Orangutan Is Spoken Here!
Besides drawing, I have a SUPER INCREDIBLE LARGE LOVE of the great apes (orangutans, gorillas, chimps). One of my students, Phoebe A., (a different, but equally fabulous Phoebe than I posted about yesterday!) started taking drawing lessons from me last year. She wants to become an animal biologist and learn how to study and draw animals “in the field”. As you can imagine, this initial goal for her drawing lessons really got my attention!
Why I’ve Sworn off Items Containing Palm Oil
Phoebe and I got to talking about our love of orangutans when she asked me to buy Girl Scout Cookies from her this spring. I told her I really wanted to support her, but I don’t buy their cookies because they use palm oil in their recipes. Palm oil plantations are being planted in place of the native jungles of Borneo & Sumatra after the jungles are destroyed. When the jungles are destroyed, my friends the orangutans have no place to call home. This fact breaks my heart, so I’ve sworn off all the good stuff (candies, cookies, crackers, soap, etc.) that contains palm oil.
How Phoebe Took Matters Into Her Own Hands
Phoebe A., being the compassionate girl that she naturally is, took this matter to heart. She’s written to approximately 20 companies to ask them to stop using palm oil in their products. Phoebe has written poetry about the destruction of the rainforest. On top of that, she’s stopped using products that contain palm oil (imagine her willpower at only 11 years old!). She’s gotten the attention of Richard Zimmerman, founder of Orangutan Outreach, a friend of mine (I’m OO’s newest board member!). He has put her poetry on his website: http://redapes.org/young-supporters/phoebes-orangutan-poems
Kids like Phoebe A. give me hope that some of the most beautiful parts of our planet will not only be cherished by future generations, but hopefully, they’ll also record that beauty by drawing it. Her steadfast actions make me wonder, what more can I do?