A Vegan Holiday Wish List (Or Fifteen Things I Intend to Give and Would Love to Receive this Holiday Season)
Incredibly, the holidays are upon us. If you ask a vegan what they really want, most will probably reply with something akin to “a world where people do not exploit or eat animals.” I want every vegan (and animal) to receive this gift and I know they will eventually, but sadly not in time for this holiday season.
If you are vegan, aspire to be vegan, know a vegan or simply want to say “NO” to farm animal cruelty this holiday season, consider gifting one or more of the following – my 15 favorites – sure to please anyone on your holiday list.
Homemade Vegan Food
I love giving and receiving gifts of homemade vegan food. If you are short on ideas about what to make, I suggest Vegan Food Gifts: More than 100 Inspired Recipes for Homemade Baked Goods, Preserves, and other Edible Gifts Everyone Will Love by Joni Marie Newman. Buy one book for yourself and another (or several) to give as presents. After all, it’s a gift that keeps on giving because once you gift it, you become the likely future recipient of delicious vegan food.
Farm Animal Sponsorship
It’s always nice to support local organizations and in Colorado that place is Peaceful Prairie Farm Animal Sanctuary (http://www.peacefulprairie.org/). If there is no farm animal sanctuary in your area consider a gift sponsorship for a turkey, pig or other animal at Farm Animal Sanctuary http://www.farmsanctuary.org/giving/adopt-a-farm-animal/ – a wonderful organization!
Gift Certificate to Local or Online Vegan Store
If you don’t have an online favorite, Pangea The Vegan Store (http://www.veganstore.com/), Vegan Essentials (http://www.veganessentials.com/) and The Mail Order Catalog for Healthy Eating (http://www.healthy-eating.com/) are just a few of many good online sites. For Colorado folks, consider a gift card to Nooch Vegan Market (no online shopping at this time, but hopefully soon)
Fill a tin with vegan goodies like chocolates or other sweets, jerky, snack/meal bars or spiced nuts. Or get creative and fill the tin or other container with something a bit more unusual like the instructions and ingredients for making homemade nut milk.
I’m surprised by the number of vegans I know who regularly prepare tofu dishes and who do not own a press. I’ve had one a long time now and absolutely love it. Is a press essential for making great tofu dishes? No, but in my opinion, it sure makes it easier to create them.
Vegan Snack or Beauty Box
This great gift, from Vegan Cuts, is available as a one time delivery or a three or six month subscription. For information see http://www.vegancuts.com/faq-snack-box
Plant-Based Cooking Class
I’ve attended several plant-based cooking classes. They are fun, informative and a great gift irrespective of whether the recipient is a long-time vegan or completely new to plant-based diets. For Colorado folks check out http://jlgoesvegan.com/go-vegan-with-jl/ and http://www.almostvegancookingschool.com/
Or, consider giving a plant-based cooking DVD, like one by Christina Pirello available at http://christinacooks.com/marketplace-dvds. If you love great vegan food and heavy metal music check out the Vegan Black Metal Chef http://veganblackmetalchef.com/
Membership or Donation to Organization Promoting Plant-Based Diets
There are many wonderful organizations dedicated to promoting plant-based diets. If you don’t have a favorite, consider Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (http://www.pcrm.org/),
Compassion Over Killing (http://www.cok.net/), Mercy For Animals (http://www.mercyforanimals.org/), Vegan Outreach (ww.veganoutreach.org) or a local non-profit, like Vegan Life Colorado for Colorado folks (http://veganlifecolorado.org/).
Whether it’s a ring or bracelet, compassionate adornments are always a great gift. Many animal welfare organizations offer jewelry for sale on their websites, or take a look at http://www.zibbet.com/TerriJeansAdornments.
The hard part about gifting a vegan cookbook is selecting which book to give since there are so many amazing plant-based cookbooks available today. If you don’t have a favorite consider a few of mine: The Complete Vegan Kitchen by Jannequin Bennett, Betty Goes Vegan by Annie & Dan Shannon, The Great Vegan Bean Book by Kathy Hester, Whole Grain Vegan Baking by Celine Steen and Tamasin Noyes, The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook By Jo Stephanial, The Going Vegetarian Cookbook (an oldie but goodie) by David A. Gabbe, The Complete Guide to Vegan Food Substitutions by Celine Steen and Joni Marie Newman or any cookbook by Isa Chandra Moskowitz.
Any DVD from Dr. Michael Greger http://www.drgreger.org/DVDs/
Vegg Combo Pack
This great gift includes a 4.5 ounce container of the Vegg vegan egg yolks and the Vegg Cookbook. Available at http://www.thevegg.com/shop/.
Books on Veganism, Plant Nutrition, Farm Animals or Factory Farming
There are many good choices in this area including Eating Animals by Jonathan Safron Foer, The Pig Who Sang to the Moon by Jeffrey Masson, Veganist by Kathy Freston, Unprocessed by Chef AJ, No More Bull by Howard Lyman, The Pillars of Health by John Pierre and The Inner World of Farm Animals by Amy Hatkoff.
Prepare a plant-based meal and invite friends to your home, take the food to theirs or treat them to a scrumptious vegan meal at your favorite eatery. In the Denver Metro area, you can eat out & eat vegan every day of the week:
· Sunday: Vegan pastries for breakfast or sandwiches for lunch in Denver at Beet Box Bakery & Café (http://www.beetboxdenver.com/pastry-menu/)
· Monday: Vegan Nepalese lunch buffet in Boulder at Nepal (http://www.nepalcuisineboulder.com/)
· Tuesday: Vegan Thai dinner special in Broomfield at Chang Thai (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Chang-Thai-Restaurant/564425956903046?rf=199181020238973)
· Wednesday: Vegan Vietnamese lunch in Denver at Lotus Vegetarian(http://www.yelp.com/biz/lotus-vegetarian-restaurant-denver-2)
· Thursday: Vegan Chinese dinner buffet in Boulder at Tsing Tao (http://www.tsingtaorestaurant.net/)
. Friday: Vegan lunch buffet in Boulder at Jill’s Restaurant in the St. Julian Hotel (http://www.jillsdining.com/index.cfm)
. Saturday: Vegan lunch or dinner in Denver or Boulder at Native Foods (http://www.nativefoods.com/)
And this is just a sampling of the vegan food available in the Denver/Metro area.
Support Fellow Vegans
This gift won’t break even the most limited holiday budget. Give the gift of yourself and support others in their outreach efforts to promote plant-based diets in whatever form they take. We’re all in this together and that’s how we’ll achieve the greatest good for those we seek to help.
There are lots of other ways to help farm animals through gifting this holiday season. I’ve shared some of my favorites – I’d love to know yours. Whatever you give this holiday season, please make it cruelty-free.
Author: Kris Giovanini
Kris is a former attorney and long time vegetarian/vegan who was healed of severe digestive problems after eliminating all dairy from her diet. Says Kris "if I can make great vegan food, anyone can"! Kris devotes her time to promoting vegan/plant-based diets and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.