Why Self-Care Matters in Activism with Roxy Furman




Roxy Furman is a wildlife presenter & filmmaker, zoologist, climate activist, zero waste market owner and so much more. What Carly appreciates about talking to Roxy is how clear it is that when Roxy sees a problem she sets out to work on it. Roxy and Carly talk about the importance of taking care of yourself, making individual changes, and work to fight issues on a systemic level as well.


Please note, this episode has been transcribed by a computer, expect some typos!


Carly Puch

Welcome back to another episode of consciously clueless. I'm your host, Carly. And I'll be your guide on this journey from consciousness to cluelessness and back around again. Today on the podcast, I talked to Roxy Furman. Roxy is a wildlife presenter and filmmaker. She's a zoologist. She owns a zero waste marketplace. She's a climate activist. And her Instagram is full of beautiful photography of animals. We had great conversation about how we need to make systematic change in order to make change on a global scale, how we need to own our privilege in that, and also how we need to take care of ourselves. Let's dive in. So thank you for joining me and, and being willing to be on the podcast today.

Roxy Furman

So right, thanks for having me.

Carly Puch

So the question I like to start with the podcast is called consciously clueless. And for me, that meant creating a place to explore everything that comes with trying to live this conscious life and be more aware of things. And then those moments where you just feel completely clueless and like you have no idea what's going on and everything in between. So I'm curious where you feel like you're at right now on that kind of scale, from consciousness to cluelessness. maybe today, maybe this moment.

Roxy Furman

You feel like at the moment, and like, towards the clueless end? Kind of a year ago, I thought I was like, I knew what trackers on and then you thought what I was doing to help. But then I guess over the past couple months, I've been really like rethinking everything and thinking about like, how much of an impact is this actually having? Kind of like thinking about ways that we can move away from kind of that Instagram conscious lifestyle to a more like actual global conscious lifestyle?

Carly Puch

What has made that shift in thinking for you?

Roxy Furman

I guess like everything that thing going on in the world from Coronavirus is everyone's way of life at the moment. I guess that time has kind of made us all, like kind of sit back and reflect on things. And then going on from that the whole Black Lives Matter movement. And the crisis and all of the refugees came to code England and some people's responses to that overhearing like shocking and the oil spill and the mechanic eruption in Sumatra. And I just feel like there's been like just a series of like, major, major events that normally in like the busyness of life, we kind of ignore, because we're in the position where we can ignore them. But now, like, when you're sitting around with not that normal business, these things kind of hit you harder, and you realize, like, wow, we are in such a privileged position. And how can we actually make a difference? That's going to make a difference to everyone. Not just like here in the Western world, where we have things pretty good anyway.

Carly Puch

Yeah, that's really interesting. I think something that you said earlier, the Instagram conscious versus global conscious, is something I've been thinking a lot about, too, and almost how, how you can do both? Or like, where is the line of kind of, I don't want to say do at all, but, you know, tap into that every day change and how that's connected to the global change. And I don't have a perfect answer. But unfortunately, it's definitely something to be thoughtful of.

Roxy Furman

Yeah, I think you're in a position where you can like, put your waste into a jar for a day. Great. but be mindful of the fact that not everyone can do that. And kind of being careful of like the messaging that you're putting out there as well.

Carly Puch

Yeah. Yeah. To not shame for not being able to do those things. I think, for me, specifically, a lot of what I've learned, and a lot of that is in due to the people I've talked to on this podcast, is the different perspective I had initially being vegan, and the position of privilege that I came from, and just wanted everyone to get on board, and I could not see why people would not. I just couldn't understand like, it's easy. What are you talking about? I don't know if you had that experience becoming vegan as well, kind of having that moment where you were like, Why isn't everyone doing this?

Roxy Furman

Yeah, I mean, part of me feels like that. There's some people were think why aren't you doing this? But no, yes, I'm globally. Like I was speaking to a lady who helps me with my business. and she lives in I can't remember where but a town in India, and she was saying any other day that a carton of oat milk cost the equivalent of $9. For milk, like she can't afford that I can't have I can afford that. Okay, here like that is not affordable, that's not a lifestyle that people can live and she was like, it's just not a viable option over here need to be drinking that milk, because that's not the system that's in place where she lives and kind of like realizing stuff like that makes you realize, we really are so lucky to be able to go and just get oat milk for the same price that we can milk from cows. And that's like a massive privilege to be able to even have that choice in our diet. Obviously, I still don't agree that animals should be farmed and suffering for, like human enjoyment. But in some places, it's not for human enjoyment, because it's not a choice, right, that you don't have any other option. Just realizing stuff like that really, like hits hard and makes you kind of step take step back and really think about the whole movement.

