8 Ways To Plan A Fully Vegan And Cruelty-Free Valentine's Day (Even If You're Single)

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Ways To Plan A Fully Vegan And Cruelty-Free Valentine's Day

Many people mistakenly believe that Valentine's Day means dropping a fortune at a fancy steakhouse and buying jewelry mined unethically. But for those who embrace a cruelty-free lifestyle, those activities hold zero appeal.

Why celebrate a holiday based around love by harming the animals and people who share the earth?

Fortunately, Valentine's Day celebrations can take just about any form. With just a touch of creativity, anyone can design a vegan Valentine's Day their loved ones will remember for years to come. Consider some of the gifts and ideas listed below to get started.

RELATED: 5 Valentine's Day Traditions From All Over The World That Will Make Single People Feel Less Alone

1. Try a new vegan dining spot.

More and more restaurants now offer vegan options on their menus. Even some swanky steakhouses now offer vegan dishes.

However, why not choose to spend money at a restaurant exclusively geared toward cruelty-free eating?

Simply go online and do a search for vegan restaurants nearby. In larger metropolitan areas, expect to find a wide variety of vegan cuisines. Even in rural areas, though, some restaurants offer vegan goodness.

Committed partners can select a new eatery together and perhaps even start a new tradition, while singles can scope out a new scene for their next date night or just a new personal favorite go-to.

2. Gift vegan chocolate treats.

What says Valentine's Day more than a box of chocolates? While many commercial heart-shaped boxes lining store shelves contain dairy milk, vegans can find a plethora of alternative chocolates in health food stores and online.

The chocolate truffle selection from Premier Chocolates tempts vegan taste buds with elegantly decorated treats. These treats even meet kosher standards for vegans of the Jewish faith.

Likewise, Booja Booja Hazelnut Crunch truffles make for a vegan and gluten-free treat. Creek House Truffles, available on Amazon, also offer a variety of flavors to choose from.

You can also try making your own!

3. Treat your partner to a cruelty-free massage.

Partnered vegans can show their loved one that they care by treating them to a relaxing, cruelty-free massage. Companies such as Lush offer vegan gift boxes of bath goods and massage oils. Craftier vegans can create their own scented massage oils using a base oil such as sweet almond oil and their favorite essential oil blends.

Single vegans with no one to rub their backs can nevertheless enjoy a bit of pampering. Many professional massage therapists now provide vegan-approved products, and a simple phone call guarantees relaxation by verifying the therapist's commitment to remaining cruelty-free.

4. Give gifts that give back.

Thinking of buying that special someone a gift? Share the love with a whimsical vegan present! If you know any aspiring top chefs, delight them with a crafty apron. Vegetarians and vegans generally cook a lot anyway! For the casual fashionista, go with a vegan tee. Reusable shopping bags and tea sets likewise bring smiles without harming any animals.

RELATED: 13 Romantic Valentine's Day Ideas For The Woman You Love

5. Whip up some vegan food.

Not feeling up to going out? Why not entertain at home by whipping up a vegan meal in your own kitchen?

Those who have been vegan for years no doubt have favorite products that they substitute for meat ingredients. But even those new to vegan eating can master simple yet delish dishes.

Zucchini noodles, for example, make an excellent substitute for regular pasta with far fewer calories. Just add a tomato-based sauce or top with olive oil, spinach and red pepper for a colorful Valentine's meal.

Quinoa is another great protein-packed vegan base for many delicious meals. Simply let the grains simmer in water for approximately 20 minutes and top with the same kinds of delicious vegetables you would put on pasta!

6. Start an indoor herb garden.

Nothing says, "I love you," more than planting something together and nurturing it as it grows just like your love grows deeper. And herb gardens provide a constant stream of fresh cooking ingredients to boot!

Anyone can find starter herb gardens either online or in their favorite nursery. But to add a personalized touch, create a unique herb garden by picking up some flower pots, your favorite herbs for cooking, some potting soil and acrylic paints. Partners can paint flower pots together and line a sunny windowsill with a living testimony to their love.

7. Enjoy a stroll hand-in-hand.

Though prohibited in some areas, carriage rides tempt many with a sense of romance. However, the horses used to pull the carriages often get overworked and live in wretched conditions.

Instead of opting for a carriage ride, bundle up for winter weather and take a moonlight stroll hand in hand. Just walking together helps build intimacy and leads to conversation.

8. Help animals in your community.

Those wishing to go the extra mile in giving back do well to celebrate Valentine's Day by helping animals where they live. Many animal shelters need volunteer dog walkers and the like, especially in winter months when volunteer help tends to dwindle. Be aware that many facilities require their volunteers to complete a training course, so plan ahead.

Valentine's Day offers the perfect time to celebrate all things love. Doing so in a vegan, cruelty-free manner only makes the holiday even sweeter, so go out and celebrate love all around!

RELATED: The Best Valentine's Day Gift Ideas For Each Zodiac Sign

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Kate Harveston is a leading women's health journalist and the founder of So Well, So Woman.

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