How To Choose A Gift For A Vegan Friend Or Family Member.
So you’re struggling for vegan gift ideas or just want some vegan gift inspiration? Fear not, we’ve got you covered. Don’t worry, we’re going to include plenty of tips and ideas, this isn’t just a shameless way to pitch our vegan sweets!
A bit of background on veganism which will give you an insight into the mindset and therefore give us some easy vegan gift ideas. First of all, probably the most obvious answer is that in the majority of cases, vegans absolutely love animals and their well-being. Extending that a bit further, there is usually a connection between love for animals and therefore love for their habitat (the environment). So that’s what we are going to focus on on all the following gifts below – Is it animal friendly and does it take consideration for the environment?
As the vegan community is quite small in the UK (around 1% of the population), we vegans like to support other vegans and their businesses. With this in mind, you’ll get added brownie points just by buying from an independent vegan business, not a mainstream supermarket.
Small vegan gift ideas under £15
We will try and leave any prejudices out, but generally speaking we all know most women love a bunch of flowers. Though this is not exclusive to the ladies, many men (myself included) can appreciate a bunch of flowers. They brighten up any home and make the receiver feel really special.
If you’re unsure on flowers, and for whatever reason feel its a bit of an easy go-to gift or want something that will last a little longer, why not try a potted plant? A typical vegan’s love for nature means we usually like a lot of plants around the house. A small indoor or even outdoor plant can really mean a lot and its something for them to take care of. They’ll think of you every time they water, prune or feed it.
It’s such a simple and common gift and you might think its too basic but we cant express just how nice it is when someone actually puts thought and effort into sourcing a good selection of vegan chocolates. You can spend a little or a lot, but even cheap £2 bars of Nomo vegan chocolate which you can pick up in most UK supermarkets will seriously impress your vegan friend. If you want to take our advice and earn extra brownie points by going to an independent vegan chocolate company then we’ve no doubt a quick Google Search will yield some positive results.
We personally have a tradition of buying each other a selection from a small vegan company on Facebook called ‘FlissFancy’. They do vegan alternatives to the Cadbury’s Crunchie and the Kinder Bueno. Finding and tasting these vegan alternatives is just a great feeling so if they are often saying that they miss good vegan chocolate then check them out. They also do great fudge too.
Vegan Cakes and Cookies
Again, there are plenty of small independent places you can find on Google, Facebook, Instagram and even places like Etsy that offer vegan cakes and bakes. We don’t mean to make it all about food but its such an easy way to make people happy. Everyone loves a treat.
If you’re struggling where to look, we often treat ourselves to some lemon drizzle or millionaires shortbread from Mr Vegan Cakes based in Harrogate. It’s not local company to us but we found them on Instagram and Andrew who we have spoken to is absolutely lovely and does the best vegan cakes, delivering to the whole of the UK.
Okay so we kind of have to plug ourselves here, but that’s because we know that people just love receiving our vegan pick and mix options. We stock over 50 varieties of completely vegan candy and its such a thoughtful, beautifully presented (in eco-friendly packaging), yet affordable gift – Even if we do say so ourselves 💁♀️💁♂️.
Make a donation
Without trying to shout too loud from our high-horse, much of the principles of veganism are about selflessness – a greater concern for the needs of others over our own needs. With this in mind, you’d be surprised how much a charitable donation on behalf of your friend towards an animal welfare charity or environmental protection charity would mean. It’s an easy yet very powerful gift.
Things to try avoid
It’s very easy to get it wrong with vegan gifts. You can often have the greatest intentions but cause accidental offence. Here are some of the things to watch out for.
Pescetarian vs Vegetarian vs Vegan
It’s obvious to some people but not to others. If you already know the difference then just skim over to the next point. Pescetarianism, Vegetarianism and Veganism are all completely different. Vegan products are always suitable for Pescetarians and Vegetarians, but never the other way.
Pescetarians do not eat land animals, but will eat any living creature from the ocean. Vegetarians will not eat the flesh of any creature, but will eat byproduct such as milk, eggs or even honey. Vegans will not eat anything that has come from an animal, flesh or byproduct. Vegans will also not eat or use anything that has involved the use of an animal in its production such as many wines that use animal bones in their fining / filtering process.
Vegans love animals, so a natural choice of gift would be a day trip to a zoo or the local aquarium right? Wrong! The majority of UK zoo’s and aquariums hold animals captive for the primary purpose of human entertainment. There are very few that do it for the sole purpose of animal protection and conservation. Some vegans have differing opinions on this and that is fine, we’re not here to judge! Unless you know that the person you are buying the gift for is okay with attending a zoo, you are best avoiding it.
Slightly more obscure but they are increasing in popularity. Carnivorous plants such as the venus fly trap is likely going to upset your vegan friend. They will be torn between starving their plant or killing bugs. Veganism extends to all creatures, including bugs.
Who doesn’t love a candle? They can be a bit pricey but they just make you feel good! Going back to the comment that vegans don’t like to use any product that is derived from an animal, be careful because most candles do contain animal product. When selecting a candle, try looking for one that is soy based, not beeswax or any other animal derivative. Also avoid fancy fragrances such as honey because chances are, you guessed it, they contain honey which is not vegan.
Beauty Products (Even Vegan Ones)
A bit of a double negative here, watch out for beauty products even if they have a vegan formula. Okay so to put that in simple terms, a lot of big name brands test their products on animals before they are approved for human use. Sure the ingredients can be free from animal products, but they are still exploiting animals to test there products so this is a big no no.
Watch the ingredient minefield
There are some obvious ingredients to look out for (milk / whey, egg), but unfortunately even the harmless sounding ingredients can be derived from animals. Vitamin D for example, this is often sourced from sheeps wool. E120 aka Carmine is an extract from a bug. Gelatine is the elastic from your skin and bones. The list goes on and we appreciate this is truly a minefield. Ultimately, if you cannot confirm something is vegan either from it being listed on the packaging or by contacting the manufacturer directly, you’re probably best off leaving it.
We’re sorry, we know its complicated. Although you could save yourself the time and hassle by opting for a box of our vegan sweets which we can offer you full confidence knowing that that all sweets listed on our site are completely vegan friendly 😉.
We touched on this earlier, but as an extension to the ingredient minefield, be sure to try understand the production process of the gift you wish to purchase. Wine as our example goes through a ‘fining’ stage in its production. This is often done by adding animal derivatives and therefore makes most wines totally not vegan.
This isn’t by definition anything to do with veganism, but we’re noticing more and more a trend between veganism and a dislike towards the fast fashion industry. The fashion industry is very wasteful and damaging to our planet. Damage to our planet has a knock on effect to the animals that inhabit the planet so you can quickly connect the dots and see why it is frowned upon by a large percentage of vegans.
Another one which is not directly related to veganism but often considered. Try ensure you packaging is eco-friendly and recyclable. Where possible please also try avoid the use of excessive plastics. This material has a devastating impact on our environment which again has a knock on effect to the animals that live in it.