Carly Puch

Mm hmm. Definitely. And I think what you're getting at is the global peace, you know, so it's one thing for me to talk to my community or my friends about being vegan, and there are some, like you said, somewhere, you're like, Okay, you could totally do this, and you should, and that would be great. But the systematic issues, that global peace, that taking a step back and saying okay, this is more systematic about food, and food, injustice, and prices and inflation, and sometimes it's overwhelming, but then at other times, it feels comforting to kind of like, understand it a little more, if that makes sense.

Roxy Furman

Yeah, definitely. And I also think it was great to kind of like, take those moments, we do take a step back and think like, Well, I really have no idea. And like, I really need to keep learning and keep discovering all aspects of this topic to like properly be an advocate for animal activism, or climate activism or human rights or whatever it may be.

Carly Puch

Yeah, and to openly talk about it, if you have a platform. I think those are the people I really love following when they're like, oh, my gosh, I learned this new thing, that I had no idea and it's really important, and I was wrong, or I just didn't have all the information or whatever it is, or I just learned something new and I think it's valuable and I want to share it as well. So taking a step back on Instagram, you are the vegans who ologists Yes, right. So tell me a little bit about zoology.

Roxy Furman

Okay, um, so wisdom ology, I guess the question everyone always asked is like, does that mean you work in a zoo? No, I don't. So ology is basically just the study of animals and humans are included in that obviously. Basically, biology was my favorite science, but I found plants boring, which is now crazy because I'm houseplant obsessed. Sociology is literally just biology, but you didn't have to do the plant modules. Oh, that sounds nice. Yeah.

Carly Puch

Is that what got you into doing like wildlife filmmaking and photography? Was that kind of the insert into that world?

Roxy Furman

Yeah, so I started. Well, first of all, I started volunteering with loads of different NGOs and rescue centers. And then I went to university and did a four year degree in zoology. And then after the ology, I started getting in to presenting and bought my first camera. And then I kind of realized, like the power of photography, because like anyone, no matter what your background can see an image or can watch a video and they can understand it and like connecting the level. But in the science field, there are very few people you can just give a paper to straight away and they'll understand that even me with a science degree, I have to read papers like four or five times annotate them pull parts out, it's just not digestible. So photography was a way for me to kind of like bridge the gap between like something everyone could enjoy, but then that information that's kind of really important to get out there. And just kind of make people fall in love with animals and then want them to help save them because if you love something, you can't hurt it. Like my goal with my photography and filmmaking work. The

Carly Puch

photography you have on your social media is gorgeous. Thank you absolutely gorgeous. I mean that it was it was beautiful as kind of scrolling through through and looking back at stuff today before this interview, and some of those pictures are just like, you're right. If you love something, you're it's so hard not to connect to those images, which is really lovely, which is also a really beautiful way to look at it to that kind of bridging the gap, the universal language. So what kind of filmmaking have you done?

Roxy Furman

Um, so about a year ago, now, I went back to university to do a master's in wildlife filmmaking. And I did that at the University of Bristol, which is a course run in conjunction with the BBC and each year. But the stories that I tell are basically about either animals or animals, stroke communities that are maybe underrepresented in filmmaking, like not the big five that you see all the time, but like animals that we don't typically give a voice to, or give that time on screen. And also, my big goal is often watch your film. And it has a massive impact. But there's no like direct call to action after watching that, that moment in that is when you're like super emotionally invested in that subject. And you're really like, I want to make a difference. But then the film ends and you're like, Well, what can I do? So I really want to like, partner up with organizations in whatever film I'm making, and make sure that there's a follow up to any of the stories. I mean, everything's kind of been put on hold at the moment. But I'm waiting to go to Hungary, to film with the rescue that I got the dog from, and to make a film about the killing stations across Eastern Europe, basically let the unethical treatment of dogs. And I'm also waiting to get over to Sumatra to make a film about human wildlife conflict and kind of living as a woman in a world where you're surrounded by tigers, and elephants that your village and your partner and your family's livelihood and kind of finding ways to deal with that, in a way which but works for the people and for the animals as well. Oh, wow.

Carly Puch

Both of those sound amazing. Yes. But like you said, put on hold temporarily. Yes. Have you always loved animals? Like I feel like a lot of people in these types of fields tell stories about growing up and being young. And having that love really early on?

