Are you struggling to decide how to mark Valentine's Day this year? Erin Ring gives her run-down of vegan-friendly gift and date ideas.
The general consensus is that showing affection should be a year-round event. But it can still be fun to take part in this weird corporate holiday that insists on putting chubby babies with wings on everything and going to see terrible films where two people constantly bicker or go through hilarious mishaps, before suddenly realising they are madly in love (can I have the last two hours of my life back please?). But let us first consider the dark origins of this now pink and fluffy tradition we’re all expected to partake in each year.
In ancient Rome, Emperor Claudius 2nd executed two men with the name of Valentine, an act which was honoured by the Catholic Church, who decided that murder was a reason to have a party and celebrated St. Valentine’s Day.
Shakespeare introduced the idea of Valentine’s Day to Britain and the rest of Europe, who quickly set about stripping it of all its authenticity before consumerism swallowed it whole. It wasn’t long before Hallmark started making cards in 1913, and said that actually, as it turns out you can put a price on love.
Whether you’re looking to be a part of the regularly scheduled programming and sweep your significant other off their extremities, use it as a reason to spend an evening with friends, or to show your love for the animals this year, here are a few ideas for ways to mark the date.
In the words of the band Foreigner, “I wanna know what love is,” and I think scientists have discovered it’s chocolate.
If you’re looking to put a new spin on the cliché ‘box of chocolates’ gift, the award winning ‘Booja-Booja Truffles’ come in six different flavours and different gift sets for you to choose from.
‘The gourmet selection’: Prices range from £6.99 to £19.99.
Surely there is nothing more romantic than being sat at opposite ends of a bath filled with glitter and oodles of suds? Bubble beards are optional.
Lush have put together a selection of some heavenly scented essentials in their ‘Love Box’; such as the ‘Melt My Heart’ cocoa butter massage bar and ‘The Kiss’ almond and mandarin lip scrub.
This is a three ingredient face mask I regularly make, which my boyfriend also loves. Surely a pre-requisite for any partner is that they enjoy face masks and Netflix evenings? Why not take it to the next level and use the oil blend from the recipe to give each other a relaxing massage at the same time?
Super easy 3 ingredient face mask:
- One tablespoon of Kaolin Clay or Bentonite Clay
- Cold pressed massage oils: Hemp, almond, extra virgin coconut, jojoba.
If you’re acne prone you can omit the oils for half of a mashed avocado for baby soft skin.
Vegans know how to party
If you’re looking for a vegan event in the capital, Vegan Mama is hosting ‘Vegan Night Fest’; with around 80 vegan traders, stalls with cakes, chocolates, wine and more. Spend the evening in the company of a room full of compassionate people, whilst you listen to live entertainment. There is also an optional vegan speed dating room if you’re looking to meet that special someone.
Tickets are available here.
Table for two
For eating out, Wagamamas and many other big chains now feature new vegan menus. In particular, your local Zizzi, Las Iguanas, Handmade Burger Company and Pizza Express all have plant-based offerings available. Why not take the opportunity to try somewhere new? For our review of Wagamama's new vegan menu, you can click here.
Here’s something I made earlier
I feel like crafting a meal with your own two hands means you have gone the extra mile, although in my kitchen that tends to induce panic and a cold sweat. Most recently I whipped up a three-ingredient dinner, and was left alone for what felt like an eternity but apparently was ten minutes. Only to be discovered by my better half covered in flour (there was no flour in the recipe) and crying holding a spatula.
To make sure that doesn’t happen to you I have included this crowd favourite and easy to prepare ‘Vegan Zucchini and Roasted Tomato Pasta’.
Rather put your money into giving back and spreading the vegan love?
There are a lot of sanctuaries up and down the UK who dedicate their resources, energy and time to taking in animals rescued from the meat and dairy industry, which mean they can go on to live a life free of cruelty and exploitation. Take your friends, your partner or yourself along and get involved. You can find all the organisations that are local to you here.
How will you be spending this Valentine's Day?
The views expressed by our bloggers are not necessarily the views of The Vegan Society.