From ice cream to lipstick, chocolate to detergent, palm oil is found in many of the products we use everyday. But palm oil plantations are quietly causing the genocide of thousands of the world’s most precious primates – and no one seems to know about it.
Palm oil is very cheap and is also the most vastly consumed vegetable oil on the earth – it is now used in almost half of all packaged supermarket products. We just checked the snacks laying around the office… and it’s scarily true, it seems to be in everything!
Palm oil plantations are rapidly expanding and as a result the lush, tropical rainforests in countries like Borneo, Sumatra and Malaysia are being destroyed and levelled at an uncontrollable rate. This destruction means that the valuable habitats of endangered species including orangutans, tigers, elephants and rhinos are quickly vanishing.
Sadly deforestation workers are told to destroy any wildlife that stands in their way, meaning that tragically orangutans are frequently being run over by logging trucks. Over the past 20 years, a massive 90% of the orangutan habitat has been destroyed – shown in this stark image of the ruined rainforest:
If this continues, these rainforests will be completely depleted by 2035. This means not only the extinction of orangutans, but also a huge effect on our climate, as it will drastically change the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
We’re angry about this, and you should be too.
But how can we stop this from happening? By trying to stop buying any products with palm oil in. It sounds simple, but if the insane demand for this massively unsustainable product stops, so will the destruction of the rainforests. It’s really not that delicious, is super bad for your heart and there are plenty of alternative products that are far more tasty out there.
You can find out more in this short animation or by checking out saynotopalmoil.com: