Cruelty-Free Christmas Shopping Guide
It’s that time of year again: cheesy songs, Christmas lights, tinsel, mince pies and shops crowded with busy shoppers buying presents for their loved ones. Today is actually Black Friday, officially the busiest shopping day of the year (closely followed by Cyber Monday three days later), and to mark the occasion, we’re sharing our tips for cruelty-free gifts that will delight your family and friends and don’t come with a hidden price tag for animals.
Here are some tips to ensure that your purchases are full of real Christmas cheer for humans and animals alike.
The naughty list:
- Avoid angora wool. PETA Asia’s recent investigation reveals that in order to produce the material, fully conscious rabbits often have the fur ripped from their skin, as they scream in pain. Check labels carefully to make sure that your knitwear doesn’t contain any percentage of this product of extreme cruelty.
- Definitely don’t buy foie gras. There’s probably no way that you would anyway, but please also stay away from shops such as Fortnum & Mason that insist on selling the vile foodstuff, which is made by cruelly force-feeding ducks and geese.
- Forget fur trim. That little bit of fur around the edge of a jacket or hat may once have been a beloved family pet, abducted and skinned alive at a Chinese animal market.
- Stay away from down-filled “comforters” or jackets, as they are quite the reverse of comforting for the birds who are plucked alive in order to produce them – or for anyone aware of how these animals suffer.
- Boycott breeders and “pet shops”. Everyone knows that a puppy, kitten or any other animal from a breeder or “pet shop” isn’t an appropriate Christmas gift.
- Find fabulous “faux” items. Cosy faux fur, leather and snakeskin are the fabrics to go for since killing animals for their skins is neither necessary nor festive. Fashion favourites who’ve sworn off using fur or exotic skins in their collections include Topshop, ASOS and AllSaints. And if you’re after stunning sustainable shoes, check out Beyond Skin.
- Pamper your loved ones with cruelty-free cosmetics. We can’t get enough of ethical company LUSH’s gorgeous scented products – and for more options that aren’t tested on animals, check out PETA US’ international cruelty-free list.
- Proffer a feel-good PETA Present that will make a real difference for animals.
- Cook up some vegan Christmas biscuits for a cute and cheap homemade pressie. Here are a couple of recipes that will make it easy.
- Stuff stockings with delicious dairy-free chocolates. Booja-Booja truffles are always a treat, while Moo Free, Hotel Chocolat and Plamil are other great sources of goodies that will satisfy any vegan’s sweet tooth.
- Knit your own gifts with our colourful free jumper knitting pattern and using animal-free yarns.
- If you can, consider giving an animal from a shelter the best present ever by welcoming him or her into your home in 2014. Taking on the responsibility of caring for an animal is a serious matter. Unlike heartless breeders and money-grabbing “pet shops” that exploit animals as mere Christmas presents, shelters will take the time to discuss your circumstances and find the perfect animal match for you at any time of the year.
These are just a few suggestions – there are hundreds of possibilities for creative cruelty-free gifts. Let us know what’s on your Christmas list in the comments.