Alongside the John Lewis Christmas ad and the seasonal TV commercials that play across our screens, Greenpeace wants us to tune in to the important message contained within their own new and powerful animation: Monster.
If kids’ pester power really works, then the bosses at chains Tesco, Lidl, Asda, McDonalds and Nando’s had better watch out, too, because Monster‘s message could change the eating habits of millions.
The cartoon poem is part of the ecology group’s latest campaign against the destruction of the South American rain forests, where thousands of acres of jungle are cleared every week to make way for industrial-scale agriculture to satisfy western appetites for meat.
Over the weekend Greenpeace volunteers visited Tesco stores across south London, including at Thornton Heath, George Street and Saffron Square to raise awareness of the supermarket chain’s part in the destruction of forests like the Amazon.
Greenpeace say that Tesco is driving the rain forest destruction by selling more soya-fed meat than any British supermarket, much of it from companies owned by rainforest destroyers.
Sarah Hester, a Greenpeace member from Selsdon, said, “Threatened wildlife such as jaguars are losing their homes to deforestation, so that’s why we brought these magnificent creatures to Tesco stores.
“Ken Murphy, Tesco’s new CEO, needs to take urgent action to stop fuelling the destruction of forests like the Amazon. Tesco sells hundreds and thousands of tons of industrial meat, much of it produced by companies owned by rainforest-destroyers JBS.”
Greenpeace is calling on Tesco to replace half the meat it sells with plant-based food by 2025, and to cut ties with forest destroyers.
Greenpeace volunteers also delivered a letter from Greenpeace UK executive director John Sauven to the store managers calling on the company to act now to help drive real change to protect forests, nature and the health of our planet – starting by phasing out industrial meat.
The campaign has also used animatronic jaguars popping up near or by Tesco stores, and light shows which beamed on to the sides of buildings with Tesco’s famous slogan subverted to read “Every Little Harms”.
Devastating fires raged across Brazil this year consuming an area of the Amazon rainforest, Pantanal wetlands and Cerrado savannah the size of Britain.
An investigation by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and Greenpeace Unearthed released this week has linked retailers including Tesco, Asda, Lidl, McDonalds and Nando’s to fires on farmland in the Brazilian Cerrado. Greenpeace says, “These habitats are vital for threatened jaguar populations, globally important in the fight against climate change and, ever more crucially, key to keeping new, potentially deadly viruses contained.”
It is estimated that one species alone, the jaguar, has had 30 per cent of its global population endangered by the fires in 2020.
Earlier this month, the government announced a new “due diligence” law designed to curb deforestation in the UK supply chain. But rather than forcing retailers to end all deforestation in the food system, as they promised 10 years ago, the new law will only tackle deforestation deemed illegal in the country of origin, which will allow companies in this country to continue buying from those operating in places like Brazil, where the Bolsonaro government is systematically dismantling forest protection.
Tesco continues to buy meat from companies owned by JBS. JBS is the world’s biggest meat-packing company, which has been repeatedly linked to deforestation in the Amazon, as well as human rights violations.
“I’m horrified at the true extent of the devastation of forests like the Amazon caused by industrial meat production,” said Anna Orridge, a Greenpeace member from Sanderstead.
“Just like the little boy in Greenpeace’s Monster video, I know what to do – I will call on Tesco to play its part and stop selling industrial meat that’s driving the destruction of the homes of indigenous people and wildlife, and contributing to the climate emergency.”
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