Roxy Furman

Yeah, I mean, that was never really anything else. For me other than with animals. I didn't know kind of what direction I wanted to go with working with animals. But animals were kind of always my passion. But I was six when I first said to my parents, I want to be a conservationist. We always like saved up to go on these crazy family holidays to see animals which was amazing and super lucky that I had parents that supported that and also had an interest in that. And when I was six, we went on a family holiday to Bird Island, which is the safe hills. And they do a lot of work with sea turtles there. And they basically release hatchlings from the nest and take them down to the ocean because it then cuts out that journey that they'd have to do where they be munched up by crabs or sea birds or other animals. And we went down to the beach to do this. And the conservationist, he was called Robbie. And he was like, Hey, everyone, wait here, I'll go and get the hatchlings and bring them back. And like little six year old me just kicked off my shoes and ran off to him. And he picked me up, put me on his shoulders, and he took me with him. And that was kind of the moment where I was like, Okay, I want to do this. You've inspired me.

Carly Puc

Oh, that's so beautiful that he was like, I recognize this passion and her.

Roxy Furman

And he's still there. I've like messaged him since like, you genuinely did change my life. And I know doing what I said I was gonna do.

Carly Puch

Oh, it's so lovely that you told him that too. Because I feel like so many of those moments probably happen and they go untold.

Roxy Furman

Yeah. And then like 20 years later, it does come back up in an email and he was like, what?

Carly Puc

That's amazing. Oh, that's so sweet. That's is that connected to being a climate activist? So like your climate activism? Where did that come from? And was it connected to your work with animals and I'm assuming

Roxy Furman

I live during my undergrad degree. Our lectures are always going on about the sixth mass extinction event. And what we're doing to animals and what we're doing blah blah blah. But they never actually like was straight up and got to the point about okay, this is because of how we're living our lives and we need to change it was always just it's like wishy washy thing. Obviously, because that's what that told the teachers because that's what the systems are in place, like no fault of theirs. But I was like, Why is no one talking about what the actual problem is? Like, why is this such a taboo to be like, we need to change? Why can't we just hold up our hands and say, Okay, we're wrong, we need to change. So that's kind of when I started learning more about veganism and climate activism and basically, like ways that we can get involved actually create, change, and use our voices and basically step up if we're in the position to do that.

Carly Puc

So both veganism and climate activism came from that undergrad experience.

Roxy Furman

Yeah,

Carly Puch:15:45

were there any specific insert points for either of those passions?

Roxy Furma

Um, well, I was brought up vegetarian. So it's kind of always mindful about like cod treatment of animals. But then kind of at university, I was like, well, if I'm calling myself a conservationist, I feel like I'm not doing enough if I'm not doing everything that I possibly can, in my lifestyle to kind of live in a way which supports that. And it was in a lecture, and I went into the lab, and it was for a dissection. There was literally like, 70 chickens on these lab benches like a chicken per person to dissect bearing in mind, like, we weren't doing any form of research, we weren't going to come up with a cure for cancer or whatever. This was just like, a practical to doing for fun. And I was like, I'm not doing that. And the lecturers were like, well, you have to do it. You're doing a test on this. If you don't do it, you can't pass the module. I was like, Yeah, I can. I'm gonna go watch it on YouTube. I'm not doing that. Like this is wrong. Went away, watch it on YouTube, came back and did the test. And I got full marks on the test. And I was like, see, you don't need to cut off animals. And then I was like, wow, actually, like, if you can put your foot down and take a stand with one thing, and show someone like, okay, things can change them. How can I expand to other areas of your life?

Carly Puch

So then, was that the moment after the chicken incident that you're like, I think, Keegan. Yeah. Okay, there's enough. Yeah, that sounds pretty jarring. So how is being vegan in the UK? Because I've talked to somebody else that was in the UK. And I think in the US, you know, in the last couple years, there's been like this dramatic uptick, and that has a lot to do with new foods, and I think better marketing in like the vegan world too, and you know, documentaries and all of that. So what is it like in the UK?

