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Homeless Orangutan Signs Heart-Breaking Message About Palm Oil

Homeless Orangutan Signs Heart-Breaking Message About Palm Oil

Got snacks? C’mon you can tell me. Try as we might to avoid processed foods, sometimes it creeps into our kitchens. Even food that doesn’t look like junk contains ingredients obtained through incredibly destructive means.

Take vegetable oil, peanut butter and store-brand cakes or muffins. Nearly all of these foods contain palm oil, an ingredient derived from the palm fruit, grown on the African oil palm tree.

“Vast areas of pristine rainforest is slashed and burned each year in order to make way for oil palm plantations,” reports the Palm Oil Project. This clear-cutting completely eliminates vital habitat for orangutans and other wildlife, causing them to be homeless if not killed outright.

As Nancy Roberts reported previously on Care2, everyone is guilty of buying the products that fuel this destruction:

Palm oil is in half of all products commonly found in supermarkets and comprises 35 percent of the global vegetable oil market. It is commonly used in shampoo, soap, processed foods, candy, even biofuel. Palm oil imports to the U.S. have tripled between 2005 and 2009, with increasing demand also in China, India and elsewhere. That skyrocketing demand has created three big palm oil victims: people, wildlife and the planet.

Bulldozing through vast tracts of rainforest isn’t only only terrible for wildlife and watersheds, however. It’s also contributing to global warming and climate change that affects all of us. “As vast swaths of forest and swamp are obliterated to make way for plantations, thousands of tons of carbon dioxide is released. More carbon dioxide is released when peat swamps are drained and dried out to make way for palm cultivation,” continues Roberts.

We can listen to (and ignore) environmental activists preach about the destructive nature of the palm oil industry and why we should avoid the brands that feed it all day, but what if a being who was directly impacted by our use of palm oil were to ask for help?

In the heart-breaking video below, we meet an orangutan named Strawberry. Displaced by the slash-and-burn practices of the palm oil industry, she now depends on humans for food and shelter. And she’s got an important request for those of us with palm oil products in our cupboards.

Watch the short video from the Rainforest Action Network below. Your opinion of palm oil will never be the same. After watching, please read “How To Stop Buying Palm Oil and Help Save The Orangutans.”

Related Reading:

5 Ways You Can Save Tropical Rainforests

Palm Oil Isn’t Even Healthy For You

Rainforests Are Being Destroyed So We Can Have Toilet Paper and Margarine

Read more: , , , , ,

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

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172 comments

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8:00AM PDT on Jun 16, 2014

very sad but thanks for sharing

12:23PM PDT on Apr 28, 2014

very sad

1:39PM PDT on Apr 23, 2014

Broke my heart. Boycott palm oil products!

12:12PM PDT on Apr 23, 2014

I am ashamed that intelligent people such as we are ....continue to ignore the things that our God created for us...and either with apathy, greed and abuse...we cause more and more damage to our world,

Carolyn

11:53AM PDT on Apr 22, 2014

Profoundly moving....This should be played on all news stations, and in schools, corporate board rooms and political offices. Palm oil is a poor excuse for deforestation, global warming, loss of habitat, and other species, and the people who live in rainforests too. Ironically, palm oil may be the demise of our fast food civilization too.

12:05AM PDT on Apr 22, 2014

VERY SAD.TEARS IN MY EYES.One can see the pain in their eyes.Got no words to express my heart and my sadness.

6:38PM PDT on Apr 21, 2014

With man and orangutan working together to fight this scourge we can win this war!! Strawberry you a hero and I got your hairy back...

4:08PM PDT on Apr 21, 2014

Coconut oil is a great substitute for margarine if you want a nice creamy spread with a mild coconut flavor- add a little salt if you want to. Please boycott palm oil- Nutella, "natural no-stir" peanut butter, Hershey's chocolate spread, international Delight coffee creamer, instant ramen noodles, most brands of margarine and microwave popcorn, etc. There is no need to use palm oil- companies just use it because it is cheap- they do not care about the loss of rain forests and orangutans.

2:31PM PDT on Apr 21, 2014

@Nathan W....ty for that! I became vegan when I learned of the factory farms so I cut out butter of course. Then I see that palm oil is in margarine!! It is absolutely EVERYWHERE! The big businesses will do ANYTHING to save their OWN lives and profits and I hope and pray that it is US that can watch their demise in our time!!!!

1:30PM PST on Jan 22, 2014

I had no idea so many products contained this destructive stuff, even my Nutella darn! But I will do my best to avoid everything containing palm oil from now on.

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