We’ve all got that vegan friend or maybe you just want to reduce your impact this festive season! Here is your guide to having a vegan Christmas from our friends at abillionVeg, as part of our 12 Days of Conscious Christmas.
It’s nearly Christmas and you’re organizing family reunions, shopping for gifts, and planning delicious, festive feasts. The holidays are a time when meat consumption spikes, hundreds of kilometers of wrapping paper and packaging are used and thrown, batteries are bought in bulk to power new toys, and the old Christmas tree debate continues – real or fake? The environmental costs of the holidays are akin to any consumer-focused holiday, which means there are plenty of little green steps you can take to have a more conscious Christmas.
Even if you’re not vegan or vegetarian, having a more sustainable holiday overall starts with the food on your dinner table. The impact of your vegan Christmas goes way beyond this one day. Animal agriculture is a broken and exploitative industry – when you put meat into your shopping cart, you’re buying into the simple market forces funding the slaughter of 70 billion farmed animals every year, environmental degradation, and the poor conditions of factory workers who suffer from severe psychological trauma.
Having a vegan Christmas means sharing gifts and eating food in a way that causes no harm to animals and patronizing brands and restaurants that source or produce vegan products. So here’re all the ways you too can have a merry, vegan Christmas this year.
First up are gifts. A cruelty-free Christmas present means that you can share the story of a vegan brand and know that the goodwill of your giving caused no harm to any creature. Here’s a roundup of tested and reviewed products that might be the perfect gift for your partner, friends, or family.
> Aesop – Aesop has ultra classy, natural beauty products and fragrances which are all vegan and cruelty-free. They’re all about celebrating the au naturale vibe, and you can find their skin, hair, and body care products at several outlets around the city. Make your life easier by choosing one of their curated gift sets with free delivery until December 19.
> Lush – All of Lush’s cosmetics and skincare products are handmade and cruelty-free – no animal testing! What we love about Lush is how interactive a visit can be. Their scrubs, lip balms, and lotions are always opened up for testing and you can chat with one of their representatives to find out how it’s made (and even meet the person who made it sometimes!). Just double check that what you’re buying is vegan, some items have honey. Their Christmas edition products are to die for.
> Paint Shoppe – If you want to pamper your loved one for Christmas, treat them to a mani-pedi at this vegan, cruelty-free nail salon (unfortunately most nail polish is not vegan)! They use cruelty-free as well as eco-friendly products.
> Purnama – If you are looking for eco-conscious Christmas ornaments to gift, check out these upcycled, PETA approved vegan, handcrafted trinkets from Purnama! As each ornament is individually designed and crafted by a skilled artisan in Central Java, Indonesia, you are sure to get a unique piece.
Here’s the full range of cruelty-free beauty products and a list of 200+ vegan clothing/shoe brands. Find something you really love, but you’re not sure if it’s vegan? Cruelty-Free Kitty’s online database can easily help you to check.
The best part is that if you take a picture of a vegan product, you can review it on abillionveg – they donate $1 USD to an animal sanctuary for each review. Give a little, and the animals get a little 🙂 And if you’re looking for even more conscious brands to shop with, check out our Conscious Brands Directory and our top few Conscious Stocking Fillers under $50 right here.
Eggnog without egg? No roast beef centerpiece? Or wondering how to make flaky, buttery baked treats without dairy? Let’s get down to what exactly goes into a vegan Christmas. If you’re whipping up seasonal treats to wow your guests out of your own kitchen, you’ll need to be properly supplied with high quality, plant-based ingredients.
Many often think that vegan cooking and baking means leaving things out, or substituting with something that just isn’t quite the real deal. The truth is that you just need to have the right ingredients. If you’re putting delicious things into your recipe, you’ll get something pretty yummy out of it too.
> Vegan Butter: Nuttelex is my personal favorite. It’s affordable and you can find it pretty easily at Cold Storage or FairPrice, along with the whole range of products at Mustafa. Funky Fields, a Danish brand, is sold on Redmart and is great for baking.
> Cheese and Mayonnaise: You don’t have to settle for a bland one-flavor-fits-all vegan cheese with Follow your Heart – you can get Provolone, Parmesan, Cheddar as well as mayonnaise on Redmart.
> Ice cream: Redmart has a huge variety of brands available like Coconut Bliss, Ben & Jerry’s, and The Ice Cream Cookie & Co. with dairy-free options. You can’t serve pumpkin or apple pie at Christmas without ice cream on the side!
If you need any inspiration, there’s an entire corner of the Internet out there dedicated to vegan cooking and baking – this Christmas-specific recipe collection is a good place to start! Check out Animal Allies’ resources for more local tips on where to find certain ingredients. Oh and just in case your oven dies, or some other unforeseen circumstances thwart your baking plans, you can always count on WDSB to save the day with their Christmas special cakes. Last year, there was a Pecan Pumpkin Ginger Biscake!
The holidays deserve to be celebrated with exquisite food – so whether you’re vegan or not, it’s always thoughtful to choose a restaurant where all dietary needs can be appreciated and catered for. Here are a few restaurants in Singapore where the herbivores and omnivores alike can indulge.
> Neon Pigeon – Head over to Neon Pigeon for a really unique dining experience with an underground hipster vibe. They put a contemporary spin on Japanese food and while the menu is definitely meat-heavy, about a quarter of their items can be veganized, like the Unagi Rice.
> Din Tai Fung – has locations all across Singapore and are fantastic at accommodating large groups. They make various types of vegan dumplings and their yam buns and vegetable baos are dim sum that everyone can enjoy.
> Bella Pasta -For a classic Italian meal, the pizzas and pastas of Bella Pasta will hit the spot. Located just along the Singapore River at Robertson Quay, the waterside dining experience makes for a relaxing, sunset meal.
> Genesis – over by Farrer Park usually prepares special, seasonal items around the holidays. Last year they had vegan stuffed turkey rolls, and their other options like lasagna and cheesecake are excellent plant-based indulgences.
Take a look through this Singapore restaurant guide for more sumptuous, inclusive dining options.
Others might ask why you’re doing Christmas differently this year, or question why you’re not making traditional (meat-based) holiday dishes. But traditions can evolve, and we have plenty of options in Singapore to go plant-based. The most important thing you can do is to share why food sustainability is so important- and doing it over a delicious meal.
Bought any vegan gifts or groceries? Review them on abillionveg and help them to send Christmas goodies to animals at their farm sanctuaries around the world! And if you’re looking for more ideas on having a greener holiday season this year, why not check out how to have a Zero Waste Christmas and our amazing list of Conscious Stocking Fillers and Gifts under $50. And stay tuned to read all of our upcoming guides on having the greenest Christmas of your life.