It’s sometimes difficult to fully sympathise with a problem when it’s happening a long way away. It can seem so distant and unconnected to your own life, like it’s someone else’s problem, not mine. But when I read the new Greenpeace report on a certain fast food chain’s links to rainforest destruction in Indonesia, it brought it home to me that the actions I take, the decisions I make, have an impact on people and wildlife on the other side of the world.
It was one figure in the report that particularly struck a chord with me though; there are less than 400 Sumatran tigers left in the wild. That’s less than the number of people in my local pub on a sunny evening. And when they’re gone, they’re gone. Like the other two Indonesian tiger species that have already become extinct. And then there’s our own cousins, the orangutans, who face the same fate because of corporate greed and an easy buck to be made.
So when I had the opportunity to take action against a company who have a branch on my local high street, a company that’s connected to the destruction of these animals’ habitat, I jumped at the chance. Greenpeace have evidence that KFC have been sourcing the paper for their packaging from APP, who are responsible for massive rainforest destruction in Indonesia. 10 out of 13 KFC products’ packaging tested positive for mixed tropical hardwood – destroyed rainforest.
So four friends and I got together yesterday to confront KFC at their branch on Tottenham Court Road. We erected a giant KFC bucket featuring a chainsaw wielding Colonel Sanders, and the message that KFC is turning the rainforest into rubbish. Two of us dressed up as orangutans and handed out leaflets inside to staff and customers, and outside we were passing the message on to passers-by.
Every single person I spoke to was supportive of our campaign. Most people were really shocked that KFC were driving such destruction of the rainforests. We’re still waiting for a proper response from KFC, but in the meantime we’re going to keep up the pressure. You can start your own revolt against KFC here.
Neil is the volunteer coordinator of Camden Greenpeace. If you'd like to get involved in similar activities please get in touch with your local coordinator via the Greenpeace Getactive pages.