General Mills: What’s in My Breakfast that’s Killing Orangutans?

By Rainforest Action Network

Thanks to over 700 activists from across the country who signed up to participate in two separate weeks of action targeting General Mills’ cereal brands, thousands of grocery store shoppers now know not to buy Cheerios, Lucky Charms, Trix, or any of the company’s other brands that contain palm oil, unless they want to knowingly contribute to killing orangutans!

Check out some of the best photos from the Palm Oil Week of Action!

Here are some hi-lights from the field:

Willow in Minneapolis, Minnesota:  Dressed in our Sunday’s best, a group of faith-based leaders and community members took a stand against our home town neighbors General Mills and their palm oil supplier, the Cargill family and corporation, in front of a local Minneapolis grocery store on Easter.  We took photos petitions of grocery shoppers holding messages to General Mills, including Minnesota State Senator Linda Berglin!

Michelle in Melbourne, Florida: At my son’s 5th birthday party we had a pinata. We gave each kid at the party a beach bucket to collect the prizes. Inside each bucket we taped the Lucky Charms RAN information card. We felt this was a great way to get the information out to dozens of families.

Kids learn at 5th Birthday party that General Mills kills orangutans to make Cheerios!

Kati in San Francisco, California: I thought making fun Orangutan masks would be a good way to get people to pose for photo petitions and make people curious about what was going on! I took a photo of an Orangutan getting back at General Mills cereal and educated people in front of the store.

Naomi in Houston, Texas: My high school environmental studies club had so much fun during the first palm oil week of action that for the next one we hit the grocery store front and made a splash with photo petitions!

Lamar High School students generate petitions to General Mills

Michelle in Olmstead Township, Ohio: I placed RAN’s Lucky Charms “Magically Destructive” educational postcards next to all the cereal boxes in the cereal isles as a different approach to raising awareness.

Carol in Trinidad, California: I took all the materials to Arcata’s Plan It Green on Saturday and handed them out at our “Locally-Delicious” table. Many, many young parents chatted and took materials.

Michelle in San Antonio, Texas: I went to my local Target parking lot and handed out flyers, talking to a great many people as they were crowded for the holidays.  As usual most people were not aware that General Mills is serving dead orangutans and forests to children around the world. I was very well received by shoppers!

Julia in Canmore, Alberta, Canada: I stood out front of several grocery stores and passed out the Cheerios postcards hi-lighting that each spoonful contains rainforest destruction, as well as put them up on community boards across town.

Erik in Minneapolis, Minnesota: Dressed as a concerned orangutan homeless due to General Mills’ cereal operations, I meandered around a Lunds grocery store parking lot, speaking with consumers about the devastating impacts that palm oil expansion have on my home. Shoppers were happy to see an orangutan visit them in their city, but were sad and troubled to hear that products in their grocery store were causing global warming, species extinction, and exploitation of native forest peoples. They joined in asking General Mills to switch to responsible and sustainable palm oil!

Homeless orangutan, thanks to General Mills, at Lunds in Mnpls

Joan Barrera in Albuquerque, New Mexico: We educated hundreds of cereal-loving students on the campus of the University of New Mexico where our reception provoked a lot of interest!

Ruby in Reno, Nevada: With help from a friend, I passed out postcards at Savemart and Raley’s. We talked to the manager of Savemart and gave him some info. He said he was interested in doing something about it and was glad that we talked to him.

April in San Marcos, California: My son Robert and I set up a table in front of the Ralphs store to help bring awareness to the community about General Mills. We had the petitions out on the table for custermers to sign. Our goal was to let people know that big corporations like General Mills need to change and stop making us responsible for their rainforest destruction by continuing this practice of buying from the agribusiness Cargill.

Cereal-loving children begging General Mills to stop killing orangutans!

So…what’s next?

Hundreds of children across the U.S. participated in an Earth Day poster contest, creating masterful pieces of art telling General Mills that although they love cereal, they’re not willing to sacrifice the rainforest and all its species in order to eat it!

Here is an example of a submission from a 1st grader in New Jersey:

“To General Mills:

Please stop cutting forests for your profits. There is always another way. Do your employee’s kids know about it? If no, what do you tell them? You know what you are destroying. Please make a turn in right direction we are never late.  On one side we tell our kids to plant trees and on other side you are destroying nature. You are the one responsible for climate change. You still have a chance before it’s too late.

From Diya Patel, Grade 1. Ventnor, New Jersey”