher to top notch vegan restaurant. Step 2: recipients have mind blown by how exciting and flavourful vegan food can be. Step 3: misconception that a vegan lifestyle is one of deprivation is eliminated. Tell your friends!
This is a favourite of mine. When someone receives a homemade gift they can tell there’s an extra little sprinkle of love and thoughtfulness in there. It gives you the warm and fuzzies when you’re making it too. And if it’s vegan food it’s a great way to show people how delicious cruelty-free fare can really be. Plus nothing will put you in the festive spirit more than a kitchen full of delicious smells, carols on the stereo and a kitchen table that looks like an elf’s workshop. In the past I have made ‘Superfood Baubles’ (just a festive version of bliss balls), granola nut clusters, ‘Chocolate Christmas Bark’, chilli jam, mushroom pate, and eggplant chutney. The options are endless!
Emma Bailie is a freelance journalist, vegan blogger and travel-memoir writer. She is passionate about animal rights, social justice and the inner peace that can be found when dining on the tragically misrepresented potato. She has to read magazines back to front but she doesn’t quite know why. She prefers her hot chips cold but that’s just between you and her, okay?