Thank You, We Did It! Palm Oil Tour Highlights

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Tour kickoff at the Chicago Board of Trade. See all the photos at http://flic.kr/s/aHsjM69Bna

Tour kickoff at the Chicago Board of Trade. See all the photos at http://smu.gs/1904WG2

Wow, what a whirlwind the last 2 months have been! November is here and Melanie and I are finally home in San Francisco after being on the road for the RAN “Power is in your Palm” Tour. A lot of people have asked “Why?” Why did we hit the road, why sprint through 14 different cities in 55 days through the Midwest and East Coast? Why would we go to the effort of bringing along a huge orangutan suit, eating truck stop food, sleeping rough, and leaving our homes and families?

The answer is simple. We did it because it matters. We did it because orangutans deserve a voice. We did it because we’re not going to sit back and wait for the Snack Food 20 to eliminate Conflict Palm Oil voluntarily. We took our message directly to the companies, delivering RAN’s scathing report on the impacts of Conflict Palm Oil. We went on this tour because we won’t let these companies hide from the damage that they are doing to the planet, we won’t let them greenwash their practices, and we will make absolutely sure they hear us, see us, and know that we won’t stop.

Was it worth it? Absolutely. There are so many highlights that we couldn’t possibly share them all, but here’s a few. We’ve also put together a slide show of our favorite moments here.

  • We met hundreds of incredible activists who came with us to deliver our message, hosted house parties, took #InYourPalm petition photos with us, and came to our events. Thank you so very much! Your passion inspired us to keep going every day.
  • Dozens of activists in orangutan masks joined us at the Chicago Board of Trade to kick off the campaign RAN style with a huge banner reading “Snack Food 20: Cut Conflict Palm Oil, not Rainforests”
  • We were invited to Power Shift, where we were honored to speak to the five thousand students and youth climate activists from the main stage, showing our video and compelling this wonderful group to take action.
  • HUNDREDS of you took action on the Facebook pages of the Snack Food 20, making sure that the demands of our visits to their headquarters were echoed loudly and clearly.

As we wrapped up this long journey across the country, we reflected on all the inspiring people we met along the way. It is abundantly clear that the Palm Oil Action Team is bigger, more powerful and more diverse than we ever imagined. We are, you are, mothers, fathers, girl scouts, high school and college students, food justice, climate change and animal rights activists, educators and more—it’s this diversity of passions, skills and interests that makes us powerful. We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us and together we have accomplished some fantastic work so far.

We want to thank everybody who has helped us along the way – every one of you. None of this would have been possible without the dedication and kindness of the Palm Oil Action Team! We especially want to thank: Zhe-Yu Lee, Janet Lipner, Margaret Kran-Annexstein, Eva Resnick-Day, Ben Sayler, Steve Plummer, Mike Melampy, Jose DeArteaga, Sydney Johnson, Kitty McIlroy & “the Sams”, Kate Kenner, the staff at Oxfam America in Boston, Dan Sherrell, Susan Rubin, Debra Mahony & her family, Valerie Peckham & the Philly Zoo Staff, Kevin Starbard and the hundreds of other folks who joined us at events and deliveries on the road!

We are going to win the fight on Conflict Palm Oil… I promise you! Thank you for standing with us every step of the way.

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