With the holidays in full-swing, Lady Freethinker is urging everyone to consider animals when buying gifts this year — and every year.

Please avoid gifting tickets to venues that exploit animals, such as cruel circuses or marine parks or to inhumane animal “encounters” that force sentient beings like sloths into interactions with numerous people for the venues’ profit — often to the detriment of the animals’ welfare.

We’re also reminding everyone that animals are not gifts. They are a huge commitment and require a lifetime of proper care. Gifting cats, dogs, and rabbits is not fair to the animal or the people receiving them, unless you are 100 percent sure they want that specific animal as a companion and are prepared to care for them for years to come. If that is the case, be sure to always rescue animals from reputable shelters and never buy from breeders or pet stores.

There are many humane, compassionate, and fun-filled experiences that you can offer as alternatives! Take a look at our list below for some gift ideas and tips that are kind to animals.

1. A Farmed Animal Sanctuary Tour

Farmed animal sanctuaries are places where rescued animals like chickens, pigs, and cows can live free from suffering and abuse. True sanctuaries don’t exploit and abuse animals for profits, like the circus, SeaWorld, or roadside zoos do. Instead, they allow animals to live in peace and as they please, without any forced interaction with humans. Reputable farmed animal sanctuaries exist all over the world! Check out this helpful list of sanctuaries in the United States to find one near you!

2. Plant-Based Treats

Gifting cookies, chocolates, and truffles tend to be popular gifts that people love. The good news is there are plenty of delicious plant-based treats available that don’t cause animals to suffer and would make a perfect holiday gift. Divine Treasures — an all-vegan shop in Manchester, Connecticut —  offers vegan hot chocolate mix, strawberry champagne truffles, and artisan truffles that you can have shipped anywhere in the United States. For cookies, you can order from Karma Baker, which ships nationwide and has an array of cookie selections like oatmeal chai and holiday sugar. Another option is Deluscious in Los Angeles, which ships cookies across the county. Their holiday gift set includes butterscotch blondies, red velvet white chocolate brownies, chocolate peppermint cookies, and more — all vegan!

3. Cruelty-Free Personal Care Items

Every year, more than 110 million animals are killed in cruel, needless experiments across the United States. Luckily, it’s easy to find perfumes, bath bombs, and lotions that aren’t tested on animals. Brands like Pacifica and Honest are cruelty-free and offer moisturizing lotions, face masks, bath products, and more. Lush also sells a variation of skincare and body care products that are 100% free from cruel animals tests, and many of their products are vegan!

4. A Vegan Cookbook

Cows, chickens, and pigs are sensitive and complex beings who deserve to live their lives free from suffering. Thankfully there are many compassionate cookbooks with mouth-watering recipes that don’t harm any animals! New this fall is the Unofficial Harry Potter Vegan Cookbook by Imana Grashuis and Tylor Starr, founder of The Protego Foundation and the Chickpeeps podcast. The book features over 75 delicious meatless recipes for everyone to enjoy, like Molly Weasley’s Breakfast Spread and Giant Pumpkin Patch Brownies. The Edgy Veg Easy Eats by Candice Hutchings, also published this fall, features delectable dishes all made in 45 minutes or less, like lazy lasagna and one-pot dinners.

5. Compassionate Clothing and Accessories 

Leave the fur, wool, and leather on the rack! Animals used for clothing are denied everything that’s natural and important to them. They are typically kept in filthy, cramped conditions on fur farms and are abused their entire lives before being violently killed. We can avoid contributing to this cruelty by never purchasing the furs and skins of animals. Look for the words “faux fur” or “all man-made materials” instead when buying coats, wallets, or shoes.

You can also check out the Lady Freethinker catalog, where we are selling our logo tee and long sleeve available in navy or white, along with our “Break the Chain” tee, which encourages everyone to never leave dogs chained or tethered. See the full catalog here!

If you plan to shop online this year, you can help save animals while you shop on Amazon by selecting Lady Freethinker as your charity of choice on AmazonSmile. Once you do that, Amazon will donate a percentage of eligible purchases to Lady Freethinker.

We at Lady Freethinker hope you have a happy and humane holiday season! If you’re looking for more gift ideas, you can check out more tips in our Cruelty-Free and Vegan Gift Guide!

Cruelty-Free & Vegan Gift Guide