DID YOU KNOW THAT MOST OF US ARE FUELING ONE OF THE WORLD’S BIGGEST ECOLOGICAL DISASTERS AND ACTS OF PRIMATE GENOCIDE IN HISTORY?
Borneo and Sumatra are two of the most bio-diverse regions of the world, yet they have the longest list of endangered species. This list includes the magnificent orangutan. These two South-East Asian islands are extremely rich in life, containing around 20,000 flowering plant species, 3,000 tree species, 300,000 animal species and thousands more being discovered each year. Despite this amazing biodiversity and delicate web of species, an area the size of 300 football fields of rainforest is cleared each hour in Indonesia and Malaysia to make way for the production of one vegetable oil. That’s 6 football fields destroyed each minute.
This vegetable oil is called palm oil, and is found in hundreds of the everyday products, from baked goods and confectionery, to cosmetics and cleaning agents… many of which you buy in your weekly shopping.
Due to the massive international demand for palm oil, palm oil plantations are rapidly replacing the rain-forest habitat of the critically endangered orangutan; with over 90% of their habitat already destroyed in the last 20 years.
Orangutans are some of our closest relatives, sharing approximately 97% of their DNA with humans. Orangutan means ‘Person of the jungle’ in the Indonesian language. It is estimated that 6 to 12 of these ‘jungle people’ are killed each day for palm oil. These gentle creatures are either killed in the deforestation process, when they wonder into a palm oil plantation looking for food, or in the illegal pet trade after they’ve been captured and kept as pets in extremely poor conditions and provided with extremely poor nutrition.
Orangutans are considered as pests by the palm oil industry. In the deforestation process, workers are told that if wildlife gets in the way, they are to do whatever is necessary in order to dispose them, no matter how inhumane. Often orangutans are run over by logging machinery, beat to death, buried alive or set on fire… all in the name of palm oil.
Government data has shown that over 50,000 orangutans have already died as a result of deforestation due to palm oil in the last two decades. Experts say that if this pattern of destruction and exploitation continues, these intelligent acrobats of the jungle will be extinct in the wild within 3 to 12 years (as early as 2015). It is also thought that their jungle habitat will be completely gone within 20 years (approximately 2033).
Around 50 million tons of palm oil is produced annually; with almost all of that being non-sustainable palm oil, that replaces 12 million hectares of dense, bio-diverse rain-forest. That’s the equivalent landmass of North Korea deforested each year for palm oil alone!
Palm oil is also having a shocking impact on our planet. The production of this one vegetable oil is not only responsible for polluting rivers and causing land erosion, but when the plantation workers set fire to the remaining trees, shrubs and debris to make way for the oil palms, it produces immense amount of smoke pollution that is toxic to planet earth. This has been found to be the second biggest contributor to greenhouse gas in the world.
By purchasing products that contain crude palm oil, you are helping destroy ancient, pristine rain-forest, wipe out species like the orangutan, and create a large-scale ecological disaster.
Think of the consequences next time you do your weekly shopping; the consequences not only for orangutans and other animals, but for us as the human race; for we cannot survive without the rain-forests either.
We have a choice, orangutans do not.
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I take a look over the starboard side as we pull into port seeing these ghost-like fish in the water.
“Hey bro, what are those?”
“They look cute.”
“Sure, if you like kissing a thousand tasers?”
“They can kill you in seconds.”
“There’s not many out here right?”
“Oh no, they’re everywhere over here but there are more sharks but it’s cool they’re the least of your concerns.”
Wondering what else could be least of my concerns with deadly ghost-like fishes swimming all around me, I step onto the quarterdeck with the heat hitting me all at once, which I finally knew what he was talking about. Fuck it was hot. No wonder Jesus died over her.
“Hey bro, is it usually this fucking hot?”
“Nah, it’s pretty cool today.”
“I guess they were right in bootcamp that was like Hell over here.”
“What? That was bullshit, it barely goes over 130 degrees over here on a good day. Have a nice day and enjoy the pizza.”
I salute him getting off the boat, trying to figure out what the fuck he was talking about but the closer I got to the ground the hotter it got. It was way hotter on land as could feel the heat bouncing back off the concrete. I was already pouring sweat and I haven’t got into any combat yet. Of course, my natural response to suffering is to get blacked out drunk. I ask a raghead where I could get a drink and he points me out to the Beer Hut as he stares at me like he wanted to kill me. Which I could feel the hate while was walking around on base with the natives checking me out wondering how to kill me without alarming any bells.
I enter this pathetic excuse of fun and recreation going to straight for the alcohol. I double fists two tall boys and down the medicine in my head right away. It tasted like a mixture of dog piss and sweat. So, I decided maybe should grab some pizza to go this epic beverage. It looked like a normal pizza but there was something different but not in a good way about this meal. As I was eating it both my mouth and brain was simultaneous telling me that something was not right. As I try to swallow and figure out this enigma someone quietly tells me, “its goat meat.”
“What?” With my mouth full which apparently was full of goat meat.
“It’s goat meat, that’s why it tastes kinda weird but you’ll get used it. Hopefully, you get that bacteria like this guy did last week and died.”
Then it hit me. Everything about this place is meant to kill you.
the people all want to kill you including the goats.
Life lesson number three: What doesn’t kill you, makes you stranger.
I throw up the goat meat as he introduces himself, “My name is Skuba I’m from Long Beach. How many times have you’ve masterbated today. I think I jerked it five times today, wait, I just came right now. Anyways sometimes I use my left hand if want something new and mysterious, you know what I’m talking about?” Skuba tells me this with no expressions on his face. He seemed like a normal white dude that kinda looked a skinhead with a shaved head but there was nothing normal about this dude. He had all the qualities of a human being but he definitely was missing a chromosome or two. I tell him it was great meeting him excusing myself, thinking what the fuck was that about. Walking back to my barracks, which it was around dusk and it was still hot as fuck. No wonder everyone was such in a bad mood around here as I could hear mortars and gunshots close by with men’s voices shouting in the distance. Fuck I realized, I’m actually in Hell. I decided to call back home to check in with the folks before I hit the rack.
“How is it out there?”
“Super. Everything is great!”
All fathers can tell when their own flesh and blood is lying to them.
“Just take care of yourself and look out for you.”
“I hear you dad.”
“Your mother and I are very proud of you.”
This was more puzzling to hear this than the goat pizza because I was such a hellrazer growing up, causing such pain for my parents. I guess my parents were starting to respect me for being out here as human body bag.
“Just come home to us. Do what you gotta do.”
(Life lesson number four)
“Will do.” Click.
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The Nature of the Beast
We are not all born equal
the unfortunate ones
will never get into a fight
but the rest of us
have spent an entire lifetime
in the ring.
Failure after failure,
constantly getting off the mat
we continue to fight on
with a smile on our face,
asking for more
We are resilience.
We are intrepid.
We’re all in it together.
Just crabs together in a barrel
fighting to live,
living to fight.
We don’t seek refuge,
we seek the next battle.
This is the nature of the beast,
to piss off the Gods.
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