Boycotting Palm Oil Whilst Eating A Steak

'Riau deforestation 2006' by Aidenvironment is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Rainforest Destruction

I’m here to clarify a few things and to put us all back on track.

This post is written as a polite response to a popular group on Facebook who shared my original post: Palm Oil: The Ethical Dilemma, who stated that is was perfectly okay to eat a steak so long as you don’t consume palm oil.

I want to first thank the group who shared my post. Thank you for caring about the rainforest destruction that palm oil causes, and thank you for sharing articles like mine to raise awareness of unsustainable palm oil’s destructive nature. However, the claim that you made about enjoying steak being fine completely undermines the message I was putting across in my article.

Eating a steak, or a burger, or even drinking a glass of milk whilst angrily boycotting palm oil on social media sends to me mixed signals. Let me explain how I see it. It would be like me buying a two minute shower timer for my shower, and telling everyone to use less water when washing. Sounds great, doesn’t it? Saving water, helping the environment? Well, imagine me also leaving my taps on all night after I’d gone to bed. All the water that I’ve saved from taking shorter showers in suddenly wasted, down the drain, whilst I sleep peacefully. And then imagine me telling people that if you took shorter showers then it was okay to leave taps on at night. Because I was already doing my part.

Doesn’t that sound absurd?

As I stated in my original post, 26 million acres of rainforest have been cleared to grow unsustainable palm oil. That sounds like a lot, and it is. But how much of the rainforest has been destroyed in the name of animal agriculture? 136 million acres. Suddenly the palm oil figures look rather meek and mild in comparison to this giant mess.

If you are an environmentalist, if you care about the biodiversity of our rainforests, you should not eat meat. Despite everything you’ve been told, the simple fact is that animal products are far more destructive than palm oil will ever be.

The point of my original blog post was to encourage people to be as kind to the environment as possible, and that means cutting the animal products. The secondary step is cutting out the palm oil. Whilst the post was aimed at anyone interested, I was looking to provide advice and information for vegans or vegetarians who wanted to do even more to help our planet.

If you walked away from reading my article feeling as though you could justify eating cows because you only buy sustainable palm oil, then I’m sorry, but that is not the message that I want to spread.

I don’t think people should feel guilty for their dietary choices either, especially if they’re uninformed. It’s just not a case of one or the other, here, and if it were, I would much prefer the world to be boycotting animal agriculture whilst consuming palm oil.

That being said I think it’s important for everyone to do the best they can with the situation they have! If you’re vegan but live in a place where it’s impossible to avoid unsustainable palm oil, then no hate. If you can’t cut out the palm oil completely but you are aware of the situation and try to avoid it when you can, that’s awesome. If you’re a vegetarian slowly reducing your dairy intake in order to lower your carbon footprint, then keep it up! I would never advocate anything other than veganism to people (in general), but I’m not a robot! I know that people have different struggles, different paths, different ways of adapting to change. You do you.

So I guess the summary of my blog post is… don’t advertise eating steak on an article of mine, don’t think that eating steak is justified because you boycott palm oil, don’t leave water on overnight, animal agriculture is damaging to the environment, palm oil is damaging too, everyone should try their best to avoid both eating animals and palm oil if possible, and finally: make the best of the situation you have.

You can read the original article here: Palm Oil: The Ethical Dilemma

Do you have any questions about going vegan or cutting palm oil from your diet? Feel free to leave me a comment, or send me a message on any of my social medias, linked below. Don’t forget to share this page and subscribe to the website for new content. You can also find me on YoutubeTwitter,Instagram, Google +, Facebook and Tumblr for even more!

Image Attribution

Riau deforestation 2006‘ by Aidenvironment is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

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