Cheers to the Rainforest Action Network for its efforts to remove conflict palm oil from America’s snack foods. The organization launched a national campaign in September with a protest at Chicago’s Board of Trade, during which it publicly named 20 snack food companies that use palm oil, one of the world’s leading causes of rainforest destruction and a major threat to the survival of endangered orangutans.
But it didn’t stop there. Following the protest, RAN staffers hit the road for the “Power is in your Palm Tour.” They travelled to 14 different cities in 55 days through the Midwest and East Coast, stopping at the companies’ headquarters. Why did they go to the effort of bringing along a huge orangutan suit, eating truck stop food, sleeping rough, and leaving their homes and families?
Staffers said they did it because it matters, because orangutans deserve a voice and because they won’t let these companies hide from the damage that they are doing to the planet.
The “Snack Food 20” group of companies are: Campbell Soup Company; ConAgra Foods, Inc.; Dunkin’ Brands Group, Inc.; General Mills, Inc.; Grupo Bimbo; Hillshire Brands Company; H.J. Heinz Company; Hormel Foods Corporation; Kellogg Company; Kraft Food Group, Inc.; Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Corp.; Mars Inc.; Mondelez International, Inc.; Nestle. S.A.; Nissin Foods Holdings Co., Ltd.; PepsiCo, Inc.; The Hershey Company; The J.M. Smucker Company; Toyo Suisan Kaisha, Ltd.; and Unilever.
Jeers to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which is planning another brutal roundup of wild turkeys in Staten Island in spring 2014.
Write to the New York State Department of Conservation:
Michael V. Schiavone
Certified Wildlife Biologist
NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation
Division of Fish, Wildlife, and Marine Resources
625 Broadway, 5th Floor
Albany, New York 12233-4754
And sign this online petition.
The wild turkeys of Staten Island have roamed freely since 1999, when a local resident freed nine wild turkeys, previously kept as pets, at the South Beach Psychiatric Center near Ocean Breeze, N.Y. The turkeys have multiplied into hundreds and even survived Superstorm Sandy.
On Aug. 12, 2013, USDA agents rounded up wild turkeys on Staten Island for slaughter. The "capture removal" operation started early in the morning, carried out by personnel from the USDA wearing blue T-shirts marked USDA, according to eyewitnesses. Using pellets to attract the birds into large black nets, "they were picking the turkeys up by their necks and feet, and throwing them into plastic crates," one psychiatric center worker, clearly upset by what she had witnessed, told the Staten Island Advance. The birds were piled four crates high in the back of two white pickup trucks, "and then they just let them sit," she said.
The United Poultry Concerns and Friends of Animals are asking people to protest the slaughtering of these wild turkeys so they can be permitted to go to sanctuaries that have offered to take them.