• Fri, May 20 2011

Girl Scout Cookies Are Killing Orangutans

Everyone loves Girl Scout cookies. This is a fact. There’s nothing like tracking down the one person at your office with a kid in the Girl Scouts so you can get your fix of delicious thin mints (especially good when stored in the freezer). But did you know that your thin mints habit is killing endangered orangutans? Cute, affable primates who have funny orange hair and can fashion crude tools from sticks? This is because they use palm oil, a delightful, buttery substance that can only be obtained by cutting down the besieged beast’s habitat. Two teenage scouts named Rhiannon Tomtishen and Madison Vorva know this, and now they are trying to change how the sweet treats are made. Via Jezebel:

“The Girl Scouts’ product manager insists that palm oil is the only ‘sturdy’ alternative to transfats. ‘Both of us were disheartened and upset,’ Vorva told The Journal. ‘But we also felt empowered that we could do something to change it.’ The girls now have the support of various environmental groups who are urging wider action to push the Girls Scouts to banish palm oil from their cookie boxes.”

Fuck, now I have to find an alternative to Earth Balance, which is also made from palm oil. I use it in place of butter in all my recipes, but it would not be very vegan of me to support the deaths of orangutans, now would it? It would be tempting to say that everything we purchase as Western consumers leads to the murder of something or someone, so why even try, but if you 1.) have a heart, and 2.) know the precise damage it’s doing, and to whom, it’s hard to ignore those facts. I guess my cookies are about to get a whole lot trans-fattier. Thanks, Rhiannon and Madison. And thanks, Girl Scouts, for teaching these young ladies to think for themselves. May you forever be punished with slightly crappier cookies.

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