Greenpeace U.K. has teamed up again with creative agency Mother to create a moving animated short which shines a light on an important ecological issue. Having previously collaborated on the viral hit palm oil deforestation spot Rang-tan in 2018 (narrated by Emma Thompson and animated by Passion Pictures), the partners have now delivered a striking new piece: There’s a Monster in My Kitchen, beautifully animated by Oscar-nominated Irish studio Cartoon Saloon (Secret of Kells, Song of the Sea, Wolfwalkers).
The short was created to draw attention to the devastating impact of industrial meat production on forests like the Amazon, with the support of Paul, Mary & Stella McCartney’s Meat Free Monday campaign. Brazilian actor Wagner Moura, who plays the drug lord Pablo Excobar on Netflix’s popular drama Narcos, was tapped to narrate this sequel.
“There are few more incredible and precious places on earth than rainforests like the Amazon. Yet many don’t know that the meat and dairy products sitting in our refrigerators could be responsible for the fires and chainsaws devastating the Amazon and other vital forests. Meat companies continue to clear forests at an astonishing rate, all to produce the meat in our kitchens. We need to take action before it’s too late,” Moura commented. “I’m so pleased to be working on this crucially important film with Greenpeace. This fight has never been more urgent. Together we can stand against the industrial meat companies razing our precious forests. I hope this film inspires many more to join our mission to protect forests.”
In There’s a Monster in My Kitchen, we see a child sneak downstairs for a late-night snack, only to be confronted by a dark, supernatural-looking creature. Frightened and confused, we hear Moura narrate the boy’s thoughts about the “monster in his kitchen” before the beast steps into the light and is revealed to be a normal jaguar, who explains the devastation wrought by the “monster in his forest” — the meat farming industry. Our young hero resolves to eat more plant-based meals and “assemble all the warriors” to fight deforestation. (There even appears to be a Paul McCartney cameo in a brief protest scene!)
In the launch announcement, Greenpeace points out that, as of the end of September, 226,485 sq. km. of land (almost the size of the U.K.) had burned across Brazil. The Amazon has seen the worst fire season in a decade and 2020 has seen record-breaking fires in the Pantanal, the world’s largest wetlands (per INPE). The production of meat and livestock feed is the biggest driver of deforestation worldwide, the org says. This destruction is catastrophic for Indigenous Peoples, who often face violence as ranchers and land-grabbers seek to take their land, and is a threat to the global climate and to wildlife. Out of an estimated population of 2,000 jaguars, approximately 600 have been put in danger due to the fires in the Pantanal.
“Meat is the biggest driver of deforestation in the world. It is vital for people across the world to know what’s at stake along with the future of our forests. In less than 20 years, the Amazon may collapse and this is being driven by the lack of action by global companies to prevent the meat they are selling from coming from deforested and burned areas,” said Rômulo Batista, from Greenpeace Brazil. “The effects of the Bolsonaro government’s anti-environmental agenda are confirmed by the increase in deforestation, forest fires and violence in the countryside, which has also been having a negative impact in the country’s economy.”