With Each Bite We Take, We're Killing the Last Orangutans and Burning the Bornean Rainforest

  • by: The Care2 Petitions Team
  • recipient: Indonesian President Joko Widodo, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Bin Mohamad, and Brunei Prime Minister Hassanal Bolkiah
Right now, each and every one of us is killing the endangered orangutans in Borneo. How? Through the very foods that we eat.

Borneo, an island located in Southeast Asia, is split between the countries of Indonesia, Malaysia, and Brunei. Right now, farmers on the island are deforesting thousands of miles of rainforest, all so they can double down on their newest cash crop: palm oil. And they're doing it for us.

Tell these governments to take action now to save orangutans' lives before it's too late!

Palm oil production is booming because it's in the vast majority of foods we eat, and even other inedible products, too. In fact, a report by the U.N. discovered that palm oil is in approximately half of all products sold in supermarkets. It's in everything from margarine and ice cream, to pizza and cooking oils, to soap. It's even, increasingly, being used as a supposedly "eco-friendly" alternative to fossil fuels in the form of biofuel.

In order to clear enough space to produce all the palm oil that you and I require, farmers are setting illegal fires all over Borneo, destroying both the rainforests and the underlying peatlands that provide one of the world's largest natural carbon sinks.

Every time someone lights a new fire in Borneo, it doesn't just release untold carbon emissions into our atmosphere, pushing forward climate change. It also murders countless animals — including our orangutan cousins, with whom we share 97% of our DNA. Orangutans are one of our closest genetic relatives. They're highly intelligent, extremely social, and in general are so very human-like.

Bornean orangutans are even more special. Like many of the other plants and animals living on the island, they're unique to Borneo — meaning they can't be found anywhere else on earth. But now, because of deforestation and the fires ravaging the landscape, these orangutans are being burnt to death and their homes are being destroyed, leaving them with nowhere to go.

The animals are literally under fire right now and could be wiped out in a dangerous, excruciating blink of a smoke-filled eye.

Luckily, some governments are fighting back. The European Union is particularly concerned about this deadly and rampant deforestation, and it is phasing out palm-oil based biofuels for the time being. Indonesia has responded by contesting this decision at the World Trade Organization, hoping to force the EU to back down and change its mind.

We have to take action, as consumers, to demand an end to this nightmare scenario. Sign the petition to tell the governments of Indonesia, Malaysia, and Brunei to crack down on palm oil fires, and save the orangutans before it's too late!
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