There's a monster in our kitchens: Greenpeace's new campaign to save the Amazon

Jon Deery discusses the message and impact of Greenpeace's new campaign

Jon Deery
14th November 2020
Late at night, a child wanders downstairs into his kitchen. As he opens the fridge, he finds that there’s a monster lurking in the shadows behind him. It’s growling at the meat in his cupboards, and it’s slashed at his beef stew. But as the boy gulps in fear of the creature, it steps into the light, and he sees that, actually, it’s not menacing, but melancholy. The boy sees fires in this jaguar’s eyes, sees that it has lost its forest to human machinery. He realises that the real monsters are the people who robbed this animal of its home.

That is the simple story of Greenpeace’s new campaign video, called ‘There’s a monster in my kitchen.’ A sequel to their successful campaign ‘Rang Tan’ (which was eventually bought and used by Iceland before being banned from television), this new two minute cartoon intends to raise awareness of deforestation. Specifically, deforestation’s current main driver: industrial meat.

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

By 2030, according to Greenpeace, the livestock sector is expected to single-handedly destroy our chances of meeting the Paris agreement’s 1.5ºC target for global warming. This one sector alone will produce almost half (49%) of the total quantity of greenhouse gases humans can produce before we move beyond the maximum safe temperature increase. 

2020 has seen the highest levels of deforestation in the Amazon for a decade.

This campaign comes as the latest fire data from Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research shows that an area almost the size of the UK has burned in Brazil alone this year. 2020 has seen the highest levels of deforestation in the Amazon for a decade.

Greenpeace are not only calling on individuals to eat less meat, but are running various petition campaigns to large corporations, demanding that they stop sourcing meat from JBS (the largest industrial meat company in the world), and replace 50% of their meat and dairy products with vegetarian alternatives by 2025.

"These forests are incredibly important, for the Indigenous Peoples who call them home, for their unique wildlife and for the health of our planet."

Anna Jones, Head of Forests at Greenpeace UK, said: “We need urgent action now. These forests are incredibly important, for the Indigenous Peoples who call them home, for their unique wildlife and for the health of our planet. To protect forests it’s time to turn away from industrial meat… This film shows powerfully just why our future depends on eating less meat and dairy.”

The film is being supported by Sir Paul McCartney’s Meat Free Monday campaign, and McCartney himself said: “as Greenpeace’s ‘Monster’ animation so powerfully shows, these forests are being cleared at a shocking rate to farm more industrial meat and dairy… we need supermarkets and fast food restaurants to clean up their supply chains and make the switch to less destructive, plant-based alternatives. Our forests – and all our futures – depend on it.”

Moura’s involvement in the project has also boosted the campaign’s effectiveness in Brazil, where the majority of the Amazon’s destruction is taking place.

The cartoon has a world-class production team. Narrated by Brazilian actor Wagner Moura (Narcos, Elysium), and produced by four-time-Oscar-nominated studio Cartoon Saloon, this animation is extremely well-crafted and emotional. Moura’s involvement in the project has also boosted the campaign’s effectiveness in Brazil, where the majority of the Amazon’s destruction is taking place.

2012 Greenpeace protest against deforestation

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Greenpeace speakers, the volunteers who deliver presentations for Greenpeace about their major campaigns, were delighted with this cartoon. Youth speaker Meg Allin says: “I love the simplicity of it; it doesn’t try to delve into every issue, just tackles the heart of the issue. I think the cartoon work is gorgeous and means the campaign is suitable for a variety of audiences.”

‘There’s a monster in my kitchen’ currently has 1.7 million views on YouTube, and is being shared across Facebook and Instagram. Their petition to ‘Tell companies to stop buying from forest destroyers’ currently has 62,389 signatures (and counting). This looks to have been a huge success for the NGO, at a moment when industrial meat-related deforestation is more of a threat than ever.

Featured Image: Wikimedia Commons

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