'What do we know about orangutans?' I ask my little one. 'They live in Indoneeeeesia and we can't let people cut down their trees because then they'll have nowhere to live and that hurts their feelings,' my daughter replies. ‘Certainly does,’ I say. My best girl and I chat about palm oil and how humans cut down orangutans oil palm trees to extract the liquid from the fruit found on the tree branches.
Palm oil is a type of vegetable oil used in lots of food and household products like crisps, biscuits, shampoo etc. It's quite a big subject for a four-year-old to comprehend but after a few moments she begins to see how important it is that we don't buy things with palm oil in it, unless it's been sustainably sourced. This means reading the ingredients label for everything. 'Only olive oil crisps as a treat from now on,' I say. 'Ok...as long as it helps orangutans like Sophie and her baby Yellow. Maybe I could look at the labels with you too Mummy?' she replies. 'That would be good reading practice - excellent thinking Rose,' I say in conclusion.
My daughter coloured in the balloon, grass and tree using pens after I’d sketched this for World Orangutan Day, 19th August 2018.
If you're interested in finding out more, you might like to visit http://www.orangutan.org.uk or watch this two minute visual poem read by Emma Thompson https://variety.com/2018/digital/news/emma-thompson-greenpeace-orangutan-palm-oil-rang-tan-1202904471/