Across an endless scene of forest destruction, a dying orangutan drags her malnourished body through the ruins where her home once lay. As she calls out for a sign of life, a silent horror fills the air. She is alone as she takes her final breaths. Yet through her tragedy, she is alongside many others. This is the story of the orangutan.
And we are responsible.
Perhaps this comes as a shock, however the reason for this abuse and destruction lies in over 50% of household products due to their shared use of an ingredient called Palm Oil. This is an edible extract from the palm tree that has been replacing environmentally rich rainforests throughout the world, although particularly in the tropical countries of Indonesia and Malaysia, at a rate…show more content… These rainforests hold the life of 300,000 different animal species, many of which are injured, killed or displaced because of deforestation. One animal of particular importance according to conservationists is the orangutan, which has become a charismatic icon for deforestation. This is because throughout the past 20 years, over 90% of orangutan habitat has been destroyed at the hands of the Palm Oil industry. As a species sharing 97% of our DNA with the orangutan, we are forced to question; are these innocent beings any more deserving of this brutality than our…show more content… The destruction of rainforests due to the Palm Oil industry is therefore not only a conservation emergency, but a major animal welfare crisis as well.
Biodiversity, which is the variety of plant and animal life, is essential in sustaining the living networks and systems of the world. These systems are what provide us with health, food, wealth, fuel and the vital services that our lives depend on. So, although the Palm Oil industry provides our supermarkets with cheap shampoo and conditioner, it comes at the cost of our environment, something that goes hand in hand with our survival as a human race.
Well aware of the consequences of Palm Oil production, many companies will even make an effort to disguise their use of the product by using different titles. We must keep in mind that these are products which exist within our supermarkets and our homes. This destructive industry relies on the expectation that unknowing consumers like you and I will continue to fund its existence by purchasing products containing Palm