The Little Rock Zoo

.The Little Rock Zoo needs to step up and care for the animals better! Please read the several artciles here with deaths, sickness and a bald chimp!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Animal Welfare Group protested Pizza Hut for deforestation of Orangutans

A Southern California Pizza Hut received some surprising visitors last weekend — a group of orangutans. OK, so really they were environmental activists dressed up like the Great Apes, but their message was about as startling as their unusual get-ups.

A group of Greenpeace activists and orangutan suit-clad members showed up at the Pizza Hut to protest the chain's role in deforestation. The orangutans sat outside the restaurant holding a huge sign that read "Now Serving Rainforest Destruction." Meanwhile, another group of Greenpeace activists delivered a petition to the fast food chain signed by thousands of local residents. (Check out a slideshow of the event — and employees' confused faces — here). This very public display was part of an ongoing campaign from Greenpeace designed to push Pizza Hut and other fast food joints to drop their unsustainable palm oil provider, Sinar Mas.
When it comes to palm oil providers, Sinar Mas is about as low as you can go. The distributor is the largest palm oil company in Southeast Asia. It's also a huge destroyer of pristine rainforest and peatlands in the region.

While some palm oil plantations are sustainably grown and managed, others clear-cut rainforest and peatlands in order to take root. Sinar Mas tends to source its oil from the latter type of operation. This forest destruction not only destroys habitat for countless wildlife species like orangutans and Sumatran tigers, it contributes heavily to global greenhouse gas emissions. Indonesia, for example, is the third largest emitter of greenhouse gas emissions, largely because of the heavy deforestation that goes on in the area.

Along with Dunkin Donuts, Pizza Hut is considered part of Sinar Mas' "leading global client base." That involvement also earns Pizza Hut the distinction of being one of the world's leading contributors to Southeast Asia's deforestation. As if the high amounts of calories, fat, and sodium weren't enough, now you can add the blood of endangered orangutans to Pizza Hut's dubious ingredients. The situation certainly gives new meaning to the fast food joint's "Meat Lover's Pizza."

Pizza Hut is just one of many food producers Greenpeace has taken aim at recently because of their involvement with Sinar Mas. The non-profit is using some pretty innovative tactics to push these companies towards sustainable palm oil. Greenpeace produced a video earlier this year of a guy unwrapping a Nestle Kit-Kat bar. As the man peeled down the packaging, the bar was actually a candy-coated orangutan finger. The actor then broke off the "candy" and bit into it, spewing blood everywhere as his coworkers looked on in horror. The scene then panned to a clear-cut forest with one remaining tree housing a mother orangutan and her tiny baby. It's a disturbing scene, but an effective method of getting consumers to associate certain food products with wildlife destruction.

Ads like the one geared towards Nestle have certainly been effective. Greenpeace's campaign prompted major companies like Burger King, Kraft, Nestle, and Unilever to drop Sinar Mas in favor of more sustainable palm oil providers.

After last weekend's protest, let's hope that Pizza Hut will be the next to join the fray. You can help Greenpeace in its campaign to end unsustainable palm oil use by signing its petition to Pizza Hut and Dunkin Donuts. Sinar Mas considers these two fast food giants to be part of its "leading global client base." Sign Greenpeace's petition and tell Pizza Hut and Dunkin Donuts that if they want to continue to be leading global companies, they need to immediately ditch Sinar Mas.

Story credit here and to sign petition

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