Valentine’s Day is supposed to be about love, but do you know the cost common gifts you may give come at? Due in part to massive commercialization of the holiday, many modern traditions have dire consequences for animals, the environment and people of the world. But thankfully, these gift ideas will help you win over your vegan valentine in a compassionate way, without sacrificing any romance!
Chocolate & Sweet Treats
If your significant other has a sweet tooth, the options are endless! From chocolate lips and cordial cherries to truffle assortments in heart-shaped boxes, vegan versions of classic valentine’s candy are easy to find online. The following companies are 100% vegan and are sure to get your mouth-watering.
- Sjaak’s Organic Chocolates
- Rose City Vegan Chocolatier
- Lagusta’s Luscious fine handmade confections
- Lulu’s Artisan Chocolate
- Farm Sanctuary’s Valentine’s Truffles
But animals aren’t the only ones who can suffer in the production of chocolate. Even in this day in age, many large and well-known companies utilize exploitative or child labor, mainly in the Ivory Coast of Africa, which produces more than 30% of the world’s cocoa beans. Organic chocolate is rarely produced this way, so opt for organic and free trade whenever possible. The Food Empowerment Project created this list of ethical and vegan-friendly chocolate companies so you can feel confident that your vegan valentine’s treat shouts ‘love’ in every way.
If you literally want your sweets to shout, try this recipe for creating your very own conversation hearts. You can personalize them to say whatever you want! Plus, do-it-yourself and homemade gifts always show a little extra effort.
Photo courtesy Chris Sloan
Allure de Fleurs
Since the Middle Ages, people have gifted flowers to express affection to others. Today, they are the archetypal romantic offering. And why not? Few things are better suited to compliment the language of love than floriology, the language of flowers. But today’s practices are not very sustainable.
More than sixty percent of cut flowers sold in the United States are grown in South America. Due to strict import guidelines, a single pest could deny entry for an entire shipment. To ensure the most flawless products, growers heavily laden the crops with the noxious brew. Many of these countries don’t regulate pesticide use so the employees are constantly at risk of toxic exposure. Cut flowers have been tested to have fifty times the amount of pesticides than is allowed on food!
If your beloved fancies a bloom or botanical on Valentine’s Day, consider an alternative such as a potted indoor plant that will increase air quality. Or perhaps they would like organic edible flowers? If you live in a location where flowers bloom in February, what about a simple, hand-picked bouquet? Last but not least, paper floral bouquets are sure to impress and they don’t wilt, either!
Setting the Mood
Who said you need to eat oysters to set the mood? Eating a whole foods, plant-based diet can certainly have it’s perks in the bedroom. Beyond that, there are plenty of vegan-friendly aphrodisiacs including almonds, asparagus, chocolate and garlic. Better yet? Create a multi-course meal that includes all of them!
For couples seeking more sensual ways to celebrate a vegan Valentine’s Day, try Lulu’s Luscious Chocolate Body Butter. This edible skin food is vegan, raw, organic and a real “tantric treat.” Plus, it has benefits for your skin, too.
Taking things a step further, what about condoms? Believe it or not, animal products find their way into the production of latex condoms. Specifically, casein (always so sneaky, that one). Additionally, the companies that produce most mainstream condom brands test on animals. Trojan, for example, is owned by Church & Dwight, Inc. which is in turn owned by Arm & Hammer, a company that actively tests on animals.
But never fear! There are plenty of cruelty-free condom brands including Sustain (which also boasts fair trade rubber, and is free of nitrosamine, parabens and GMOs), Glyde, and Sir Richard’s, just to name a few. Need some other bedroom essentials like natural birth control, lube or dental dams? They come cruelty-free, too!
Whether you are gifting as a vegan or to a vegan, there are plenty of cruelty-free ways to express your affection, whether you are on your first date or tenth anniversary. We believe that compassion is very sexy, so enjoy your vegan Valentine’s Day knowing your celebration – and your lifestyle – is all about spreading the love.