Twenty-one year old vegan human. Formally studying psychology, with an interest in philosophy, literature, religion, gender studies, feminism, animal rights, history, music, art, comedy, and all forms of science.
‘No’ To Palm Oil
”Did you know that each and everyone of us is fueling one of the world’s biggest ecological disasters and acts of primate genocide in history?
… Borneo and Sumatra are two of the most bio-diverse regions of the world, yet they have the longest list of endangered species. This list includes the magnificent orangutan. These two South-East Asian islands are extremely rich in life, containing around 20,000 flowering plant species, 3,000 tree species, 300,000 animal species and thousands more being discovered each year. Despite this amazing biodiversity and delicate web of species, an area the size of 300 football fields of rainforest is cleared each hour in Indonesia and Malaysia to make way for the production of one vegetable oil. That’s 6 football fields destroyed each minute. This vegetable oil is called palm oil, and is found in hundreds of the everyday products, from baked goods and confectionery, to cosmetics and cleaning agents… many of which you buy in your weekly shopping.
Due to the massive international demand for palm oil, palm oil plantations are rapidly replacing the rainforest habitat of the critically endangered orangutan; with over 90% of their habitat already destroyed in the last 20 years.
Orangutans are some of our closest relatives, sharing approximately 97% of their DNA with humans. Orangutan means ‘Person of the jungle’ in the Indonesian language. It is estimated that 6 to 12 of these ‘jungle people’ are killed each day for palm oil. These gentle creatures are either killed in the deforestation process, when they wonder into a palm oil plantation looking for food, or in the illegal pet trade after they’ve been captured and kept as pets in extremely poor conditions and provided with extremely poor nutrition.
Orangutans are considered as pests by the palm oil industry. In the deforestation process, workers are told that if wildlife gets in the way, they are to do whatever is necessary in order to dispose them, no matter how inhumane. Often orangutans are run over by logging machinery, beat to death, buried alive or set on fire… all in the name of palm oil.
Government data has shown that over 50,000 orangutans have already died as a result of deforestation due to palm oil in the last two decades. Experts say that if this pattern of destruction and exploitation continues, these intelligent acrobats of the jungle will be extinct in the wild within 3 to 12 years (as early as 2015). It is also thought that their jungle habitat will be completely gone within 20 years (approximately 2033).
Around 50 million tons of palm oil is produced annually; with almost all of that being non-sustainable palm oil, that replaces 12 million hectares of dense, bio-diverse rainforest. That’s the equivalent landmass of North Korea deforested each year for palm oil alone!
Palm oil is also having a shocking impact on our planet. The production of this one vegetable oil is not only responsible for polluting rivers and causing land erosion, but when the plantation workers set fire to the remaining trees, shrubs and debris to make way for the oil palms, it produces immense amount of smoke pollution that is toxic to planet earth. This has been found to be the second biggest contributor to greenhouse gas in the world.
By purchasing products that contain crude palm oil, you are helping destroy ancient, pristine rainforest, wipe out species like the orangutan, and create a large-scale ecological disaster. Think of the consequences next time you do your weekly shopping; the consequences not only for orangutans and other animals, but for us as the human race; for we cannot survive without the rainforests either. We have a choice, orangutans do not.”
can I just list some food products that contain palm oil for future reference.
- Woolworths homebrand donuts
- Macrocorn Chips
- Thomas Chipman Organic & Gluten Free Chips
- bellamys organic baby food
- Sanctum soap
- Billie Goat Soap
- Coles Green Choice Laundry Products and Detergents
- Hansells- Alfa One Rice Bran
- Coles Revitalising Citrus Fresh Soap, Coles Soothing Lavender Soap, Coles Nourishing Shea Butter, Coles Ginger Kisses, Coles Lamingtons, Coles Choc Top, Coles Sultanas, Coles 2 Minute Instant Noodles
- Against the Grain Cookies
- Doves Farm Products
- Green and Blacks Chocolate
- Rolo’s by Hershey
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
Nestle Chocolate products
Mars Chocolate products
Girl Scout Cookies
honestly reading this sort of stuff makes me cry
If you are a friend of mine and you don’t understand why I’m vegan, Philip Wollen covers it all pretty well in this ten minute speech. No apologies, no equivocation, just the straight truth.
