9 gift ideas for vegans

It’s almost Christmas, and you haven’t bought a gift for that vegan on your list. What to get? I have few ideas that will work for any gift-giving occasion.

A vegan cookbook – Many vegans love to cook. And even those of us who cook for necessity will benefit from learning new ways to make meals. Oh She Glows, Veganomicon, The Joy of Vegan Baking, and Forks Over Knives: The Cookbook are a few examples.

vegan book

Vegan books – From Novels to exposés, you’ll find great vegan reads. I loved reading Jenny Brown’s journey in The Lucky Ones. Why We Love dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows is an excellent read too. And The Chain and The Awareness are novels on my wish list.

A gift certificate to a vegan restaurant – Most cities have vegan or vegetarian restaurants. Vegans won’t turn down great vegan food. No vegan restaurants around? Indian and Thai places have vegan options, and a coffee card is another choice. A gift certificate is a good gift–and easy to mail!

Vegan jewelryChristy Robinson makes wonderful earth and animal friendly jewelry. Herbivore Clothing also carries her designs, as well as other vegan-themed necklaces. If you search Etsy for “vegan jewelry” and get lots of great options at many price points.

Message gear – What better way to promote veganism that with a shirt, hat or button? Herbivore Clothing, Farm Sanctuary, Compassion Co, Triple Threads, PETA, and The Tree kisser are just a few of the places that have great designs–from whimsical to hardcore.

messages gear

(l to r): Farm Sanctuary, Triple Threads, PETA

 

A sponsorship – What’s better than material possessions? Helping animals! Sponsoring an animal in someone’s name (or giving a donation on their behalf) is a heartfelt gift. Pasado’s Safe Haven, New Moon Farm Goat Rescue, Pigs Peace Sanctuary, and Precious Life Animal Sanctuary are all farmed animal rescues in my area. National sanctuaries and local cat and dog rescue groups will also welcome donations.

A vegan walletCouch Guitar Straps is an all-vegan line of products including men’s and women’s wallets. Handmade in LA from vintage, recycled, and deadstock materials (including old vinyl auto upholstery) these wallets are the coolest way to be green.

wallet and purse

Couch wallet and Gunas purse

A high-end purse – I’m losing track of how many vegan handbag companies there are now, but I’ll never forget to add Gunas to my list. Gunas has one of the most stylish lines around.

A Vitamix – Okay, these babies aren’t cheap, but they’re the Cadillac of blenders. If your special vegan loves smoothies, soups, and homemade hummus, springing for a Vitamix will make them a happy camper.

 

6 ways to help animals this season

It’s December already and that means it’s the season of giving. In the spirit of Christmas, here are a few ways you can help animals:

Become vegan – Not eating animals is the number one thing you can do to help them. If you’re an animal lover, start your plan to transition to veganism today! You can find links on the right that will take you to sites that offer starter kits with recipes and nutritional info.

Don’t give animals as gifts – A dog or a cat is a ten to twenty year commitment. Giving an animal as a gift is giving someone a boatload of responsibility–and expenses! If someone isn’t ready for that, it’s likely their new animal will end up in a shelter. If you know someone really is ready for a companion animal, consider giving a gift certificate to a pet supply store. They’ll definitely need it when they have to feed and care for their new animal.

Adopt, don’t shop – If you’re planning to add an animal to your household, and all family members are on board, visit local shelters, rescue groups, or check out the nationwide network on petfinder.com. Contrary to what some people think, purebred and young animals are available for adoption. Then again, older animals are usually calmer and house-trained. They’re often a great choice.

Rescued animals are great, but they'll steal your heart--and your bed.

Give to charities that don’t exploit animalsGiving livestock to a poor family in a developing nation might sound noble but it’s a burden for people who can barely feed themselves. Instead of giving to organizations that give animals, consider supporting ones like Vegfam, Trees for Life, or Plenty. These groups work with local communities to provide plant-based meals, education, disaster relief, and clean water.

Sponsor an animal – What do you give someone who has everything? How about sponsoring an animal in their name? You can choose from farm animals, rescued primates, dogs and cats, or wild animals at a number of sanctuaries. Every animal rescue group needs funds, and many offer official sponsor programs, like Pig Peace, PAWS, Farm Sanctuary, Chimpanzee Sanctuary NW, Soi Dog (Thai street dog rescue), and the Performing Animal Welfare Society.

Give swag – Message gear is a fun way to give to someone, support a great cause, and spread the pro-animal message. If you know someone who supports animal causes, why not give them something from those groups? From chimpanzee wine, message mugs, cookbooks and vegan slogan T’s, there’s something for everyone.

photos (c) Herbivore

These are my ideas for helping animals during the holiday season (not that we have to limit ourselves to just December). Do you have any other ideas?