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How Do I Choose the Best Vegan Gifts?

By Tara Barnett
Updated May 17, 2024
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Choosing the best vegan gifts depends on who the gifts are for. Each individual may have different moral concerns and preferences when it comes to gifts. If the gift is for a person one knows, then thinking about what types of items he or she likes is the best strategy. For more general gifts that might go in a gift basket or anonymous gift exchange, non-confrontational and generic gifts are best. All vegans are different, and while some might appreciate gifts designed specifically for vegans, many people also appreciate vegan gifts that come from normal stores.

For friends, family members, and close acquaintances, choosing vegan gifts is as easy as choosing gifts for anyone else. One simply needs to consider what the individual in question would like on a personal level and purchase that item. He or she may love cooking, and might appreciate a vegan cookbook. If he or she loves shoes, shoes made from vegan leather can be very beautiful. Giving a gift card to a vegan-friendly store can offer the most open gift, but this also does not always show a lot of thought.

Generic vegan gifts for people one does not know personally must be somewhat less confrontational than many vegan gifts. Not everyone is a militant vegan, and shirts or bags with slogans are definitely not a good idea. Food items like vegan cupcakes, chocolates, or muffins can be excellent if one is certain that allergies are not an issue. Items made from vegan leather also make great corporate gifts.

Food preparation tools can make excellent vegan gifts, as many vegans love to cook or feel obligated to prepare food at home in order to minimize the risk of contamination. Some cooking items, such as food processors, can make excellent large purchases for loved ones that show great consideration for the vegan lifestyle. One way to make this type of gift more personal is to make a gift package for the individual including favorite spices, cookbooks, and other kitchen items he or she may like. In some relationships, giving appliances is considered taboo, but when the gift is seen as supportive of a particular moral identity this restriction can sometimes be lifted.

One thing many people forget when shopping for gifts for vegans is that many items are vegan that are not marketed as such. Anything made from metal, for example, obviously has no animal products in it. Simply thinking about which items in a normal store are actually vegan can yield some of the best vegan gifts.

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Discussion Comments

By Mor — On Dec 23, 2014

@irontoenail - There are lots of places that will advertise vegan products specifically. Bath products are often advertised as vegan or cruelty-free (you might also want to check they aren't made with palm oil, as that is very controversial as well).

Another option is to get something like a gift voucher to a vegan restaurant or gourmet food shop so they can pick for themselves.

By irontoenail — On Dec 22, 2014

@clintflint - Home made gifts can be a good compromise in that case, as long as you know how to make something well. Homemade paper, for example, or homegrown dried herbs or something like that.

Vegan wine is another very good gift, I've found, as it's fairly expensive to buy regularly on your own. An ordinary bottle of wine isn't vegan because they use animal products in part of the preparation of the grapes (I think). Remember that often things like candles and soaps aren't vegan either, because of beeswax or lanolin (which comes from sheep).

With that said, if you've got to get gifts for a vegan who is a close friend, just ask them what they prefer. You can get them something like a video game or an ebook or something that doesn't have a physical copy at all. Or you could get them something vintage, as most vegans will appreciate a gift that has been recycled.

By clintflint — On Dec 21, 2014

Unfortunately, giving something like vegan leather shoes or bags can be controversial because I know a lot of vegans who won't wear anything that even looks like it was made from an animal product, even vegan clothes. They do have a point that wearing synthetics can still create demand for the real thing.

I would never be brave enough to get them anything except a gift voucher to some kind of eco-conscious shop. Unless you hear them specifically ask for something (by brand and type) then you might end up getting the wrong thing by accident.

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