for the vegan who doesn’t have everything

What’s better than a kitten in a silver tree covered in Star Wars ornaments? Yeah, I can’t think of anything either.

I don’t go in for most of the Christmas scene—the music is maddening, the lights seem so wasteful, and sad people tend to get sadder—but I do love giving (and getting) presents.

We try to make presents or buy very practical not-destined-for-a-closet gifts. Foodstuffs, calendars from Lulu, craftybits…these are the prefect gifts when you’ve got the time and a little skill.

But let’s say you’ve got neither, or you’ve stumbled upon this blog because you searched “vegan gift.” What do you get for the vegan on your list? Here are some ideas that are not only vegan but they support small businesses.

T-shirt from Lion’s Share Industries. I just learned about this outfit. Based in Seattle, this company produces small batches of artistic t-shirts using responsibly produced materials. Read the site and you’ll see just how much love goes into these and how they’ve tried to think of everything and be the best company they can be.

Gift certificates for Cosmo’s, Food Fight!, Herbivore, or Vegan Essentials. They’re common names now in the vegan community, but these shops are still very small and they do struggle to stay alive. They’re all amazing in their generosity to the causes they care about while providing a valuable service to vegans all over the world. Books, clothing (both message bearing and not), quality nonleather goods, and food, food, food can reach the loneliest herbivore in the tiniest town.

Registration for Vida Vegan Con! This is a little self-serving, I know, but a nice big gift would be to send your vegan blogger or blog enthusiast to the vegan mecca that is Portland for a weekend done busted out its seams with learning, eating, and a little adventure. You can get here by plane, train, or automobile, and we’ve got lodging options as cheap as the (super fancy) dorms for $27.50 a night, if you get a roommate.

Soaps and soy candles from an Etsy artisan. There’s a whole group of vegan Etsy-ers you can check out, but I buy my soaps and candles from Bleating Hearts, based in Chicago. She’s not vegan but she’ll make vegan versions of her soaps if they’re not already completely plant-based. Custom orders are no problem; she’s always making new stuff so if you don’t see the one you want, ask her about it and maybe that can be her next batch. I asked for these soap crystals; she’d made some but one of the dyes wasn’t vegan so she came up with these for me. I adore them. This candle is Hot Chocolate, and it’s absolutely magical. Such a round, well-balanced scent—as all her candles are.

Vegan tattoos. Not necessarily a “vegan” tattoo, but a cruelty-free/plant-based tattoo. You can now find vegan-friendly tatoo shops all over the country. Obviously, I wouldn’t suggest surprising your animal-free loved one with a gift certificate to a shop without discussing it first—you have to find the right artist for you, and just because someone’s vegan and uses animal-free supplies doesn’t make them a good artist. But it’s a good place to start your search.

What’s your favorite gift to give?

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