1) Leonaria makes vegan-friendly gift baskets. Their holiday baskets range from $70 - $100; vegan chocolate gift boxes are $30 or $43. I am especially fond of the grand holiday vegan basket (pictured left), which includes vegan "chocolate figures" (santas and animal figures). Yummy! Their holiday baskets are available here.
2) Adopt an endangered animal from the National Wildlife Federation. For $30, you get a plush of your chosen animal and an adoption certificate; for $50, you get a plush of your chosen animal, an adoption certificate, and a canvas field bag. Proceeds go to saving your chosen endangered animal, such as helping to improve their natural environments. The adoption center is accessible here. The World Wildlife Fund operates a similar program that has more animals available (over 90 species); adoptions are $50; WWF's adoption center is accessible here.
3) "Shop For A Cause": NOW (National Organization for Women) has a great book about tofu in their online store: TOFU NOW by Susan Lebow. "TOFU NOW answers all your questions about tofu - what kind to buy - how to handle - store and freeze it - all in just 2 simple pages. Plus there are 50 straight-forward tofu main-dishes that are quick and easy and taste like your favorite foods." Not all the dishes are vegan, but most easily can be vegan-ized. A percentage of the proceeds from sale goes to support NOW's action programs.
4) Gift set from Pangea Organics, an organic skincare line. I like the "joy" holiday gift set (pictured right), which includes two bar soaps (indian green tea with mint and rose petals, and malagasy cinnamon cassia with cloves) and a lipcare stick. The set is $30. You can find all of Pangea Organics' gift sets here.
5) Check out this new book, which was released 11/18/08: The Ultimate Vegan Guide: Compassionate Living Without Sacrifice by Erik Marcus. A great gift for a vegan, an aspiring vegan, or someone who wants to know more about life as a vegan. A convenient link:
Finally, not exactly a traditional holiday gift idea, but something I like to point out at opportune moments, such as this one. In 2002, the Bush Administration first announced that it would withhold the $34 million that Congress had allocated to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) for many years prior. UNFPA is the world's largest multilateral provider of family planning programs and funding; it helps provide pre and postnatal care to women and girls in over 140 countries. As noted by Rep. Carolyn Maloney in her book Rumors of Our Progress Have Been Greatly Exaggerated, "the estimated death toll of our president's refusal to send funds to UNFPA exceeds the entire population of New Mexico." Today the total amount of blocked funds stands at over $200 million. Without this funding, nearly 500,000 women and children died because of pregnancy-related complications, most of which were easily preventable. Shortly after President Bush's announcement, two women founded the grassroots nonprofit group 34 Million Friends of UNFPA. The idea is simple and beautiful: solicit $1 donations from 34 million people to make up for the funding cut by the president. To date, 34 Million Friends of UNFPA has raised almost $4 million. As phrased by their website, "be one of 34 million Americans to contribute at least $1 to our grassroots movement for the women of the world"; donate here.