Orangutan - WHY? takes aim at the wanton destruction of the Indonesian rainforest by multinational corporations and farmers who slash and burn large swaths of forest killing everything in their wake. They do this to replant this cleared land with Palm plantations for the sole purpose of worldwide consumption of palm oil. Laws have been enacted to prevent this from happening, but the practice continues. Perpetrators are slapped on the wrist. These wealthy conglomerates can simply buy their way out of any trouble. This is the land of the Orangutan one of the most sophisticated and intelligent primates on the planet. As the largest tree dwellers on Earth, Orangutans are a keystone species and in many way indicate the health of the entire rain forest. They provide an irreplaceable service to the rain forest as well through fruit eating and seed dispersal. They are very close to us on the evolutionary scale. They use tools for a variety of reasons, they understand sophisticated language and they express emotions much the same as we do. We are losing one of our closest relatives on the planet because consumer demand for palm oil is worth more than the Orangutan. Certainly, we are better people than this. These are sentient beings and they simply deserve our respect without reservation. Say no to palm oil until there is an unfettered worldwide commitment to an ethical, sustainable Palm industry.
Artist: Rob Whitehair
Digital mixed media: Pencil on Procreate, Photoshop, Acrylic