Roxy Furman

Yeah, it's definitely got a lot easier. Like even being vegetarian as a child, like doctors would give my mum leaflets like about why your kids need me and telling her like, she was a bad parent and all of this stuff. Wow. And we'd go to friends houses after school, my mom would say, Oh, by the way, you know, they're vegetarian if you're going to do dinner, maybe like what like how do we feed your child and my mom was like, it's fine just make the same meal but just take up the meat part for like, that's all you needed to change vegetables or pasture or whatever. Whereas now like in the past couple of years like it pretty much everywhere you go there's a vegan option that's a vegetarian option. That's like all I all now in the supermarket and people's mindsets is also massively massively changed. Maybe not quite there with veganism is still a bit like you're vegan I but like vegetarian is like so accepted here. Right? I feel like that same change will happen with veganism because even when I was first vegan, I had no friends that were and now I have like a whole community of friends that are vegan, and even my friends who aren't vegan, they're very much interested in open to it and open to learning about as well. I think that's kind of like the biggest change is just like being open to it.

Carly Puch

Yeah, definitely. I would agree with that. Just being able to see oh, okay, I've heard about this enough. I think I can at least entertain a conversation

Roxy Furman

about it. It's like shut you down either. Yeah. So then want to learn,

Carly Puc

right? So after becoming vegan, and that is when if I'm understanding right, you kind of started digging more into the environmental aspect as well because for me, I went vegan first for my health. And then it was like this domino effect of all the other things I became passionate about, but I truly was so ignorant to the intersection of Have food and environment before that?

Roxy Furman

Yeah, mine was mainly for environment. I mean, also because of animal reasons, but kind of realizing what we're doing to the planet was kind of my main reason for making the switch. And then I guess you only need one reason. And then you start becoming passionate about it. And then everything like, Oh, this is so good for your health or your sleep or whatever. And you just kind of get so into it. And it becomes all of the reasons Yes.

Carly Puch

Was it hard at first not having a community of vegans? Like, was there any pushback from family or friends or confusion? I mean, I guess you're a vegetarian. So you're, but still, even in that world? Sometimes there's some polarization

Roxy Furman

as well. I mean, I feel like the most difficult thing was with family actually, which should be the most supportive place, not with my like close family, my mum actually went vegan at the same time. So she was like, she is super supportive, super, super willing to learn and change. But like aunts, and uncles and grandparents would kind of always make comments. And most of the time, I just tried to ignore it. And then they'd kind of prod and prod and prod, and then I just dropped a little fact. And they'd be like, Oh, okay, she does that she know what she's talking about. Maybe we will leave that one there. And that kind of help. Because then I realized, like, if I am going to do this, I'm going to be questioned, and having background I can really use to my advantage and kind of like, learn all of the common arguments like, oh, we have canines. No, we don't have canines. But even if we did, every single mammal on earth does pretty much and hippos have the biggest canines, and they're vegan. It's like making sure I was like clued up, the way you get your protein from where you get an EEG is from like, so if I got any of those questions, I could like, answer it and answer it scientifically. And that kind of helped with any backlash that I got. And that was kind of my wave, then dealing with it.

Carly Puch

Yeah, I think that's a really good strategy to take, because it's so easy when you're passionate about something and you're being questioned to just go to a really emotional place, which I know has happened to me. But what you're describing is really just saying like, okay, understand, here's some facts. Yeah, that's probably an easier approach. So, from your Instagram, there was one picture that, like stuck out to me, you're holding a sign, and it said, our planet cannot sustain this system. And that, like just that phrase alone, I read it a couple times, because I was like, Yeah, this planet cannot sustain the system. Could you talk a little more about that? And like, what that means for you?

Roxy Furma

Um, yeah, so at the time, that was an extinction, rebellion protests, which was okay. I was involved a lot in. And I actually used to do the photography for them. Oh, wow, the Instagram. And basically, just the realization that, yeah, you can change your diet. Yeah, you can go plastic free. There are ways you can shop secondhand, whatever, you can stop flying so much. But if the systems don't change, we're not going to save the planet like that is, it's who we're voting for the people that are in power, the systems that are kind of filtering down through absolutely everything we do, even if you don't realize it, that's what needs to change. And there's, obviously if you are in the position to make lifestyle changes alongside that, like great and not saying, don't still do that, like I still try to reduce my waist is still to plastic, but the bigger picture is more important. And if you can do both sides of the things, if you can change your lifestyle and vote and push for systemic change, do both. But if you can only do one of them push for systemic change, because that's really what's going to make change for everyone, not just us as individuals or not just us in the western world who aren't yet feeling the impacts of climate.

