PALM OIL! THE DASTARDLY INGREDIENT.
Palm Oil. It just sounds like a harmless kitchen ingredient right? Well think again. There are only 40,000 orangutans left in the world. About a decade ago, there were 60,000. One of the main reasons for loss of orangutans is the deforestation process in which Palm Oil plantations are built. Many of the Orangutan’s, and other animal’s habitats are destroyed when this happens, therefore forcing them to relocate. Along the way, some Orangutans are killed by harsh conditions or poachers nearby the plantations in countries such as Borneo and Sumatra (countries from saynotopalmoil.com). This results in the dramatic drop in the specie’s population. This is a huge issue for humans and wildlife. These Palm Oil plantations shove native people off their land and are also forced to relocate.
In addition, plantation owners disobey child labor laws by giving underage children minimum or no pay for their efforts. This work is definitely not easy or relaxing, children are given the dirty work: carrying heavy loads or collecting the palm fruit in which Palm Oil is harvested from. This fruit is made into an oil that is used in shampoos, peanut butter, soap, chocolates, cookies, and other common products. There are two ways to save the wildlife and humans that are negatively affected by Palm Oil plantations and harvest.
Boycotting Palm Oil products would be the first way to avoid harming humans and wildlife affected by Palm Oil production. Orangutans, Sumatran, Sumatran Rhinos, Sun Bears, Pygmy Elephants, Clouded Leopards, and Proboscis Monkeys are all in jeopardy because of the Palm Oil plantations that are destroying their homes. A pro to supporting this solution is that many species can be saved if a large quantity of people boycott these products. If this plan is successful, then companies that use Palm Oil in their ingredients will lose their consumers and stop using Palm Oil in their goods. Then, plantations and companies in the Palm Oil industry will go out of business, or start to become more considerate and more careful toward the people and fauna (animals or wildlife) around them. Unfortunately, many items contain Palm Oil, and it is difficult to quickly determine which products have no Palm Oil.
Another resolution to the Orangutan issue would be if humans donated money and time to the deforestAction foundation and “adopted” an Orangutan. DeforestAction keeps Palm Oil plantations from being built on forest ground that is home to many creatures. By adopting an Orangutan you are not actually living with the animal or even meeting the Orangutan but you are paying for its healthcare and food at the foundation. One species saved can make a world of difference. However, sadly, we cannot protect every Orangutan or human affected by Palm Oil.
To conclude, Palm Oil production is a major concern that needs to be fixed. Two answers to this Palm Oil predicament are; boycotting Palm Oil Products and also adopting an Orangutan as well as donating time and money to the deforestAction. Palm Oil is a slippery slope of situations, and together, we can save the humans and creatures affected by this dastardly ingredient!