I’m starting a new series called ‘What to Get the Effin Vegan for Christmas?’ There have been an increasing number of people that have gone vegan or have decided to incorporate more vegan options into their lifestyle this year and as we feel like we’ve gotten the hang of it and are experts at reading ingredients or clothing labels, our loved ones (or secret santa) are left scratching their heads wondering what the heck to get us for Christmas?
Don’t fret my friends! At ethical elephant, I’ve created some helpful and easy to follow guides so that no vegan gets left behind this year’s holiday festivities!
You’ll want to avoid getting vegans anything that contains any sort of animal ingredients or derivatives. We’re not just talking about animal flesh but also anything that came from an animal like cow’s milk or eggs. This is a bit tricky at times because some animal-derived ingredients aren’t explicitly labelled to say “gelatin from cows’ and pigs’ bones”.
Some ingredients are often labelled in a way that are indistinguishable to the everyday consumer like did you know a food & beverage fixative and flavoring called ‘ambergris’ is derived from whale intestines?!
For a list of common animal ingredients, you can reference PETA’s list or download a free mobile app called Animal-Free. When in doubt, you can always try and find products with a Vegan logo or label, this means the product has been verified by a third party that it is indeed vegan and does not contain animal derivatives!
Vegans avoid wearing anything derived from an animal so that includes fur, leather, down, silk, cashmere, etc.
Something that seems relatively easy to detect to the naked eye has become a lot more challenging in recent years. Designers have figured out a way to produce high quality faux leather and fur that is almost comparable to the durability or softness of real animal hides.
Luckily you can easily find the composition of any shoes, apparel, and accessories (like ties, handbags, scarves, hats) by checking the labels of each article. Reference the list in the infographic to see all of the common textile fibres that are acceptable for vegans.
Unfortunately, fur is sometimes mislabelled to say fake fur when it was actually obtained from an animal source. So be extra diligent when it comes to buying any clothing items containing faux fur.
If you’re thinking of gifting any beauty products for a vegan this year, you’ll want to make sure that the brand is cruelty-free and doesn’t test on animals but also, you need to ensure that the individual products that you intend to give does not contain any animal derivatives.
Finding cruelty-free brands that do not test on animals is super duper easy! Use a cruelty-free mobile app, look for cruelty-free bunny logos, or some other way of finding out when a brand is cruelty-free.
Finding beauty products that doesn’t contain animal ingredients is easier said than done because manufacturers are not required to label the source of the ingredients so it’s almost impossible to determine if something is 100% vegan just by reading the ingredient list. This is of course easier when there are natural ingredients or a shorter list of ingredients but I recommend looking for products that are certified vegan and carry the (V) vegan logo.
That wasn’t too hard was it? =) These are the basics to understanding some of the common consumer choices that vegans consider daily. In addition, some vegans buy products that not only avoid harming animals but also products that are natural, non-toxic, eco-friendly, fair trade, organic, etc.
This guide covers the basic foundations to a vegan lifestyle and I’ll try to cover the other factors in more holiday posts this year. If you have a burning question, send me a friendly message and I’ll try my best to answer it for ya!