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Green Is The New Black

How to Have a Vegan Christmas: Gifting, Cooking And Dining

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Whether you’re in need of some animal-friendly gifting inspiration, want to reduce your impact this holiday season, or need to find a restaurant for festive feasting, here is your guide to having a vegan Christmas.

The holidays are a time when meat consumption spikes, hundreds of kilometres 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 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 supporting brands and restaurants that source or produce vegan products. So here’re all the ways you too can have a happy, vegan Christmas this year. 

 

GIFTING

Five Christmas tree decorations

A gift is the representation of your time and affection – make it a sustainable and cruelty-free one. Image: Purnama Outreach 

 

First up: 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. It’s all about celebrating the au natural vibe, and you can find its skin, hair, and body care products at several outlets around the city. Make your life easier by choosing one of its curated gift sets with free delivery until December 19.

Lush

All of Lush’s cosmetics and skincare products are handmade and cruelty-free (yup, no animal testing!). What we love about Lush is how interactive a visit can be. Its scrubs, lip balms, and lotions are always opened up for testing, and we always end up chit-chatting with the staff to find out how products are made (and even meet the person who made it sometimes!). All Lush products are now egg-free, and only one product contains honey (Queen Bee hair honey, in case you were wondering), which means it’s super close to being completely vegan! And did we mention its Christmas edition products are to die for? 

Alche{me}

We’re obsessed with the bespoke skincare created by Alche{me}. Who wouldn’t want to unwrap a custom-made lotion or potion this Christmas? Its beautiful formulations are made with traceable natural ingredients that are free of PEGs, parabens, sulfates, phenoxyethanol, silicone, mineral oils, and animal-derived products. Which, of course, makes them 100% vegan. Huzzah to that!

Happy Earth

This small organic farm in Thailand creates a range of beauty products made with produce it grows organically. From face masks and scrubs to shampoos and bath cleansers, it’s got everything you could possibly need for an indulgent pampering sesh. As it’s Christmas it’s worth checking out its gift sets; the perfect product bundles that contain a little bit of everything. If you’re looking for a present for your fur baby, look no further. This Happy Earth doggy shampoo should be on every quadrupeds wishlist for Santa. And it goes without saying everything it produces is 100% natural and vegan-friendly.

The Whole Kitchen

Got a vegan foodie in your life? The Christmas gifts from The Whole Kitchen are the perfect edible present your pals with thank you for. We’re nuts for its nut mixes in particular; try the vegan spicy tamari mix, it’s highly addictive (don’t say we didn’t warn you). Do check ingredient lists, however, as not everything is vegan, but there is still a helluva lot of choice.

Biconi

Beautiful Biconi is a family-owned business with a passion for developing natural personal care products centred around wellness. Its range of indulgent oils are perfect vegan-friendly stocking fillers. And its haircare and facial care ranges are also on the wish list.

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)! It also uses cruelty-free as well as eco-friendly products.

Purnama

If you’re looking for eco-conscious Christmas ornaments to gift, check out these upcycled, PETA approved vegan, handcrafted trinkets from Purnama! Each ornament is individually designed and crafted by a skilled artisan in Central Java, Indonesia, meaning each one is unique.

And if you’re still confused about whether a particular brand is vegan, check out this list of cruelty-free beauty products and a list of 200+ vegan clothing and shoe brands. Cruelty-Free Kitty’s online database can also quickly help you check vegan status.

Once you’ve found your vegan products, why not snap a picture and review it on abillionveg? It donates USD$1 to an animal sanctuary for each review (give a little, and the animals get a little too). And if you’re looking for even more conscious brands to shop with, check out our Conscious Brands Directory and our round-up of the best stocking fillers.

 

COOKING

Star shaped cookies

Christmas is a time to share love and sweets. Treat your friends and family to home-baked vegan desserts. Image: Unsplash

 

Eggnog without egg? No roast beef centrepiece? 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 at home, you’ll need to stock up on high quality, plant-based ingredients.

Many often think that vegan cooking and baking means leaving things out or substituting with something that isn’t quite the real deal. The truth is that you need to have the right ingredients. If you’re putting delicious things into your recipe, you’ll get something pretty yummy out of it.

 

The Essentials:

Vegan Butter: Nuttelex is our go-to product. It’s affordable and easily found at Cold Storage, FairPrice, and Mustafa. Another butter to look out for is from Danish brand, Funky Fields; it can be found on Redmart and is excellent for baking.

Cheese and Mayonnaise: There’s no need to settle for a bland one-flavour-fits-all vegan cheese thanks to Follow your Heart -it makes Provolone, Parmesan, Cheddar as well as mayonnaise on Redmart. Hurrah for that!

Ice cream: Redmart has a massive variety of brands available like Coconut Bliss, Ben & Jerry’s, and The Ice Cream Cookie & Co. with dairy-free options. Because who serves pumpkin or apple pie at Christmas without ice cream on the side?

And if you still need further inspiration, there’s an entire corner of the Internet out there dedicated to vegan cooking and baking – this Christmas-specific recipe collection is an excellent place to start! Check out Animal Allies’ resources for more local tips on where to find specific ingredients. 

 

DINING OUT

A christmas dinner place setting

Choose restaurants that can celebrate every diet and give feedback to make the equation plant-based.

The holidays are made for celebrating 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 to. Here are a few restaurants in Singapore where the herbivores and omnivores can both indulge. 

The Living Cafe

We’re yet to come across anyone who doesn’t love The Living Cafe. It’s at the forefront of raw and plant-based cuisine and you’ll find everything from rice bowls and sourdough toasts, to pizza, burgers and delicious desserts (for times when only ‘dirty’ clean food will do). It doesn’t serve dairy, red meat, refined sugars or preservatives, but you will find a few chicken and fish dishes to satisfy non-vegans. And did we mention it serves excellent organic wine?

Neon Pigeon

Head over to Neon Pigeon for a unique dining experience with an underground hipster vibe. It puts a contemporary spin on Japanese food and while the menu is meat-heavy, about a quarter of their items can be vegan-ized, like the Unagi Rice.

Din Tai Fung

With locations all across Singapore and is fantastic at accommodating large groups. It makes various types of vegan dumplings, and the yam buns and vegetable baos are dim sum everyone can enjoy.

Bella Pasta 

For a classic Italian meal, the pizzas and pasta at 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

This top vegan restaurant that usually prepares special, seasonal items around the holidays. In the past, we’ve enjoyed vegan stuffed turkey rolls, and their other options like lasagna and cheesecake are great plant-based indulgences.

Grand Hyatt Singapore

From Beyond Burger to Just eggless eggs and OnmiPork, the Grand Hyatt has innovative food options for vegans, vegetarians and omnivores.

Take a look through this Singapore restaurant guide for more decadent, 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, preferably 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 fantastic list of conscious stocking stuffers. And stay tuned to read all of our upcoming guides on having the greenest Christmas of your life. 

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