Speak up for the rainforest

5 March, 2013 § Leave a comment

The Sumatran Orangutan Society are asking people to write to their MP to prevent the government giving subsidies to bioliquids for fuel since it is predominantly palm oil and to grow it in the necessary quantities will endanger even further critically endangered species like orangutans, leopards, Roloway monkeys, insects, plants, and lots of other good things! You just need to find your MP and use the template letter to ask them to help.

Please do, we can have power when we all stand together to stop this ‘greenwashing’ where we replace the harmful fossil fuels with far more planetarily destructive bioliquids.

Empowered monkey hugs

And we’re off!

27 February, 2013 § Leave a comment

We went to scope out the pub quiz at the Alto Lounge on Sunday and enjoyed listening to the quiz and seeing how many people were there enjoying the fun. We saw this on the wall so we know the competition is begun.


Kyle, Aoife and I have been through all the pens and pencils to check they are all working and sharp. I amazed myself with this amazingly long sharpening! I was really impressed, small things I guess. 20130226_224502

Really looking forward to tomorrow. Off for late-night baking now.

Hope to see people tomorrow between 4 and 6 at the Alto Lounge in Caversham for Monkey Biscuits and masks

Monkey hugs

New Years Revolution!

7 January, 2013 § Leave a comment

Hello monkeys,

I am just blogging to say that I have started a linked but separate blog for my attempt to have a healthier and cheaper year by being greener. It is called palmoilfree2013 or Is it easy being green? If you want to have a look and give me feedback I would like that.

Monkey hugs


Petition time!

20 November, 2012 § Leave a comment

Wild Futures, who hosted us on our recent trip to Cornwall, are always campaigning to improve the welfare of captive primates, whether they are performing animals in TV or film or pet monkeys. They are asking the government to make it illegal to keep primates as pets. To support this push to prevent any more wild extractions (like those we portray in the Muna the Monkey) and any monkey being kept in unsuitable conditions please click on the link and add your name to the list.

Secondly there is a petition encouraging the British government to demand the more responsible use of palm oil.

So those are our two issues that we teach about, so naturally I have signed both and if you have a minute it would be great for you to too.

Empowered monkey hugs

Talk Tonight at Oxford Brookes

5 November, 2012 § Leave a comment

Hello monkeys,

A long silence due to us taking a little break for personal reasons but we are back up and running now! Firstly an event. If anyone is around the Oxford area and wants to hear me talking a little about what MASC is and how it was set up then come to Oxford Brookes, Gypsy Lane Campus, Room something! I seem unable to find out which it is. If you are interested turn up at quarter to six and ask for the Monkey Monday or the Monday night seminar series. There should be people around to point the way!


Monkey hugs

Naughty Nutella

30 March, 2012 § Leave a comment

Ferrero the company that makes Nutella on their FAQs does a bit of written chicanery around whether they use sustainable palm oil. Below is the quote from their site:

Does Ferrero support responsible palm oil use?
Yes. As a member of the RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil), Ferrero only uses palm oil which is extracted from controlled plantations in Malaysia.

You see here they have said they are members of the RSPO (which plenty of companies are). Being a member only means you say that you support the concept of sustainable palm oil. It requires no commitment from the members in the form of actually using sustainable palm oil. Some members do, some members don’t. This is often referred to as green-washing. They have not stated that they use RSPO certified palm oil and it has been suggested that even when plantations are certified they may not be upholding the best environmental standards.

The phrase ‘controlled plantations’ is vague enough that it sounds like it means something when it actually has no defined meaning.

So my thoughts are ‘naughty Nutella’

Ethics vs Price

18 January, 2012 § Leave a comment

Once again I am struck by the eternal problem of price vs ethics. Only those who are very affluent can afford to make only ethical decisions. My partner and I are not particularly well off, one student and one casually employed technician, both working for a charity. We are both passionately driven conservationists. We can’t afford to only buy ethical things.

Wherever possible we buy local, ethical and particularly environmentally sound. This can add as much as a third onto our weekly shop. So what do you do?

Can you cut out things that are fairtrade and focus on organic? Should you focus on buying local food from Farmer’s markets or organic from a consumer giant like Tesco? Is it better to focus on ethical food and forget toiletries and clothing? Should you go and get things from the green grocer, butcher, baker etc separately or only drive to one place and get everything there?

Each person has to pick which things are truly important to them and allow themselves to have a treat from time to time. None of us can survive without filling the tank of happiness!

So the moral is, make ethical choices where you feel you can and let yourself off where you can’t

Monkey hugs

New Covent Garden Soup Company

14 November, 2011 § 1 Comment

Hello monkey-lovers,

Sorry for the little break in blogging. We have been recovering from the last lot of shows and getting lots of admin bits out of the way.

I don’t know if the reader is aware that the New Covent Garden Soup Company is doing a competition to win a farm! I decided that we really wanted it and I have started consuming soup like Augustus Gloop in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory!

I realised that although I had already assessed that most if not all (at least of their veggie) soups were palm oil free I had not as I should have, blogged about them long time ago.

So eat your fill of seasonal soups and if you want to win the farm then that would be amazing too!

Monkey hugs

Nestle vs palm oil-free? Ethical choices

8 October, 2011 § Leave a comment

In the recent spell of hot weather I found that Rowntrees Fruit Pastilles lollys are palm oil-free. Having previously been limited to Calippos, which I really love but feeling like a change I was left with a moral dilemma.

Should I buy a Nestle product (which I have been avoiding since I was a child) that is palm oil-free? Is it going to encourage a company with questionable ethical history to make me palm oil-free products or am I using it to salve my conscience? Or should I allow myself to have a treat that adheres to the largest of my ethical concerns understanding that you cannot, in this place and time, live a completely ethical life and that by making myself guilty about every purchase I am not helping anyone?

So in the end I bought it (and one for Aoife) and I enjoyed it in the sun and allowed myself to relax for an hour before getting stuck into some new exciting monkey projects!

Guilt-free monkey hugs

EU demand clear labelling of palm oil by 2015

8 October, 2011 § Leave a comment


Thanks to public campaigning and the work of charities like the SOS the Members of the European Parliament have voted in favour of clear labelling of palm oil in products from 2015. Read more.

Thanks so much for every bit of support you have given guys, signing petitions, writing to MEPs and avoiding palm oil, this is an amazing step forward to conserving rainforest across the world!

Jubilant monkey hugs

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