Animals form the largest of the natural world's five kingdoms, with nearly 2 million different animal species having been recorded and new animals are still constantly being discovered. Animals are the most varied living things on the planet and you would think so after having evolved and adapted to their surroundings for more than a billion years. Different levels of animals from prey to predators, and from those animals that live on the sea bed to those animals that rule the skies, all make up the animal kingdom.|
Despite the fact that the evolution of animals came after the evolution of other living species, animals are now the dominant form of life on Earth. Two main reasons why animals have taken over, are the fact that animals can move, and that animals are successfully able to adapt to changing environments in order to continue surviving successfully.
Throughout this section, we look into what sets animals apart from other living organisms and from one another. We will also look at their behaviour including how they communicate and interact with others; their anatomy including skeletons, senses and movement; the habitats in which they live; and the conservation that is being done around the world to try and protect them.
Palm oil and it's derivatives are the product of the oil palm tree which is cultivated extensively all around the world particularly in Malaysia and Indonesia. Today it is found in roughly half of all of the products on supermarket shelves with this industry having single-handedly contributed to the fastest rates of deforestation in south-east Asia over the past few decades.
The problem with palm oil is obvious on the surface: ancient, biodiverse rainforest is cleared meaning that the wildlife in these conservation sensitive areas has no food or shelter and therefore disappears, with the extinction of numerous iconic species such as orang-utans becoming a horrendously realistic prospect within the next decade.
Until December 2014, it was impossible to tell what products actually contained palm oil as it was labelled as a vegetable oil on ingredients lists, but with help from the A-Z Animals Palm Oil Campaign, legislation has since been passed to ensure palm oil is now labelled as such within the EU, and also Australia. Now though we do have a real choice but is a total boycott the way forward?
Well, what many people fail to realise is that although it may be possible, it is actually quite irresponsible. If for some magical reason the production of palm oil ceased to continue then the problem would simply move to other oil types such as soy or coconut oil, which require almost identical growing climates as the oil palm.
If you want to help to protect the rainforests and the animals that inhabit them then the best thing to do is to actively support the use of sustainable palm oil in products as this oil has been grown and produced in a way that is regulated and has less harmful environmental impacts than the majority of the palm oil that is on the market today. It is important to remember that if sustainable palm oil does not have the support, then it will stop being produced completely taking the situation right back to square one.
Save the rainforest. Save the orang-utan. Save the world.