Iceland Foods’ Orangutan Ad Is ‘Too Political’ And Maybe That’s The Point

Iceland Foods’ Orangutan Ad Is ‘Too Political’ And Maybe That’s The Point

Nothing is "too" political if you can handle the truth.


Palm oil.

Two destructive words. You may not see the impact but it is real for other populations.

Orangutans are being wiped out due to deforestation and habitat destruction.

This is the result of human activity.

This is the result of ignoring the reality of our actions.

There's no doubt that human activity has had a negative impact on the world and there is no doubt it is reaching alarming levels and showing no signs of slowing down. Yet, many people don't like to talk about the negative realities of human activity. Whether it's because they themselves don't see the impacts, or they are in denial about what is happening or simply don't care, turning a blind eye is a dangerous alternative. This leaves people uneducated about their impact on the planet and how to mitigate these results to ensure a long-lasting world for future generations. At the end of the day, it is not about the individual. It is about the collective human experience and preserving our time on earth for as long as possible. In the end, turning a blind eye will never lead to different results and will perpetuate current trends. Change is always possible but people have to be willing to face the truth and change their habits.

Non-profit organizations are in the best position possible to educate and inform wider populations about the impact of certain human actions and their consequences on the environment. Without receiving funding incentives, non-profits educate people for the benefit of education, where for-profit companies aren't as inclined to do so. This also puts non-profit organizations in a position to keep for-profit companies accountable for their actions.

Iceland Foods, a UK-based supermarket company partnered with Greenpeace to release a Christmas campaign focused on a video about deforestation and the impact on orangutans. This video was originally produced by Greenpeace, but after receiving permission to release it as a Christmas ad, Iceland used it to draw attention to their latest initiative: removing palm oil from its own-brand foods. Palm oil, a vegetable oil from palm trees is found in items ranging from shampoos to biscuits and chocolate.

The video is an animated short featuring an orangutan rummaging through a little girl's room out of curiosity. Of course, this upsets the little girl so she tells the orangutan to leave. Disheartened by her lack of empathy and understanding, he reveals the reality of his life to her. Through flashbacks we see him escaping from the grips of heavy machinery tearing down his home, taking his mom too. Frightened, he left and found the girl's home hoping for refuge. The orangutan is a critically endangered species as a result of deforestation.

Clearcast, the body governing TV ads in the UK, deemed the ad 'too political' and banned it on the ground of "political advertising."

In my opinion, this was not a justified ruling. The only way someone would know of the advertisement's connection to Greenpeace would be by investigating the ad after seeing it on TV. Iceland removed all signifiers of Greenpeace because it was being used to promote the supermarket's goal to remove palm oil from its products. Even so, this ad bears no political undertones.

It is a cut and dry explanation of the impact on orangutan populations as a result of deforestation for palm oil production.

Facing the facts may not be easy or pleasant, but is absolutely necessary to enact change.

Popular Right Now

I'm The Girl Who'd Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

You raise your protest picket signs and I’ll raise my white picket fence.

Social Media feeds are constantly filled with quotes on women's rights, protests with mobs of women, and an array of cleverly worded picket signs.

Good for them, standing up for their beliefs and opinions. Will I be joining my tight-knit family of the same gender?

Nope, no thank you.

Don't get me wrong, I am not going to be oblivious to my history and the advancements that women have fought to achieve. I am aware that the strides made by many women before me have provided us with voting rights, a voice, equality, and equal pay in the workforce.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Who Would Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

For that, I am deeply thankful. But at this day in age, I know more female managers in the workforce than male. I know more women in business than men. I know more female students in STEM programs than male students. So what’s with all the hype? We are girl bosses, we can run the world, we don’t need to fight the system anymore.

Please stop.

Because it is insulting to the rest of us girls who are okay with being homemakers, wives, or stay-at-home moms. It's dividing our sisterhood, and it needs to stop.

All these protests and strong statements make us feel like now we HAVE to obtain a power position in our career. It's our rightful duty to our sisters. And if we do not, we are a disappointment to the gender and it makes us look weak.

Weak to the point where I feel ashamed to say to a friend “I want to be a stay at home mom someday.” Then have them look at me like I must have been brain-washed by a man because that can be the only explanation. I'm tired of feeling belittled for being a traditionalist.


Because why should I feel bad for wanting to create a comfortable home for my future family, cooking for my husband, being a soccer mom, keeping my house tidy? Because honestly, I cannot wait.

I will have no problem taking my future husband’s last name, and following his lead.

The Bible appoints men to be the head of a family, and for wives to submit to their husbands. (This can be interpreted in so many ways, so don't get your panties in a bunch at the word “submit”). God specifically made women to be gentle and caring, and we should not be afraid to embrace that. God created men to be leaders with the strength to carry the weight of a family.

However, in no way does this mean that the roles cannot be flipped. If you want to take on the responsibility, by all means, you go girl. But for me personally? I'm sensitive, I cry during horror movies, I'm afraid of basements and dark rooms. I, in no way, am strong enough to take on the tasks that men have been appointed to. And I'm okay with that.

So please, let me look forward to baking cookies for bake sales and driving a mom car.

And I'll support you in your endeavors and climb to the top of the corporate ladder. It doesn't matter what side you are on as long as we support each other, because we all need some girl power.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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To Donald Trump: Thank U, Next

Look what you taught us.


What Donald Trump taught me is that it is not essential for the president to care about his country. Con-artistry goes a long way when communicating with people who are tired of the same political jargon.

His simple-minded but outlandish promises convinced people significant change was coming. Donald Trump taught me that never again do I want a president to be thought of as "one of us."

Instead, I want someone smart, ethical and who has taken a basic civics course — someone who will take care of minorities and make those in dire situations a priority instead of stock market prices.

I want a president that doesn't brag about sexually assaulting women. I want a president that doesn't go on social media and blame homicide victims for not being armed. I want a president that doesn't complain about money when people are dying and losing their homes in a massive fire.

However, with that being said, I also want to give thanks to Trump. Because of him, the next generation sees how crucial it is to get out and vote. Most of your elders probably never spoke to an LGBTQ person, but you and your siblings grew up with LGBTQ friends, and you would never want them to be treated any lesser than you. You grew up with women dominating television. You grew up under the leadership of an African American president. You grew up in a world that was changing.

Some people don't like change, but you are the future, and it is your decision what you want that future to be. So thank you Donald Trump, for being the last big push Americans needed to completely change a world that was once dominated by violence and hate crimes. However, I think most of us can agree we are ready for what's coming next.

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