When you choose to live compassionately, Valentine’s Day is not a day for just you and your sweetheart, but also a day to live sweetly for all living creatures. Whether you’re in a relationship or not, a compassionate Valentine’s Day means that there is something for everyone to enjoy, and each and every choice you make will help to make the world a sweeter place.
Candy For Your Sweetheart
If you’re celebrating Valentine’s Day while in a relationship, it can be a little tricky to find vegan gifts just by shopping at your local grocery store, especially if you’re looking for chocolates. However, there are plenty of fun gifts out there for both you and your sweetie to enjoy, so don’t panic!
When you shop your neighborhood Whole Foods or any natural food store, there are plenty of vegan chocolates and sweets for you to enjoy. Alternately, VeganEssentials.com has just about everything you could ever need, plus way more!
VeganEssentials carries beautifully wrapped chocolates for Valentine’s Day, plus suckers and other sweets. The 9-Piece Chocolate & Nuts Collection by Rose City ($11.95) ) would make a perfect gift for the chocolate lover, but the Love-Heart Allergen-Friendly Lollipops by Indie Candy ($2.99/each) would also be a big hit. For the peanut butter lover, you must buy Justin’s Nut Butter Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups ($1.99/pack of 2) . They pass up the Reese’s hearts any day.
If you’re running short on time before the big day, there are plenty of goodies at your local Target or drug store. Many candies are naturally vegan so the Valentine’s aisle at your local store is not really that scary to dig through after all. Hot Tamales make a great gift for the hottie in your life, while Skittles make a perfect sweet treat. Blow Pops, Airheads taffy, Ring Pops, Runts, Sour Patch, Smarties, Sweet Tarts, Jolly Ranchers, and Twizzlers would also make great candy gifts.
When in doubt about whether or not something is vegan, just read labels! If you’re a new vegan, checking labels will become second nature, even when you know or think something is vegan. So, beware of non-vegan ingredients such as honey, gelatin, carmine/ crimson lake, cochineal dye or natural red number four (comes from insects), confectioner’s glaze/ resinous glaze/ shellac (comes from Lac beetles), caramel, and certain sugars (which are filtered using animal bone char).
Alternately, skip the candy and material items and do something more compassionate for your loved one. Consider adopting a farm animal for them or making a general donation to a charity of your choice, in honor of your Valentine. If your Valentine is as sweet as you, it will be a gift that they will be thrilled to receive. Visit Farm Sanctuary for more information on adopting a farm animal, plus some great ideas for gifts and sweets that go to an excellent cause.
Compassion doesn’t mean there’s a lack of romance. There are plenty of cruelty-free items such as candles and lingerie for both you and your Valentine to enjoy. Many candles are made out of soy, paraffin, soya, or palm, rather than beeswax or animal-derived stearic acid, and they smell remarkable. You can find many vegan candles at Target that smell delicious and are affordable for your romantic evening.
Yankle Candle Home Classics carries a great variety of vegan candles with delicious smells of berries and sugars. Try candles such as Yankee Candle Home Classics Tumbler Candle- Apple Berry Spice($18.00) ) or Yankee Candle Home Classics Vanilla Icing ($15.99) . If you’re looking for more specific styles and scents, many companies carry animal-friendly candles. Check out Barn Loft Soy Candles, NaturalLights Candle Boutiques , Nature’s Gifts, or Pangea Vegan Products.
Alternately, go for battery-operated lights. Try the Battery-Operated 4-pc Flickering Tealight Candle Set ($12.99) and let the candles flicker without having to worry about turning them off. However, you may be surprised how many vegan candles are already out there sitting on the shelves of your favorite stores. When in doubt, just read the labels and see that candles are made of soy, paraffin, or palm, or specifically say vegan on the label.
Now that you have the lighting down, skip the real rose petals for a more eco-friendly evening. Instead, indulge on the more important senses, such as the way you look and not the setting. Veganism doesn’t make a man or woman less sexy, in fact, it makes them sexier! Compassion is a very desirable trait, so of course there is plenty of vegan lingerie to go around!
For a huge selection of vegan lingerie for both every day wear and special occasions, check out Purrfect Pineapples. You’ll find a huge selection of adorable and animal-friendly lingerie.
Deciding what you and your Valentine will do on Valentine’s Day can always be a challenge. Maybe you want to do things traditionally and go out for a special dinner. If not, consider having a quiet evening at home where you can cook your favorite vegan meal and serve your favorite Red Velvet Cake recipe for dessert. Or, order take-out and go home and have a quiet dinner with your Valentine. Nobody has to worry about cooking and cleaning up the mess, but you still get to enjoy it just being the two of you.
Other options for a romantic evening include cooking a meal together at home. There is something romantic about cooking as a vegan. You know you’re not causing any harm by what you’re eating, and really, is there anything more romantic than seeing your partner fry up some tofu? Find a great recipe that you and your Valentine can cook together, and then bake that cake together for dessert.
Whether or not you’re in a relationship, Valentine’s Day is an excellent time to be compassionate and share your compassion with the rest of the world. Valentine’s Day is a perfect day to visit an animal shelter or sanctuary and just spend time with the animals. In all the sadness that can be accompanied with learning about the way animals are treated, sometimes it’s nice just to spend time with the animals and enjoy the company of the animals that are safe and happy.
Visit your local shelter or sanctuary and give them all the love you have in your heart. Hold them, snuggle them, walk the shelter dogs, and do whatever it takes to get them the full effect of Valentine’s Day. Plus, this is an excellent experience for both you and your partner if you’re in a relationship or for yourself if you’re single this Valentine’s Day.
If you’re looking for something laid back to do on Valentine’s Day, and you’ve already seen every Valentine’s Day- themed movie one too many times, then you, a group of friends, or you and your partner can indulge in movies that express compassion for all. Lighthearted movies like Bee Movie, Chicken Run, Babe, Charlotte’s Web, Year of the Dog, and The Fox and the Hound, are all great movies that remind us time and time again why we don’t eat our animal friends.
Another great part about a relaxing night in of watching veg-friendly movies is the awesome snacks that go along with it. Go traditional and pop your popcorn and pour melted Earth Balance Buttery Spread over it, sprinkled with salt. Or, make your favorite no-queso dip served with tortilla chips, or make homemade Chex Mix (or just buy the Traditional Chex Mix, which is vegan). Or, make your favorite brownies or double-chocolate cookies and indulge in one of the true meanings of Valentine’s Day.
Above all, remember that Valentine’s Day is a day meant to be shared with whatever you are passionate about, whether it’s a person, a group of people, animals, food, etc. Just enjoy the day and express as much love as possible.
Courtesy Images: Indie Candy,Chocolate Decadence,Cocomel Coconut, Farm Sanctuary and Purrfect Pineapples