Happy Veganuary! I’m stoked. It can’t be a coincidence that Veganuary is also my birthday month. I practically came out of the womb obsessed with animals and their welfare. I was that kid in elementary school with PETA stickers on my binder.
What I love about Veganuary is it’s a month to try something new in your life with the specific intention of being kinder to animals. Maybe that’s trying to eat vegan one day a week, maybe it’s volunteering at an animal shelter. But anything feels doable for just one month. And maybe, just maybe, you’ll find that you want to do it for longer than that.
I personally take Veganuary as an opportunity to evaluate my life vis-a-vis my commitment to animals. As I’ve gotten older, doing right by animals has expanded considerably. I went from being a mostly-lifelong vegetarian to vegan 15 or so years ago, I don’t wear leather or fur—real or faux because I personally don’t think “dead animal” is a good look, I skip animal fibers like wool, silk & cashmere, and, of course, I started Axiology a decade ago so that I could finally have a vegan lipstick that wasn’t terrible. There are options now. Back in the day, things were bleak.
But over time I’ve realized I can do more and think more broadly. I learned that plastic pollution kills millions of marine animals every year, and that the beauty industry is a huge culprit, so, Axiology went 100% plastic-free in April 2022 and we haven’t looked back.
I learned how palm oil production is driving deforestation and contributing to global climate change and further threatening already endangered animals in the region like elephants, tigers, orangutans, and rhinos. So we made sure that Axiology not only doesn’t use palm oil, but that we don’t use any palm derivatives or additives.
Veganuary isn’t about being perfect, or about shaming other people for the choices they make. It’s about looking at our own lives and seeing what things, small or large, can we do to be better neighbors to our animal friends, both domestic and wild.
For me, I’m trying to spend more time understanding the wild animals in my neighborhood. What will you do?