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.