Contributing Monkie G Living Staff Monkies
Published on September 3, 2009
Their bright orange/red hue may be a sign of their demise. The Sumatran Orangutan is in many ways being treated like the “red-headed stepchild” of Southeast Asia. Which is hard to imagine because their perma-smile instantly puts a smile on my face. But there’s some seriousness in the lives of these happy-natured animals. Their natural habitats are being destroyed in order to clear the land for palm oil production.
If you take a look at any of your favorite snacks, chances are you’ll see palm oil among the list of ingredients. It’s low in trans fat which makes it very appealing to food makers. And with Biofuel becoming more popular, the need for palm oil is off the charts. Therein lies the double edged sword. How do you promote the use of alternative fuels without harming an entire species?
Wikipedia, in 2002 the World Conservation Union put the species into the IUCN Red List with “critically endangered” status – and it’s still there on this year’s list. That’s just one step away from being extinct in the wild.
But before you start tossing out everything in your cupboards that contains palm oil, check out the Orangutan Conservancy’s website. It has a list of brands that use oil from “environmentally sensitive” operations.