Throughout the Forest Heroes campaign, Michiganders have been picking up the pen (or powering up the laptop) to send letters to the editors of various local newspaper, urging the company to cut ties with Wilmar, the palm oil giant that has proven the world’s biggest driver of tropical deforestation and tiger extinction.
Here are a couple recent and noteworthy letters, including one that extends an thoughtful comparison to the wonderful Dr. Seuss tale, The Lorax.
The latter was just published on Wednesday in the Battle Creek Enquirer, Kelloggs’ home town paper. In the letter, Battle Creek resident R. Heubel compares Wilmar to the Once-ler, the infamous clearcutter of the popular children’s book (and regrettable film adaptation).
The destruction of the rainforest habitat by companies like Wilmar reminds me of the Dr. Seuss story, “The Lorax,” written in 1969.
In Seuss’ story, the character called the “Once-ler” (our Wilmar) discovers a fantastic tree, the “Truffula” tree.
The Once-ler goes about producing many goods — “thneeds” — from the Truffula trees and selling “thneeds” far and wide.
The Once-ler says, “But business is business and business must grow, Regardless of crummies in tummies, you know.
“I meant no harm. I most truly did not.
“But I had to grow bigger. So bigger I got.
“I biggered my factory. I biggered my roads.
“I biggered my wagons. I biggered the loads, of the Thneeds I shipped out. I was shipping them forth, to the South! To the East! To the West! To the North!”
In today’s language, we would call the above “unsustainable developement.”
And we would call that an incredible letter to the editor!
Just as wonderful was one penned by Mark Rey, Executive in residence at the Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability at Michigan State University, and published in the Lansing City Pulse. Mark succinctly explains the problems with palm oil, and calls out Kellogg for its uniquely influential position to change the procurement policies from palm oil brokers like Wilmar.
To see a whole lot more recent media about Forest Heroes and the special Cereal Bowl action at the Kellogg’s headquarters, check out this recent post.