#33: “Think global, act local”. Write a post connecting a global issue to a personal one.
After some thought, I realised that the answer to todays post has been a part of my life for quite some time now. Ever since I discovered my passion and love for all primates, I have been trying to do my bit to save the above enchanting species … the Orangutan!
Orangutans have seen a rapid decline since the introduction of palm oil plantations, mainly within Indonesia, due to the destruction of their natural habitats. Mothers and their babies will often return to where there once was dense forest, to find themselves “trespassing” on a palm oil plantation and prone to being killed by the plantation owners. Being in such an open space has also made it easier for hunters and traders, which has resulted in the mothers being killed and the babies, sometimes only weeks old, being taken alive for the illegal pet trade. Below is a palm oil plantation. The acres you can see all used to be dense forests, home to thousands of different species, including these gentle orange giants. It is believed that 300 football fields worth of forest is cleared each hour, so that more plantations can be built.
For those of you who don’t know what palm oil is, it is a substance extracted from the fruit of the oil palm tree and is used in an unthinkable amount of products that everyone uses on a day-to-day basis across the globe. To put things into perspective, it is the second most widely produced consumable oil. Products in which palm oil has been found in include food (bread, biscuits, crisps, chocolate and batter mix’s) as the oil gives the product a longer shelf life, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, various cosmetics, and most recently, biodiesel.
So please, spare a few minutes to check your product labels and please seek better, palm oil free alternatives. If it lists any of the following ingredients, then it contains palm oil and subsequently you are unfortunately and unknowingly contributing to the demand of palm oil production: Palm oil kernel, “Palmitate” or “Palmate”, Elaeis gunieensis, Hydrated Palm Gylcerides Hexadecanoic or Palmitic Acid. Unfortunately, there are lots of other names for this, which are no doubt ways in which the producer is trying to con us into believing they support the protection of endangered species, which can be found here.
By making this one small change, you are taking a stand against the destruction of our beautiful planet and the wonderful species that live on it.
Please start by signing this petition. I was the 7,507th person to sign it, but it needs a lot more. It takes 5 seconds to do – it is most definitely 5 seconds well spent!
First ranting blog, officially over. Promise.
Images – Orangutan: theguardian.com. Palm Oil plantation: blogspot.