UK

How To Have A Vegan Christmas

There's a lot more to a vegan Christmas than a nut roast.

15/12/2016 10:09 GMT

Veganism has soared by 350% in the past decade, with more than half a million Britons adopting the lifestyle.

But navigating the Christmas period can be a challenging time for vegans and their loved ones. 

Dinners, drinks and gifts can all present a problem as ingredients and materials may contain animal products without you being aware.

We’ve compiled a handy list on how to enjoy a vegan Christmas this year. 

Luxury festive roast 

Christmas dinner can be testing at the best of times, but preparing a meal to accommodate a vegan diet can be even more difficult to those not used to it.

There are many delicious meat and dairy-free alternatives to the traditional turkey roast on the market these days.

One is this luxury festive roast from Viva!’s recipe club.

Brimming with juicy nuts, pulses and porcini mushrooms, this wholesome dish serves as the perfect replacement to the traditional meat roast and is bound to be a hit with both vegans and omnivores.

For the full recipe, click here. 

Viva
Viva!'s luxury festive roast.

Tofurky vegetarian feast

Although you may have given up meat, you may still crave the taste or texture of it.

When a nut roast just doesn’t seem adequate, Tofurky’s vegetarian feast can satisfy your craving.

Although described as “vegetarian”, the roast is suitable for vegans.

The 2lb stuffed Tofurky roast is made with organic non-genetically engineered soybeans.

For more information, visit the Natural Grocery.

Tofurky
Tofurky’s vegetarian feast.

Boozy snowball truffles

Just because you’re vegan doesn’t mean you need to forgo sugary treats.

There are vegan alternatives to Christmas pudding, whether you want to cook your own or buy one. Mince pies can also be suitable for vegans. Keen bakers can make their own or check the packaging of store bought products.  

These boozy snowball truffles are a great addition to any Christmas feast and can be made well in advance of Christmas Day.

This recipe is taken from Humane Society International’s Eatkind festive feast booklet, which has lots of great recipes for vegan dishes.

HSI
Humane Society International’s boozy snowball truffles.

Alcohol

Many people are still be unaware that alcohol is not always suitable for vegans.

This is because some products may have been made using animal-derived products, such as fish oil, egg, isinglass and gelatin. 

Most supermarkets now specify if their alcohol is suitable for vegans. 

In addition to this, Viva! has compiled a ‘vegan wine shop’ featuring a helpful list of alcohol free from animal products.

Whether you feel like treating yourself to a bottle of wine or want to give a bottle of champagne to a loved one this Christmas, there’s a great selection of alcohol, including beers and spirits, available here.

Viva

Cosmetics and toiletries

Many cosmetics and toiletries still contain animal ingredients and are tested on animals.

But there is still a wealth of both budget and luxury brands available on the high street and online that are vegan friendly and cruelty free. 

Beauty Without Cruelty’s makeup range is extensive and has a range of products to choose from.

The leaping bunny logo is a sure way to know whether a product is tested on animals.

Cruelty Free International lists all of its certified cruelty free products online in an easy-to-use search portal.

People for the ethical treatment of animals (Peta) also has a searchable database of companies that do and do not test their products on animals.

Animal Aid’s online store features a range of makeup and toiletries that are vegan and not tested on animals.

BWC
Beauty Without Cruelty's lip and nail kit.

Clothing

Fur, leather, suede, wool, silk and down are not suitable for those who have adopted a vegan lifestyle.

Checking items of clothing and accessories before purchase will save accidentally buying garments with animal products in them and there are many animal-free alternatives available.

Although animal free alternatives can be found in most high street stores, this list of some of the best vegan fashion brands shows just how many cruelty-free accessories are available.

Many fashion stores also used sweatshops in poorer countries to produce garments for British consumers.

Employees at these factories are often forced to work in dire conditions for long hours and with very low pay.

A guide by the Ethical Consumer shows how high street brands fair in the way they treat their employees.

kurmyshov via Getty Images
Shop ethically this Christmas.

Pets as gifts

‘A dog is for life, not just for Christmas.’

The Dogs Trust’s slogan is as relevant now as when it was first coined 38 years ago.

Adrian Burder, Dogs Trust chief executive, said: “There is no denying that we’re a nation of animal lovers, but sadly sometimes that love can blind people and they may rush into getting a dog, often without ample research or even rushing into a last minute online purchase.”

Dogs Trust sees a flurry of animals abandoned when the appeal of a cute Christmas puppy wears thing - and the charity is not alone. 

Christmas is often the time of year when pets, particularly puppies and kittens, are given as presents. 

But as these animals grow up and the novelty of owning one wears off, the nation’s rescue centres are inundated with unwanted pets.

Those who want to introduce a new pet to the family are urged to give the matter some serious thought and consider adopting an animal rather than purchasing one from a breeder, pet store or online. 

There’s dozens of rehoming centres across the UK. Dogs Trust, Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, RSPCA and Mayhew are among some of the most well-known organisations.

To find your nearest rescue centre, click here. 

Tanya Constantine via Getty Images
A dog is for life, not just for Christmas.

Adopt a farm animal

Experts estimate that the average child will receive £132 worth of presents, with nearly half of parents feeling pressured to spend more than they can afford.

For those who want to give a slightly different and ethical gift this year, Viva! is offering customers the chance to adopt a farm animal.

It costs £25 to adopt a farm animal, with half the money going to the rescued animal and the other to Viva!

Animals include Peppa the pig, Barbara the hen and Toto the fox. 

Other charities also allow people to sponsor an animal as a festive gift.

Born Free, International Animal Rescue and WWF are just some organisations that offer adoption packs.

Viva