February is the month of romance – as Valentine's Day approaches, hearts and roses seem to be everywhere. It's a time to celebrate love, and a hit of much-needed pink glitter after the long, cold and dark month of January. Here at A Perfect Jane, we believe that love and compassion should be extended to all living beings, which is why we celebrate a cruelty-free and vegan Valentine's Day. Here are a few ways to inject compassion into your celebration.
Research the menu. If you're opting for the classic dinner date to celebrate V-Day, you might be surprised at how many of the dishes on offer are vegan. Make this the day you try a plant-based dish, or a fully vegan restaurant – which is not only kinder to animals (in a month, a vegan can spare as many as 30 animals) and the environment, but may help your own health and well-being. Feeling sluggish after too much meat and cheese on the most romantic day of the year? No thanks!
Dress with kindness. Whether you're going out or staying in, make your outfit entirely free from leather, wool, silk, or other animal-derived materials. These fabrics not only pollute the planet, but are also incredibly cruel to animals. Sheep and goats are violently shorn at wool, cashmere and mohair farms all over the globe, while silkworms are commonly boiled in their cocoons to create silk. For leather, cows endure factory farming, a gruelling trip to the slaughterhouse and a bloody death. Hardly romantic – and it's easier than ever to choose materials like organic cotton, linen, Cupro, or leathers made from apples, mushrooms, and grapes.
Chocolates? Make them plant-based. As chocolate hearts and romantic selection boxes abound, take the time to spot the ones made without dairy. This industry takes newborn calves from their mothers at only a few days old, leading to extreme grief for both mother and baby. You don't need that in your chocolates – check out beautiful vegan selections from Booja Booja and Hotel Chocolat instead.
Look sexy in silk-free lingerie. V-Day is the perfect time to get sensual and try out some new lingerie – but stay away from silk. This material, which frequently features in underwear, is made by boiling silkworms alive in their cocoons in order to extract the yarn that silk is made from. Dead worms doesn't exactly scream “romance”, right? Go for organic cotton, recycled materials, Lyocell or sustainably sourced bamboo instead.
Gift compassionately. Instead of the usual boring, trite gifts, why not try a different offering, one that celebrates kindness to all? Sponsor a rescue animal from a sanctuary such as Melief Sanctuary, in your loved one's name. This sanctuary rescues abandoned farm animals, giving them a chance at a new life. By offering this donation in the name of your special someone, you will be giving a truly heart-melting gift – but also saving the life of an animal in need.