Carly Puch

So what is you mentioned voting, what else do you think people can do? Because I think that's a common. That's more and more of a common thread lately of like, yeah, we need to change the system. But I think, especially if that's a new concept to you, it's a little overwhelming to be like, Okay, how so you mentioned voting, what else would you put on that list of like ways to help change the

Roxy Furman

system? Another big thing I'd say is actually sign petitions. I feel like there's all the sharing of petitions or these joining of movements, like I can't remember the exact statistics, but there was a study that I read about how many people posted the black squares on their Instagram, versus how many people actually signed the petitions related to that which was at salutely Shocking just taking the time to realize like it takes a minute if that to sign the petitions. And if they get enough signatures, that's actually going to create change, because then it has to take be taken to court legally. And that's like a really easy way anyone can set up a petition, anyone can create a campaign to get people to sign it. And that's something that you can all do really easily every single day, you could sit at your laptop for five minutes after breakfast and be like, right, I'm going to find some environmental petitions or whatever. And even if there's not a petition set up for that, write to your local MP, or write to an MP in another country and say, I think this is wrong. And this is how you could change it. And can we discuss this via phone call? Whatever. I guess, like realizing that you can reach out to people, even if you're seemingly, oh, I'm just a young girl from the UK, like, what can I do? You can reach out to MPs in wherever you want and say, Can we have a phone call? The worst thing they can say is no, we can't. Right. And the more that someone brings it up with them, the more that they'll start thinking, Oh, maybe this is something that I should listen to. And then I guess as well like realizing our power as consumers, not just in terms of like, okay, I'm only going to shop plastic free. But in terms of the actual businesses we're supporting, and choosing to support, I guess the big thing at the moment has been the whole boycott Oatly story, which has been going around on social media, which is kind of like a whole massive discussion, which you could go into in loads of debt. I obviously understand that here. We are in the position to be able to boycott early and choose other brands. But then, at the same time, like if you're boycotting Oatly, then I mean, here one of the things loads of people buy as, as Linda McCartney sausages, and then McCartney is, has unsustainable investors, or even things down to PayPal, which like pretty much everyone uses PayPal to send money abroad or pay for things online and papers, not the cool. So it's kind of like drawing the line and knowing like, everything you do in terms of like, what bank you use, what transfer you're using, what brands are supporting, that all has an impact as well.

Carly Puch

Yeah, that's a really good point. Because I think that's when it becomes a little overwhelming at first, when you're just like in that space where like, my bank, my car, my groceries, like nothing is safe anymore. But I think starting in one place, you know, and not trying to tackle it at all. And I'm saying that as someone who sometimes tries to tackle it all at the same time. But you know, I really liked what you said, like you could take five minutes and literally Google petitions that could be signed. So starting with one place on that list, I think that's such a good list, voting petitions calling your local government and being conscious consumers. I think that's what you said. And that is such a good list to start with. Yeah. And that will keep you busy. Right there. Yeah,

Roxy Furman

exactly. I think as well like remembering our power as individuals, I feel like in the society that we live in nowadays, it's so like numbers based and our is kind of like, almost put to followers or like your status. But like, if you think if you live in a household with your parents and sibling, like that's three people, and then they probably go out and talk to their friends, which could be another 10 People then like maybe they go to work and tell their colleagues like, you could easily get to like 100 People just by talking to people in your family. And I always like to think like, if you imagine standing in a room with like, everyone, you're connected to online, like say you're giving a talk to 200 people, you probably be quite nervous about giving that talk. Like that's a massive impact that you have. And if they just shared one of those people just shared it that can double it to 400 people and really realizing that like everyone else, every one of us has the power to really make change.

Carly Puch

Yeah, that's such a beautiful message because I think that can get lost when we're overwhelmed and feel like what can I really do? So remembering that our individual choices can make a global impact. Yeah, if we're intentional with them is a really beautiful message. It's a good reminder too, because it's just easy to feel lost. Sometimes like, what am I even really? How am I effecting change.

Roxy Furman

I'm like social media gets a lot of bad press. But it's kind of beautiful that you can like connect people anywhere across the world and like something that you may feel really strongly in, you talk to someone in another country, like across the world, and they're like, That can't work. You live in a bubble. And then you're like, Oh, okay.

Carly Puch

Yeah, it's so powerful, it's so amazing. It's a crazy, amazing tool to use and can also put forth an image that is damaging to some of those movements as well. So it's finding the accounts and people and conversations, you know, like what we're having that are just really authentic, you know, that, I think are really important. And at least what helped me in my growth,

Roxy Furman

Clay your feet, if something's like not serving you, as this, actually, I think it was a no meditation I was doing the other day. And it was saying about how like, in society, it's so accepted to like, go through relationships, like a boyfriend or girlfriend and kind of the relationship will end and someone will accept that. Whereas if you're ending, like a friendship, whether that be like an as an online friendship, like it's seen as really taboo, and like, oh my gosh, like, why would you cut that person off, but just like, remembering It's okay. And if like, you're seeing something on your feed that's bringing you down or not making you feel inspired, then unfollow, make your feed like it happy, inspiring place.

