Why you should not use palm oil products
Palm oil can be found in a variety of products, from shampoo to crisps, making it the most widely used vegetable oil worldwide. You probably inadvertently use it every day of your life, but you should try to avoid doing so if you can because production is contributing to the death of thousands or orangutans and other helpless wild animals that inhabit the rainforest.
You’ll be shocked to hear that an area of rainforest equal to 300 football pitches is being destroyed by the hour for the purpose of growing palm trees in Africa, Asia and North and South America. It’s not a sustainable industry though, as the production of palm oil is linked to deforestation, climate change and animal cruelty. Moreover, it’s affecting the environment and indigenous people living in these areas.
The worst affected areas are the jungles of Borneo and Sumatra, where many animals are being killed and injured. Why is this? Because the rainforest is being cleared in order to plant palm trees, meaning people are setting fire to the land and destroying homes and burning animals to death.
The palm oil industry is one of the main reasons that orangutans, which live on these islands, are in decline. However, there are ways in which you can help – in Europe, palm oil is listed as an ingredient on all the products containing it, meaning you can make a conscious effort to avoid it. Sadly, the US is yet to follow suit, but you can help by lobbying for palm oil to be labelled there too so people can choose their products more carefully.
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