“Believe me, every morsel of meat we eat is slapping the tear-stained face of a hungry child.”
It gives me goosebumps, like hearing my favorite song.
Yeah, this is pretty much it.
WHY SHOULD YOU GO WOOL-FREE?
“The wool industry involves a lot of cruelty, and sheep raised for wool endure a lifetime of horror. Sheep are gentle, peaceful individuals who, just like us, feel pain, fear and loneliness but because there is a market for their fleece and skins, they are treated as nothing more than wool-producing machines. If they were left alone and not genetically manipulated, sheep would grow just enough wool to protect themselves from temperature extremes as the fleece provides effective insulation against both cold and heat but sheep exploited for their wool have been bred to produce more wool than is natural.
Every year, using tools resembling gardening shears, industrial wool farmers in Australia (the largest producer and exporter of wool in the world) routinely mutilate OVER 20 MILLION helpless lambs on wool farms by cutting large swaths of skin and flesh from the area around the anus and, for females, around the vulva, as well. This barbaric, gruesome procedure is called “mulesing” and is typically performed without any painkillers.
During mulesing, again without any pain killers, most sheep have their tails cut off, ears hole-punched and, if male, are castrated (“marked”). The purpose of mulesing is to produce wool free of any scars, faecal/urine stains and skin wrinkles. After mulesing, many sheep die a slow, agonizing death.
The practice of mulesing is defended as an effective means of combating a blowfly infestation called “flystrike.” Industry beneficiaries and spokespersons would have you believe that mulesing is a carefully performed surgical procedure that is simply meant to benefit the sheep from a distressing and possibly deadly pest; however, that is not the case at all.
To maximize the profit, the wool industry has engineered the sheep to have ever-increasing amounts of wool-bearing skin. This unnaturally high skin surface creates very high densities of skin folds, which lead to an extreme overabundance of heat, moisture and excrement trapping that attracts flies. The flies lay their eggs in the skin fold, and resulting maggots begin to consume the sheep’s skin in the extremely painful condition known as “flystrike.” Basically, wool producers are the ones who created the flystrike problem for profit and now use it as an excuse to justify mulesing. For the industry, the only thing that really matters is:
More skin folds → More skin area per sheep → More wool per sheep = Higher profit margins
Shearers are usually paid by volume, not by the hour, which encourages fast work without regard for the welfare of the sheep. One eyewitness says, “the shearing shed must be one of the worst places in the world for cruelty to animals … I have seen shearers punch sheep with their shears or their fists until the sheep’s nose bled. I have seen sheep with half their faces shorn off …”
When their wool production begins to decline, most sheep, without access to any food or water for days/weeks, are sent on a long journey in a severely crowded, multitiered ship to other countries. These sheep - millions every year from Australia - are often slaughtered by having their throats cut while they’re still conscious.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
1) Acknowledge and spread the fact that animals are NOT here for us but with us. Animals are not commodities to be used, abused and discarded. Although they might look the same, every animal is an irreplaceable individual with a unique personality.
2) Not purchase anything wool. The only reason why the wool industry exists is because we demand its existence by purchasing wool products. As wool alternatives, there are plenty of cruelty-free fabrics such as faux wool, cotton, cotton flannel, polyester fleece, synthetic shearling and many others. Remember: you have options; they do not.
3) Share this post to raise awareness and save lives.
4) However unbelievable this might sound, what you have read here is only the tip of the iceberg as far as the cruelty animal-based industries are built upon. Albeit unknowingly, you’re funding and demanding unimaginable pain. To be fully informed, please watch the multi-award winning documentary, Earthlings, and encourage others to do the same; Earthlings is free: www.earthlings.com
Together, we CAN stop all suffering.
For more info:
Image source: www.animalsaustralia.org ”
2012 was truly a groundbreaking year for Mercy For Animals. Through our cutting-edge undercover investigations, legal advocacy and corporate outreach successes, thought-provoking advertising campaigns, and inspiring educational outreach efforts, MFA has set a new bar for effective farmed animal advocacy.
Please take a moment to view our 2012 Year in Review video, and join us in celebrating the outstanding progress for farmed animals that was made possible by your support!