Most people would ask themselves what their favorite box of cookies has to do with the plight of the orangutan species. And while this isn’t a simple connection to explain, we must try our best to understand it.
Palm oil is a vegetable oil obtained from the fruit of the African oil palm tree. Palm oil is used in many foods, household products, and cosmetics. Below is a more detailed list of common products containing palm oil. It has even surpassed the soybean as the most wildly produced edible oil.
Products that may contain palm oil:
~Soap ~Chocolate ~Toothpaste ~Cookies ~Cosmetics ~Muesli & Breakfast Cereals ~Snack Foods ~Frozen Meals And Fish ~Frozen Snacks, Pies, Pizzas And Pastry ~Frozen Fries And Wedges ~Margarines ~Spreads & Peanut Butter ~Instant Noodles ~Shampoo ~Moisturizer ~Laundry Powder
There are only two places in the world where the orangutan lives in the wild, Borneo and Sumatra. These forests are also home to a growing number of palm oil plantations. Rainforests are being cleared at a rate of 300 football fields per hour (yes, you read that right) to make room for palm oil plantations. Orangutans are sentient beings just like humans and all animals. They share 97.8% of our DNA, and are gentle intelligent creatures. Orangutans are highly endangered and the palm oil and timber industries are pushing them to the brink of extinction. As the industry has expanded, palm oil cultivation is directly responsible for the slaughter and mass killing of thousands of individuals. When an area of forest is to be cleared adult orangutans are usually shot on sight, beaten, burned, and even eaten as bush meat. Young orangutans are ripped away from their mothers and sold on the black market as illegal pets. These are not isolated cases, and incidents like this are documented time and again. Orangutans aren’t the only victims of the palm oil industry, any species that calls the forests home are in danger.
The palm oil industry has done an excellent job at deceiving the public. There is no labeling requirement for palm oil on consumer products. Some companies will clearly label palm oil as an ingredient, but unfortunately this is usually not the case. Palm Oil goes by many names and it can certainly be confusing to know them all. Here is a list of common names for palm oil so you can do your best to avoid it. There are companies who do not use palm oil in their products. Check them out here!
Show your support for the orangutans with the choose palm oil free sticker from Rare Tee