When PETA named Jhené Aiko the sexiest vegan of 2016 (her male counterpart was none other than Liam Hemsworth), Aiko lended PETA a hand by participating in an anti-fur campaign. In addition to posing nude for a striking photo about giving up fur, she spoke in a video (graphic) about the horrors of the fur industry.
While fur is an easy “no” for vegans and even many non-vegans, it’s important to remember just why we should abstain from it and encourage others to “drop the fur,” too. Animals raised for their fur are often kept in cramped, unhygienic spaces and are provided little to no veterinary care. Rather than meeting a peaceful end, they are electrocuted, drowned, beaten to death, or skinned alive.
“Once you know that, how could you think wearing fur is cool? It’s not,” Aiko says in the video.
The deeply troubling practices of the fur industry are a reminder that we must find the courage to actively fight for humane treatment of all animals and serve as a voice for the voiceless, Aiko explains. “I’m very passionate about animals and about not wearing fur,” Aiko told BET, “I’m just honored to be a part of this campaign with PETA. I just feel like, with everything that’s going on, let’s not forget about the animals that don’t have a voice.”
Fighting animal cruelty isn’t the only reason Aiko went vegan. The singer reports that veganism has helped her feel her best—in more ways than one:
“Having grown up with a love for and a connection to all animals as well as having been educated on the health benefits of a plant-based lifestyle, it made sense for me to go vegan,” she said in a statement. “I have more energy, my skin looks better, and, as an extra bonus, I’m happier!”
The R&B goddess is committing herself to full veganism—fur and food were just the beginning.
When discussing her style resolutions with BET, she mentioned, “I want to take it further with my veganism. I have a vegan diet, but I still have a few pieces that have leather in my closet. It’s not the same as wearing fur, but I’d still like to take it further, little by little. There are so many things in my closet that I don’t even know about, but it’s all about being educated.”
Indeed, no matter how long any one of us has been vegan, it’s hard to deny that there’s always more to learn.
Aiko also reports that she’s transitioning to an entirely vegan skincare routine but admits that it can be challenging to keep a fully stocked arsenal of vegan goodies:
“At one point, I was going to a place that’s really far from my house to get all-vegan everything,” she told Into The Gloss. “One day I went and got everything I would need—makeup, all of that, and then when I ran out, I thought, am I going to really do this every month? My goal is to totally be completely vegan and only use vegan products, but I’m human and I have to work on it daily.”
Working on something a day at a time translates to Aiko’s skincare ethos, too, teaching her a valuable lesson about sticking to a skincare routine, “I only got serious about skincare about three years ago. Before that, the cycle would be, I’d have a pimple and I’d need to get rid of it now. So I would just pick at it and then put toothpaste on it and do stuff like that…But then I started realizing it’s a process—you have to be disciplined with washing your face every night and day, and you have to eat right. Having to take pictures and stuff like that reminds you how important it is to be consistent. I wouldn’t get serious about being consistent until like two days before I had to do a photoshoot or something, and my skin would not look great. But that’s not how it works! You’ve been going to sleep with makeup on all week, doing stuff like that, and now you expect to put on a mask and the next day you’re going to look flawless…? Like, no. So I’ve been learning that I have to actually care about my skincare.” She also adds that eating a lot of fruits and vegetables keeps her skin looking its best.
For those of us who have transitioned to a plant-based lifestyle, it’s easy to see parallels between maintaining diet and lifestyle choices (e.g. fashion) and the art of caring for your skin. Every day, you have to wake up and decide to be consistent while still being gentle on yourself when life throws a challenge your way.
Have you given up fur or any other animal product recently? What are you learning along the way?
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Photo: PETA, Jhené Aiko via Instagram