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Buy Vegan Gifts For Your Vegan Partner or Friend!

Updated on October 4, 2012

Stuff For Vegans

Do you have a vegan pal or partner with a birthday coming up? Boy, are vegans hard to buy for or what? It seems sometimes as if every idea you can come up with – whether it’s food related or not – brings up a vegan issue that hadn’t even occurred to you. (Until you bought the wrong, naughty, non-vegan thing, that is!)

Buy Vegan T-shirts

Of course it’s hard to go wrong if you buy a product that’s targeted specifically at those of the vegan persuasion. There are a lot of great T-shirts on places like Etsy, with shops that have a whole bundle of cute pictures and artwork designed for the animal friendly bean-eaters amongst us. One example is Screamprinting: I’ve bought some of their product and I can safely asseverate that it went down very well with the vegan of my acquaintance. (Plus they do a tee with a cute herb-munching dinosaur. How can you go wrong?) There are lots of other places you can get cute vegan tees too, especially online

Buy Vegan Chocolate

Of course chocolate always goes down well as a gift, whether to a vegan or a non-vegan. The trouble begins, however, when you just assume that all dark chocolate is automatically vegan. Who would put milk powder or any other dairy product in dark chocolate, right? (Sigh. Well, it makes sense to you and me, anyway…)

Buy Funny Vegan Stuff

Unfortunately, I can assure you that if you don’t check, then you could easily be caught out. Lots and lots of dark chocolate contains whey powder or other dairy products. Even if they don’t actually contain it in the ingredients list, lots of non-specifically vegan dark chocolate is made on production lines that are also used for milk chocolate and other non-vegan goodies. This means that some vegans will reject it, while others will still deem it acceptable: it’s a hazy line and you’re taking something of a risk if you just assume it’ll be okay. (It’s also a potential issue for allergy sufferers, which is probably why chocolate made in this way is usually clearly labelled as such.)

Fortunately there’s lots of specifically vegan chocolate out there, made and marketed for vegans. I can speak from experience to say that Montezuma chocolate is super yummy (and that’s even if you’re not vegan. Yes, we animal-product-eaters are allowed a taste too!) I favour Gourmet Gorilla, packed with crunchy toasted almonds. My other half preferred the deliciously minty BamBam. But it’s all good! (Amazon also do a vegan chilli drinking chocolate powder, if your vegan friend likes the hotter end of the culinary cuisine. Not one for the faint of heart!)

Is your vegan partner or friend a big tea or coffee drinker? (Complete with soy or rice milk, naturally…) If so then you have a terrific gift-giving opportunity ready-made. There are tons of vegan-friendly coffee mugs out there: one of my favourites is the Secrety Society of Vegans mug, which bears a logo warning it may explode if used for non-vegan beverages! (I think they are just pulling our legs, but be careful out there...)

How about a gift of clothing? You wouldn't think you'd have to be careful about that, huh? Think again. Woollen jumpers are inappropriate, leather shoes are a no-no, silk is often a bad idea... the list goes on! Fortunately there are lots of places you can source great vegan-friendly clothing such as vegan shoes.

Don't forget that vegans very often do a lot of cooking. (There's not much option when it can be so hard to source ready-made meals and obscure ingredients). Kitchen utensils are likely to score big in the gift-giving stakes! (Maybe they'll cook you a fabulous gourment vegan meal using them!)

Lots of people like to give a nice bottle of wine as a gift at Christmas and on birthdays. This, too, can raise issues for your vegan friend. Let me break the news to you gently: many, if not most wines use a fish product called isinglass for filtering. Eewww! That's right, there's fishy fishiness in that thar wine bottle! However you can buy specifically vegan wines if you take notice and look around. (The Co-operative in the UK is one place where they are reliably available and correctly labelled.)

There you have a few ideas for buying presents for your vegan partner or friend. I hope I've given you food for thought as it can be a difficult task: it never hurts to have a few more options when that vegan birthday comes around!

Vegan Gift Problems!

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