Activist Spotlight: Palm Oil Plantations Destroy Rainforests and A Circus Elephant Deserves Retirement
At Care2 we’re all about taking action, so here in Trailblazers we’re profiling a couple of activist opportunities each week. See what fits your interests.
Europe wants to increase palm oil usage — and soil the good name of “forests”
When word leaked that the European Commission and the EU member states want to redefine palm oil plantations as “forests”, one Care2 trailblazer decided to do something about it.
Palm oil is one of the most destructive forms of biofuel; building palm oil plantations takes up massive amounts of space, and is destroying rainforests in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Papua New Guinea. The people and animals who inhabit these rainforests — including endangered species like orangutans, sumatran tigers, and elephants — are left homeless.
“Biofuel” might sound like a good thing, since it’s derived from renewable sources, but the carbon emissions saved from using palm oil as fuel are nowhere near the carbon emissions used to transform rainforests into palm oil plantations. The palm oil business destroys homes and harms the environment, as well as incites land grabs and human rights abuses.
The EU plans to source 10 percent of its fuels from biofuel, possibly doing more harm than good for the environment. If you don’t want environmentally destructive palm oil plantations to be mislabeled “forests”, and you don’t want the European Commission forcing palm oil on the EU, you can sign this Care2 activist’s petition.
Circus elephant deserves peaceful retirement from life on the road
For us, retirement means moving to sunny Florida, playing bridge with fellow retirees, or just spending more time on our knitting. But Saigon, a retired circus elephant with the Perry Brothers Circus in Australia, is still forced to travel with the circus, and live out of the back of a truck for 10 months out of the year — no way for an elephant to spend her golden years.
Saigon, Australia’s last circus elephant, is too old to perform at 55 years old. After sacrificing her life to the world of entertainment, she at least deserves relief from the stress of traveling and living in small spaces. All of her elephant companions have died, so she is alone, on the road — and this could continue for the rest of her life, expected to be about another 20 years. Living in these conditions, Saigon cannot socialize or express natural elephant behaviors (she had a tire to play with, but it had to be taken away because of how far she could throw it). You can help Saigon get the relaxing retirement she deserves by being relocated to a space where she can find peace and enjoy a more natural elephant life by signing this Care2 trailblazer’s petition.