posted by Ashley Schaeffer Yildiz

An age of mass extinction is upon us. Driven by climate change, deforestation, agricultural expansion and corporate greed, we are seeing the extinction of species in record numbers. Rainforest Action Network’s campaigns are challenging the worst corporate actors for their role in this crisis, and now the new film Racing Extinction is adding to the global call to protect species.

About the Film

Scientists predict that the human footprint on the planet may cause the loss of half of the world’s species by the end of the century. They believe we have entered the sixth major extinction period in Earth’s history, following the fifth great extinction which took out the dinosaurs. Our era is called the Anthropocene, or “Age of Man,” because evidence shows that humanity has sparked a cataclysmic change of the world’s natural environment and animal life. Yet, we are the only ones who can stop the change we have created. The Oceanic Preservation Society (OPS), the group behind the Academy Award®-winning film THE COVE, is back with the new groundbreaking documentary RACING EXTINCTION. Joined by new innovators, OPS brings a voice to the thousands of species teetering on the very edge of life.

This highly charged, impassioned collective of activists is out to expose the two major threats to endangered wild species across the globe. The first comes from the international wildlife trade, and the dubious medicinal cures and tonics that are marketed to the public at the expense of creatures who have survived on this planet for millions of years. The second threat is all around us, hiding in plain sight. It is a hidden world of carbon emissions and acidified oceans that are incompatible with existing animal life. It is a world, revealed with state-of-the-art photographic technology, that oil and gas companies don’t want us to see.

Director Louie Psihoyos has crafted an ambitious film with a mission: to clearly and artfully pull into focus our impact on the planet, while inspiring us all to embrace the solutions that will ensure a thriving, biodiverse world for future generations.

Although the film highlights the role of many Asian companies in driving species extinction, it is essential that we also consider the huge footprint of American and European countries. U.S. and European mega-corporations are responsible for driving much of the deforestation and habitat destruction that is pushing the world’s most iconic wildlife species to the brink of extinction, and these companies need to be held accountable for the consequences of their supply chains. 

Take Action with RAN to Stop Extinction in its Tracks

One of the biggest factors influencing mass extinction is converting natural habitat into corporate-owned sites for food production.

Screen_Shot_2015-09-17_at_10.50.16_AM.pngNot all food is created equal. The industrial production of food, especially palm oil and meat, are major drivers of forest destruction, human rights abuse and climate change. Livestock production is the single largest driver of habitat loss in the world, and both livestock and feedstock production are increasing in developing tropical countries where the majority of biological diversity resides.

To make matters worse, the expansion of industrial agriculture is destroying intact rainforests across the globe, including key forest areas in Indonesia, Malaysia, Latin America and Central and West Africa. These forests are the homes of forest-dependent communities, countless species and are our planet’s best hope to stabilize our climate. At the frontlines of extinction is the Leuser Ecosystem, a 6.5 million acre biodiversity hotspot on the island of Sumatra in Indonesia. It is home to the last wild populations of critically endangered Sumatran orangutans, rhinos, tigers and elephants. Expansion of industrial palm oil plantations threaten the entire ecosystem, pushing species to the brink of extinction.

By challenging the worst actors and using our consumer purchasing power, we can hold industrial agribusiness accountable for its negative impacts on local communities, our climate and rainforests, including the Leuser Ecosystem.

Take action now to reclaim our food system from corporate control, cut Conflict Palm Oil from our food supply, and support a responsible, fair and climate friendly food system.

For more information, check-out RAN’s Responsible Food Systems educational platform.


Racing Extinction is coming to theaters September 18. Find a screening near you.

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We are facing another mass extinction.

Half of the world’s species are at risk of disappearing forever by the end of the century. @RacingExtinction, a new film by the Oceanic Preservation Society, exposes the hidden world of extinction through never-before-seen images. Watch the film in theaters beginning Sept. 18 and take action with Rainforest Action Network. Learn more at

New film @RacingXtinction exposes the hidden world of extinction. See the film and take action with @RAN.