Deforestation & Palm Oil

Javan Rhinoceros Sculpture, Critically Endangered Specie, Stéphanie Kilgast
Javan Rhinoceros Sculpture, Critically Endangered Specie, Stéphanie Kilgast


Climate change and the environment are getting back into my artwork, as I decided to work on deforestation.
As a starter, the deforestation of the Indonesian rainforests. (yes they are more than one)
Those rainforests have been destroyed by humans massively.
To be precise, 50% of the total of Indonesian forests has been lost in just 50 years.
Largely due to corruption and the palm oil industry.

One of the direct victims next to the very well known orangutan, is the javan rhinoceros. This beautiful animal only counts 60 individuals as of today.
It is impossible to predict if we can reverse that tendency, but we can at least try to preserve one of the hotspot of biodiversity on earth : the Indonesian rainforests.

Oh no! Here comes the palm oil blabbing again!
But it’s serious business. It’s the cheapest oil on the market right now, and also easy to work with, so it gets a lot of love from industrials.
Since the demand is so big, the palm oil plantation replaces quickly the original rainforests.
Killing many unknown species of the plant and insect kingdoms and critically endangering bigger animal like the orangutan, the javan and sumatran rhinoceros, the sumatran tiger, the sumatran elephant and tons of smaller less advertiser-friendly animals like birds and rodents.

So yeah, it’s pretty bad.

As an easy solution, I would highly suggest to make your best to avoid products that contain palm oil.
And there are a lot of these out there : soap, lotions, shampoo, but also industrial pastries, breads, biscuits and crackers. It’s unfortunately everywhere. To know which products to avoid, you can use
However the more people realize the damage this high demand of palm oil is doing to our world, the more brands avoid it. And you can see more and more products pop up, proudly stating « without palm oil ».

So why would you care anyway?
Imagine your house, where you are living, buying palm oil products is basically putting your house on fire.

Not a fun subject, I reckon, but we are at a critical moment in history. We know humans have too big of an impact on the environment for decades now, we are now physically seeing the impact on the earth.
If there ever was a time to panic and act, it is now.
No point in being sad about it, get angry, act, protest, raise awareness. Change your habits, change your way of living, consume less, consume less meat, if you can go without meat, do it, if you can go vegan, go for it! Avoid palm oil and double check what you buy. Buy with a conscience.
We might still be able to make a change, however we clearly can’t count on our governments right now.
We need to stick together and make the best out of it.

Speed Sculpting

I also recorded how I sculpted the javan rhinoceros head. And I talk a little about the whys of this project of there too.
So in case you’d like to watch, here it is :

Thank you for taking the time to read and listen and I hope I’ve inspired you to take some action.


Javan Rhinoceros Sculpture, Critically Endangered Specie, Stéphanie Kilgast

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