By now, you may have heard about palm oil: it’s a substance used in many products as a preservative, appearing in everything from foods to bath soaps.
Unfortunately, the way we farm it is rife with environmental and animal abuses. That’s why it’s so disheartening to learn that a brand like “Earth Balance” that produces vegan products and claims to be both environmentally and animal friendly actually uses it in their products.
Palm oil is a vegetable oil made from the fruit of an African oil palm tree and it’s the leading cause of orangutan extinction. That’s because these primates’ habitat is being cleared rapidly to make room for palm oil plantations.
And when their habitat disappears, they are forced into spaces where they come into more conflict with humans and are poached.
Even worse: farmers often set fire to the orangutans’ forest homes, causing whole animal communities to go up in flames.
Just in the past few years, wildlife sanctuaries have seen huge increases in the number of horrifically burnt orangutans needing immediate life-saving care.
But not only are orangutans threatened by palm oil plantations, so is the broader environment. The palm oil tree can only grow in extremely humid conditions, but that’s where tropical forests are that act as a carbon sink for us.
Carbon sinks are important because they absorb greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, and when they’re upended, all of that stored carbon is released — making things that much worse.
So every time another forest is bulldozed to plant palm oil trees, we are inching closer to both devastating climate change and the loss of the entire orangutan species!
Destroyed forest, destroyed habitat
Palm oil is found in somewhere around 50% of western products. While it’s good for individual consumers to try not to buy products with palm oil, that’s not possible for everyone to practice, nor does everyone know how bad it is to support this industry.
That’s why we need to keep the pressure on the companies that continue to use it, even though they know how bad it is!
“Earth Balance,” says they use ethically sourced palm oil, but that’s actually not something that exists.
All the experts say we need to use other types of oil because this one is so destructive.
If this vegan product company says it cares about animals so much, it needs to put its money where its proverbial mouth is!
Sign now to tell Earth Balance to stop using palm oil now!
And I mean…We here in Germany regularly contribute to the fact that every year thousands of orangutans die, lose their homes, burn, capture, and even sell as pets.
A study by the Society for international cooperation (GIZ) has shown that Germany imported around 1.3 million tons of palm oil from Indonesia and Malaysia in 2015 alone.
Wild animals like the Sumatran tiger or the Borneo pygmy elephant are becoming extinct. Maybe someone has lost their home for our chocolate delicacies.
The reason for the suffering and the clearing of the rainforest is palm oil.
Palm oil is the most commonly produced vegetable oil in the world.
Detergents, shampoos, chocolate, sweets, ready meals, and cosmetics – they all mostly contain the raw material of palm fruits.
Many foods, candles, cleaning agents, cosmetics, and even “biofuel” contain palm oil – to be more precise, in every second product in the supermarket.
So our purchase contributes to the destruction of rainforests, habitats for humans and animals, and the worsening of the greenhouse effect.
The Tripa peat forest in the Indonesian province of Aceh on Sumatra was once called the global capital of orangutans.
Only an estimated 200 of the great apes now live in the area.
According to estimates by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, IUCN, there are only about 14,600 specimens left in Sumatra.
The message has to be: Don’t choose palm oil, the demand for palm oil has to be drastically reduced, only then is it really possible to stop the clearing of tropical forests.
So we all need to be mindful. When shopping, we have to take the time to pay attention to the ingredients and the fine print.
Preferably buy organic products and products with local oils (e.g. sunflower, rapeseed oil, or olive oil).
Substances such as palmitates, glyceryl, or vegetable oil can be indications of palm oil, which destroys the habitat of orangutans and humans.
The orangutan is not the last in this chain to lose the desperate fight for survival sooner or later.
Humans themselves (and even here only the self-appointed, civilized part of humanity) will pay in the near future as the trigger and sole beneficiary of the catastrophe.
Sign on the petition if you want Earth Balance to stop using Palm Oil finally!
My best regards to all, Venus