Looking for some ideas to complete your Holiday shopping this year? Jade DeGrio is a new contributor to DallasVegan.com, former employee of Spiral Diner Dallas, and owner of soon to open Big A Little A Bakery. She came to veganism through punk and hardcore music and is all about that Positive Mental Attitude. She’s a generally cool chick – and thus, has some generally cool ideas on gifts for you and yours. We’ll take one of each, please!
Everyone has to take a bath…unless you’re on some crust-punk, antiestablishment, “I’m going to renounce what society and mainstream media/advertising sells as ‘clean, hygienic and beautiful’ rebellion” – and if you are, hell yeah! But even then, you still wanna smell nice, right? (right??) And what better way to do it than handmade, vegan friendly bath bombs? You can take the revolution to the tub!
A few things about me – I’m a sucker for packaging. If it looks good, has a good design, comes inside something fun, I will buy it. I have a Hello Kitty mini bakery complete with foam foods because the packaging was cute. It’s a terrible side effect of being a consumer, but hey, if you’re gonna consume – at least do it responsibly and at least support really great design.
I’ve been vegan for about 4 years now and I have yet to find a lip balm I truly love. They’re all either too waxy, made from some kind of weird attempt at beeswax that tastes horrible, or they’re cinnamon. Why is all vegan lip balm cinnamon?!
But here it is folks, Sprout Skin Care has finally done it – and they did it with four wonderful options (including cinnamon, if that’s your thing). AND THE PACKAGING!!! The multi pack of lip balm comes in the most adorable little tin, with a personalized thank you and a post card featuring some of the best use of type I’ve seen. Single tubes are also available of the four options – peppermint, coco, cinnamon, and citrus (the citrus is my favorite!).
Crafts and more
Wonderfully hand crafted paper goods, vintage items, and original art brought to you by Cara Livermore – co-creator and co-founder of Hipster Food and Chickpea Magazine. Her illustrations are clean and simple without looking crude, and some are even available for you to personalize! Cara takes something seemly boring and practical – like a recipe card – to new, adorable levels with added suggestions on how to use them ("people always ask me for the recipes I make, and now I can give it to them in style!"). Her shop also features instructional posters on how to cook grains and beans, and how to store your food in the most effective way – all hand printed on high quality paper. You can get your friends and family hip gifts, a la Urban Outfitters, without sacrificing quality or supporting negative vibes.
What started as an online publication filled with submissions from all areas of the vegan community turned into a full on, real life, physical magazine brought to you by the folks behind Hipster Food (see above!). This magazine is gorgeous from start to finish and features an eclectic set of submissions including kitchen tested recipes, shopping guides that feature vegan artists and crafters, and a guide to creating the best picnic possible. Chickpea is what community looks like in all forms.
Christy takes the idea of eco-friendly to a new level, all her jewelry is made from recycled materials. Aluminum, sterling silver and sometimes copper. She hand inscribes messages on each piece ranging from eco-friendly trees and polar bears, animal friendly-pitt bulls, pigs and baby chicks, to people friendly-silloutes of rosa parks and muir. Plus, she LOVES Morrissey. And i love those who love the Moz. She’s offering 20% off of select items, so there’s no reason not to stock up for the winter.
Vegan beer. What? What isn’t vegan about beer? Well, all kinds of things! Some beers are brewed using a clarification process that relies on animal products. Some beer has honey. some beer even has actual beef in it (Guinness?)! And more than all of that it is often very difficult to get a clear confirmation from companies about the content or processes used to produce their beers. Have you ever been to a bar with a vegan? Usually they’ll look at the menu for something familiar, pull out their phone and use some kind of app to look up the beer, the plant the beer was made in, and then have to read through a string of comments to get an answer. And by that time everyone is done with their 2nd beer and the vegan is considering straight edge as a way to avoid this. So, what better way to ensure your beer is vegan than by making it yourself? The Brewers Market offers a complete reusable kit and refill packs that are hand milled and made to order. Again with the amazing packaging.
Spice guides, grain guides, canvas patches with artichokes, pizza, cats and mushrooms? APOTHECARY VIALS FILLED WITH GLITTER?! COUNT US IN. If you have someone on your list who just doesn’t fit into the confines of the gift giving binary, this shop is filled with things that inspire a punk rock aesthetic without being offensive. It’s all rough around the edges in all the right places, without – you know – having holes and safety pins.
Cookbooks are my favorite thing to get pretty much any time of the year. There are so many incredible books to choose from, all of which are gift worthy, but here are a couple of my favorites, all available on Amazon – or better yet, buy direct from the author (if you ask them nicely, they might sign your copy)!
Anything Isa Moskowitz – especially for new vegans. I use Vegan Brunch and Vegan with a Vengeance the most, but I have a favorite staple recipe from every single thing she has put out. She’s a goddess, a goddess in a Crass shirt.
Viva Vegan! – My roommate grew up in a Mexican household and has always been very leery of vegan recipes inspired by his native cuisine – but every time I make something out of this book, he responds with "oh my god this is pretty much how I remember it, but you know, without the pig parts."
Please Don’t Feed the Bears – a zine style vegan cook book that is not just a cook book. PDFTB comes complete with articles on veganism, illustrations, a music guide for every recipe and some fun activities to do while you’re waiting for your seitan to finish. Most of the recipes are easy, cheap, and fun-great for new vegans, curious chefs, and those who cook on a budget.
New Farm Vegetarian Cookbook – This book was released by some hippies in the late 80′s I think. There are from scratch recipes for soy milk, tofu and amazing illustrations of veggies dancing. Most of the recipes are based on easy to source, pantry staples. Leave the elitism at home kids, there’s so much PMA in this book I can’t even explain it.
Blissful Bites – Now if you know me, you know I know Christy Morgan (a.k.a., The Blissful Chef), the mastermind behind this book. So you may say to yourself – “well, she’s just plugging her friend’s cookbook” – and you’d be right. But know this, I take nothing more seriously than food and this book is full of amazing food. Christy has found a way to make nutritional food and information easy to process and absolutely delicious. If you need a specific reason to buy it, do it for her pear coffee cake – it’s…well, blissful!
Sunny Days in Texas Benefit Zine – Use your consumerism to really make a difference in the lives of countless animals and win yourself Wheatsville co-op’s popcorn tofu recipe and Kristen davenport’s oatmeal cream pie recipe (you know, like those Little Debbie oatmeal cream pies that no one wants to admit liking but the box is mysteriously gone every time mom accidentally buys them, but better because they’re vegan!).
Last but not least, more books! Books are crucial in the development of a strong community as well as a strong movement. Even if the person on your list has been vegan for 10 years, there is a good chance they haven’t read one or more of the books featured here. You’ll be giving them a gift that lasts longer than anything else – solid evidence that what they have vowed to do is important, is a means to strengthen their choices and passion, and the tools necessary to turn their decision to become vegan into something more! Look at you, you won Christmas!
The Jungle – Upton Sinclair
Eating Animals – Jonathan Safran Foer
The Sexual Politics of Meat – Carol J. Adams
Sistah Vegan – A. Breeze Harper
Animal Rights: Current Debates and New Directions – Cass R. Sunstein and Martha C. Nussbaum
Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows: An Introduction to Carnism – Dr. Melanie Joy
The Politics of Food – Mar Marianne E. Lien and Brigitte Nerlich
Let Them Eat Junk: How Capitalism Creates Hunger and Obesity – Robert Albritton
Just Food: Where Locavores Get It Wrong and How We Can Truly Eat Responsibly – James E. McWilliams