Since I went vegan six years ago, I’ve found I care more about where the things I buy come from. For me, that means not only wearing vegan clothing, but knowing said clothing was manufactured by people treated ethically as well. This new awareness has extended to shopping more ethically for everything I buy, like paying more attention to who harvested my coffee and chocolate. To me, veganism isn’t about perfection; it’s about consuming in a way that aligns with my values.
If you are also trying to shop ethically and need ideas for everyone on your list—or if you need some ideas for a special vegan on your list—here are my recommendations for ethical vegan gifts, all of which I have tried and enjoyed myself.
Books and Magazines:
Dr. Tuttle approaches veganism as fundamentally a philosophy of non-harm. In The World Peace Diet, he argues that eating animals is our first lesson in domination over other living beings and that this extends to a culture of war, sexism, and racism. Give this book to your hippy mom or friend who likes to talk about energy.
I’ve gifted VegNews magazine to both my parents, and even though they’re not totally vegan (yet!), they really enjoy it. What’s not to like? This premier vegan lifestyle magazine is filled with recipes, news, product reviews, and just about everything else you’d want to read while on the toilet—which, if you go vegan, you might not struggle so much on.
If you want to get a vegan gift for your not-yet-vegan family member, The Reducetarian Cookbook is a great, non-confrontational place to start, with tons of simple and familiar recipes veganized. The reducetarian approach advocates reducing animal products in one’s diet but doesn’t push anyone to identify as veg. Packed with tons of pretty pictures, this is an unthreatening gift that will help any recipient incorporate more plant-based food into their life.
Dr. Carol J. Adams and Virginia Messina’s new book makes a perfect case for why these trying political times call for a boycott of industrial animal agriculture. Factory farming not only inflicts animal cruelty but jeopardizes public health, exploits workers, and harms rural communities. If you want someone in your life to understand why veganism is a social justice issue that extends far beyond animal rights, this book—which comes complete with over 50 recipes and daily actions—argues that going vegan may be the single most single most significant political action one can take in a climate (both literal and political) that increasingly feels out of our control.
But where do you get your protein? This book goes through all the questions we commonly here and teaches us to answer them effectively. Because, really, there is no better gift than a good comeback when someone asks, But don’t plants have feelings? (This can also double as a gift to yourself if you give it to a family member who won’t stop asking such questions.)
If you’d like to gift a book that’s not mainly about veganism, but has a diverse array of nuanced vegan characters and ideas (and zero random scenes of people eating animals), might I also humbly suggest my own new book, Open: An Uncensored Memoir of Love, Liberation, and Non-Monogamy. Because vegans are imperfect people with interesting sex and romantic lives too!
Apparel and Beauty:
I love everything Boody. (Yes, I know how that sounds, and I’m cool with it.) I love that this basics brand is ethically manufactured. I love that it’s totally reasonably priced, but feels and wears high quality. And I love that many of their shirts and bras make me feel as close to naked as I can get while being clothed. Even their socks are my favorite; it’s like they hug your feet! Give some Boody basics and the comfort lover in your life will definitely thank you.
There are lots of vegan tees out there, but this one by Veganized World speaks to me most, especially in our current political climate. Get it for the nasty vegan woman in your life, and she will definitely rock it.
For the coffee lover in your life, this vegan face mask wakes all of you up. Its 100 percent active Hawaiian coffee fruit extract has anti-inflammatory properties and minimizes the effects of UV exposure. V-Tox Cream is the vegan alternative to botox in cream form, and works under a similar principle of blocking the signals that make muscles contract into frown lines (it also doesn’t irritate my very sensitive skin). Terasana Clinical’s Clear + Control Healthy Skin Serum is also good for moisturizing skin that is both acne-prone and dry.
Finding good vegan makeup without animal testing takes some trial and error, and this all-vegan, non-toxic beauty subscription is the perfect way to sample a bunch of different products until you find your favorites. For $15 you can buy just one box from Petit Vour, or for $180 you can give someone a box a month for a whole year’s worth of presents. My personal go-to individual vegan makeup items: Pur Big Look mascara for dramatic lashes, Thrive mascara for a more natural and easy-to-remove look, Becca Undereye Brightening Corrector (it lasts forever and doesn’t irritate sensitive eyes), and Lawless Forget the Filler Gloss and Definer Lip Liner for natural-looking and not-sticky added plumpness.
I would like to get my partner something besides this as a present. But I always know that nothing will make him as happy as a Will’s Vegan Shoes gift card. Most of Will’s—yes, a guy named Will really makes them—ethically manufactured shoes are priced at around $100, and they are definitely worth it. They wear great, feel even better, and ship free of charge to your door complete with a return label if you don’t like them.
I’ve also found Pixie Mood’s vegan leather bags to be some of the most durable and well-made for the price point (after years of abuse, mine still haven’t peeled or worn badly).
Beauty also starts from the inside out. My favorite supplements are Marley One’s vegan drops for digestion and Beanzyme to prevent gas, Gaia herbs’ Respiratory and Immune Health mushroom blends, and MyKind Organic’s Vitamin D Spray with Omegas and Once-a-Day Women’s multivitamin. I take each of these once a day, and just the other week had my bloodwork done — all my nutrient levels, the doctor said, were “perfect.” So there you have it, they appear to work.
Food and Home:
ChooseVeg Meal Planner makes a surprisingly affordable but special gift for that person in your life you’ve been urging to eat more plant-based. For just $1.90 a week, your recipient gets on-demand help from food coaches, personalized daily recipes, access to grocery delivery in select areas, meal-planning services, and a vegan nutrition plan. It’s such a good deal, it’s almost like ChooseVeg isn’t offering it for profit! (They’re not.)
Represent the most mistreated animals on the planet—and support the work of Mercy For Animals, a nonprofit working to end factory farming and the abuse of animals for food with these "Love All Animals" pillows. All proceeds from these adorable pillows go toward helping animals. A double gift!
I bought this a few years ago, and I’m so glad I did every time I use it. Now, instead of being scared and trying to catch bugs in a jar, I use this device to scoop up any little creature from a distance. There’s even a magnifier so you can see how amazing the critters are before you set them free! This makes a great gift for kids, too.
If you’re vegan, you know “nooch” is slang for nutritional yeast, the cheesy-tasting flakes packed with so many health benefits that you can pretty much never eat enough of them. This Etsy seller makes all kinds of adorable handmade vegan merch (like a “Plant Eater” mug), but this nooch jar wins in my book.
For a really special gift, Lettuce Grow is a cool new invention that allows you to easily grow veggies, herbs, and berries, with no real green thumb required. It’s an investment that keeps paying dividends, and makes a great gift for the veggie-lover in your life with no talent for gardening (I should know).
If you’d like to gift something experiential, consider a weekend getaway to an animal sanctuary. Many sanctuaries have lovely B&B accommodations and are actually quite romantic and cute! Not into a country setting? You could also support a vegan B&B by using the Veggie Hotels site, where you can browse all the (now many!) veg hotels and B&Bs around the world.
There’s hardly a better gift you can get for the true animal lover in your life than an animal sponsorship in their name. Vine Sanctuary, an awesome LGBTQ-run farm sanctuary, is just one of many underfunded organizations that could use your help. I also love sponsoring animals at Woodstock Sanctuary, where your gift comes complete with a photo and personalized certificate. You’ll know your gift made an actual, huge difference in a rescued animal’s life.
Scouted is internet shopping with a pulse. Follow us on Twitter and sign up for our newsletter for even more recommendations and exclusive content. Please note that if you buy something featured in one of our posts, The Daily Beast may collect a share of sales.