What the heck are you supposed to buy for a vegan?!
Seriously-as defined by vegan.com, “The word vegan refers to anything that’s free of animal products: no meat, milk, eggs, wool, leather, and so forth. Your sandwich, your shampoo, and your car seats are examples of items that could be vegan.”
So, this gets considerably worse over the holidays. I mean, mall and shopping plaza parking lots are transformed into something resembling the Triwizard Maze, and, If you’re fortunate enough to make it out of the maze its on to the next challenge- navigating through the store and around all the people; who are always managing to get in your way somehow. Cue babies crying and kids screaming
’tis the season.
Oh, we’re not done yet! There’s still the checkout line to survive, which of course snakes around the store in such a way that you’re not really sure where the beginning and the end are. Praise the old gods and the new for internet shopping!
By now you’re probably freaking out a little and thinking the only obviously solution is to get them kale. All vegans love kale right? Side note: While I find kale to be delicious I’m sure there are plenty of other vegans who don’t agree and would probably be just as excited about receiving a lump of coal.
Lucky for you there are plenty of vegan options, besides kale, to impress that vegan in your life with your impeccable gift giving skills.
Don’t worry! I got you.
When shopping for a fashionista avoid silk, leather, wool, and be wary of items that contain glue; as most glues are not vegan friendly. Instead find things made of cotton, man made leather, moleskin, rayon, polyester, and nylon.
Asics Onitsuka Tiger Ultimate 81– This 100% vegan shoe is my classic go to everyday shoe. I even wear them with dresses- obviously I’m not a fashionista. They are super comfy and there is a variety of different colors to choose from.
If you are considering buying or making something edible be sure to avoid the following: meat of any kind (aka animals. yes that includes fish.) or byproducts of animals such as milk, casein, milk fat, milk solids, whey, honey, gelatin, eggs, butter. There are many more ingredients to be aware of but these are the most common that are often found in food.
The easiest way is to check for the vegan logo or if the packaging states that it’s vegan. There are some ‘accidental’ vegan products meaning, simply, they are vegan but not labeled as such. Google is a great way to find these ‘accidental’ vegan products.
Lenny and Larry’s The Complete Cookie– These are the best, store bought, cookies ever and I’m not just saying that because they’re vegan and I’m biased. I can’t count the number of times the cashier ringing me out has commented on how amazing these are. They’re also super easy to get your hands on and can be found at Publix, Kroger, Walgreens, Rite Aid, 7-Eleven, Circle K, Amazon, Vitamin Shoppe, GNC etc.
Thug Kitchen Cookbook– This cook book is full of profanities to accompany their great vegan recipes watch their trailer to get an idea of what is in store. This is definitely the only cook book I’ve used multiple times because not only are the recipes delicious but the instructions are highly entertaining.
Dehydrator– A Dehydrator is especially great for anyone who grows their own herbs or enjoys dried fruit and is interested in drying it themselves.
Silicone Baking Mat– These non stick baking mats are a particularly great idea for the baker. In addition to being non stick they are waaaaay easier to clean up compared to regular cookie sheets. These handy things are also multi-functional as they can also be used to knead dough on. If you want someone to make more baked items you should definitely get them this; all I’m saying is I totally bake more when the process is less of a hassle.
Sprouter– I personally love sprouts but for some reason I can never finish a package before they start to go bad; thus I bought a sprouter. Sprouters are also a neat gift for someone with a green thumb. What’s nice is about sprouters is they don’t take up too much counter space and don’t necessarily have to be placed in the kitchen.
Spiralizer– This device is so, so, so cool. If you haven’t heard of it before it’s a hand-held thingey-majiger that easily allows the user to turn, say a zucchini, into what looks like spaghetti. I’m pretty sure zucchini and carrots actually taste better in spiralized form.
Make it- Find a vegan recipe online and make it. My friend recently made me a vegan cake for my birthday and it was so exciting since I’ve gotten used to people being scared of making me food. Keep in mind if the recipe calls for sugar use unrefined sugar or USDA Organic. Refined sugar is typically refined using bone char.
The Green thumb
Airplants– Also known as tillandsia, these super cool looking plants do NOT need soil which makes them the perfect gift for an apartment dweller. They can be attached to various things like driftwood or hung in glass terrariums and can also be used as décor.
Succulents– These are great for the busy bee as they require minimal care and only need to water 1-2 times a week. Succulents are pretty hardy and they look SUPER cool. Plus most can be propagated using their leaves fairly easy so one can grow more if they wish.
Herbs– Also a good idea for a foodie with a green thumb as herbs are used for seasoning. Herbs can be grown inside or outside and have a unique scent that could be an added bonus for growing inside. Buy two or three different herbs and plant them in one pot for a miniature garden look.
Avoid honey, beeswax, lanolin, carmine, glycerin (unless it specifies vegetable glycerin or has a vegan label assume it is animal derived)
Eco Tools Brushes– Not only are these brushes vegan and cruelty free but the handles are made from bamboo as apposed to plastic. This is a win win for the environmental vegan.
Colourpop– If you know anything about me it’s that Colourpop is my personal favorite brand for liquid lips. Their products are cruelty free and super affordable. They also have metallic lippies that are out of this world! While their lippies are my favorite product they do make a variety of other products including highlighter, eye shadow, glosses, blush, brow gel and pencils, and more. MOST of their products are vegan their FAQ page has a list of non-vegan items.
The Gym rat
Foam roller– Foam rollers provide a solution to muscle aches particularly in those areas that just can’t be stretch out enough like calves, quads, and hamstrings. Not just for muscle tightness, foam rollers are also great for warming up and cooling down. This is also a great gift for someone who complains of upper back and shoulder tightness from a desk job. Foam rollers do come in different lengths. If the person you are buying for will use it for their back be sure to get the longer 36” size.
Running belt– As much as I loved digging around in my sports bra in search of my keys I really wish I knew about these when I was running cross-country in high school. Nowadays when I go running it’s by myself and I prefer to lug obscenely large iPhone 6 plus with me in case I should need it. Unfortunately my phone doesn’t fit nicely in my sports bra like my key does. Which is probably a good thing though because my sweat would destroy it. Using a running belt allows me to not get stressed out about locating my keys while I’m running or getting tired of holding my phone. This nifty item is also useful for gym goers if they don’t have access to a locker, prefer not to use one, or just like having their personal items nearby.
Etsy– Purchasing from Etsy is a great way to support independent small businesses as well as finding unique items. Just type in vegan in the search bar and then check out the different categories.
Keep in mind there is a vegan alternative to EVERYTHING
If you’re not sure if something is vegan consult the manufacture’s website and send them an email if it’s not visible on their site. Chances are someone may have already contacted the manufacture asking the same thing so you can always try google-ing, “is _______ vegan?”
Go forth and conquer holiday shopping like a boss!