Updated: Apr 5, 2020
"All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt." -Charles M. Schultz
Valentine's Day is dedicated to giving appreciation to our loved ones, from partners to family and friends. After all, the love we have in our lives makes every day richer, easier, and more fulfilling. The act of showing that appreciation to loved ones can be made more stressful when trying to celebrate an animal-free holiday. Animal-derived products incorporate themselves into everything from romantic candles and dinner to contraceptives and gifts.
VeganMed has four "C" recommendations for you to show the animal-free lovers in your life that you care - chocolate, contraceptives, candles, and conservation!
It's hard to find a person who does not enjoy chocolate. From sweet milk chocolate to bitter dark chocolate, the wide range of sweets has something for everyone. In the 1840s, Richard Cadbury refined his chocolate-making techniques and introduced the Victorian world to cocoa butter, which led to the creation of "eating chocolate." Cadbury quickly began to market his sweets with bright packaging and fancy ribbons, leading to the tradition of giving chocolates on Valentine's Day (Butler, 2018).
Trying to find animal-free and free trade chocolates can easily lead to standing in the candy aisle for 30 minutes. Fortunately, Dani here at VeganMed has (happily) done that research for you. She is a huge fan of Theo Chocolates based out of Seattle. Any of the varieties that are labeled "suitable for vegans" are fair game, and you can easily filter for vegan options on their website! Dani's favorite animal-free flavors are mint, cherry almond, and dark chocolate with sea salt.
The use of physical contraceptives dates back as far as tenth-century Persia. Pasiphae, the wife of King Minos, utilized a goat's bladder as a female condom "so that King Minos would not be able to harm her as his semen was said to contain “scorpions and serpents” that killed his mistresses (Khan, Fahd, et. al., 2013). It wasn't until the 16th century that doctors began suggesting that diseases could be prevented by physical contraceptives, in the form of a lubricated linen or animal intestine condom (Lieberman, 2017).
While modern condoms are usually made from latex, most still contain animal products. Many condoms are processed using the milk protein casein and others are still made from ingredients derived from lamb intestines (PETA, n.d.).
Luckily for you, VeganMed has curated a list of contraceptive products to keep you safe and animal-free in the bedroom. Click HERE to check out our contraceptive page.
I'm sure you can picture it now...a wonderful, romantic, candle-lit dinner, or maybe a nice bubble bath with candle aromatherapy. No matter what the scene, there's something romantic about the flickering light of candles.
Candles are most commonly made from animal fats in the form of stearic acid or beeswax. In an industry that doesn't list ingredients, it's even more difficult to find animal-free options! Luckily, there are alternatives, such as soy candles and coconut-based searic acid (vegan.com, n.d.). Here at VeganMed, Teresa regularly brings out soy candles to decorate the dinner table for special occasions - especially candles from EcoEarth. Not only do these soy wax candles have delicious scents, but the company is also dedicated to supporting conservation efforts and reducing plastic in the environment. If you're looking for a greater selection of fragrances, Octo London has you covered. All of Octo London's candles are vegan and hand-made.
4. Conservation Gifts
Does your Valentine love stuffed animals? This Valentine's Day, go the extra mile! Don't just omit animal products...do something to help protect animals as well.
Many conservation organizations include stuffed animals in their shops. The proceeds from these sales go directly to conservation efforts to protect animals and their environments. When you purchase a stuffed animal from World Wildlife Fund (WWF), you are symbolically adopting that animal. WWF works to partner with local communities to create a long-term solution to not only protect the animals and ecosystem, but set-up a mutually beneficial relationship with local communities as well.
If you've ever visited a zoo, aquarium, or museum, you've probably seen a Wild Republic stuffed animal. Wild Republic specializes in creating products made from recycled, vegan materials to reduce waste. Wild Republic works with KMIT Solutions, The National Audubon Society, and Cornell Lab or Ornithology to support conservation organizations and improve conservation education.
So there you have it! VeganMed's four "C's" for an animal-free Valentine's Day - chocolate, contraceptives, candles, and conservation!
From the team here at VeganMed, have a fun, safe, and love-filled Valentine's Day! Thank you for doing your part to be animal-free!
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