Carly Puch

It's so funny that you bring that up, because I record a solo EP, a short solo episode every week, as well. And then it comes out on Sunday. And Sunday's episode was literally about stay away from the people online that make you feel bad, that make you think they can solve all your problems, but don't talk about their own journey. Because I think there's a lot of that too. Like, I have all the answers. I am the guru. And then but there's no real conversation about their own journey on how they got there. I'm like, No, don't don't work with those people. Yeah. I totally agree. I've been doing a lot of that lately. Like, oh, yeah, I can just unfollow these people. That's okay. But you're right, it is not as accepted. That's fascinating. One other thing I wanted to touch on was that I guess I didn't realize until before was that you are the owner of this online marketplace. That's amazing. Can you tell me more about that?

Roxy Furman

Yes. So that was I actually set that up during my undergraduate degree as well. It was my final year whilst I was doing my dissertation. And I came down one day, and I was like, Mom, Dad, I'm gonna start a business. And they were like, Oh, God, like, can you just like finish your degree and like, do your dissertation. Like, I can't do this degree, and not like, feel like I'm doing something else like, help. So I set up Zephyr Ico market, which basically has like more eco friendly alternatives to mainstream products. And I also like support different charities every month. So that there's like direct action going towards conservation or human rights, as well as like, individual consumer choices as well. And it's just like a part time thing that I do alongside my wildlife filmmaking. But it's just kind of, I mean, we don't have well, now we do. But when I set it up, like we didn't have like a shop that you can go to, to just buy eco friendly products, you'd have to like find really niche places, and they'd all be like, on different sites. So I just wanted like one place where I'd like do the research and know that okay, stuff on here is actually legitimately ethical and vegan and palm oil free. Because often, like, even when I'm looking for products, and I'll say, Okay, send me through your ingredients list. And they would have said, it's vegan, or they would have said, it doesn't contain palm oil. But palm oil for like, for example, has over 200 different names. And like, actually, it does contain just not listed as palm oil. It's one of the other names. And it's like, doing that research that someone else doesn't have to do that every single time they want to make a more sustainable choice. That's so beautiful

Carly Puch:34:33

to have more of those spaces popping up where people can trust that those products are good without feeling like oh my gosh, you just want to buy a toothbrush, but I'm trying to be more conscious, and I did now I'm gonna have to research all these different places. But that's the thing that it takes away is that you don't have to do that work. Yeah, if there's a site like that, can you talk a little bit or briefly about palm oil because I haven't had that conversation with anyone. on the podcast yet, and I think it's a really important one that I'm surprised doesn't get as much mainstream conversation.

Roxy Furma

I think because it came up like 10 or so years ago. And now often people are like, Oh, that's been done. I know about that. But people often don't know about that. And you know, panels are really difficult topic, because if you're just purely looking at like yield for yield of palm oil versus another oil, like palm oil actually uses a lot less land and a lot less water to produce. But it has to grow in peatlands, which means destroying the rainforest. And it comes with massive human rights issues as well, which is what my films much would be focused on, like the human rights issues associated with palm oil plantation workers, like one of the women into out in Sumatra was earning like $5 a month for working on a palm oil plantation, like slaving away every single day to produce palm oil. And it's in everything now like food, makeup, the petrol, you're putting in your car, the oil used to produce your clothes, like everything now uses palm oil. And aside from the oil and the deforestation, because it's in peatlands, which are these like carbon rich rain forests, and basically, lots of carbon is stored in the peat, which is underground. When they remove the trees, that's obviously removing the carbon sink that would be otherwise taking the carbon out of the atmosphere, but they then also burn the land. It's called like a carbon bomb, where basically like all of this carbon that's stored in the peat is then released. And you can see it like when they're burning, there's just massive clouds of carbon being released. So it's not just the impact of trees being cut down, but it's also what you're then releasing from the ground that's been stored in these beautiful rainforests that are found nowhere else on earth. Wow. It's kind of a really complex topic with Phil needs to be like, brought up again and talked about more.

Carly Puch

Yeah, and I think the that description was probably the easiest to understand that I've ever heard, which was really helpful for me. But also, I think the thing I'm surprised doesn't get more attention which way you said it makes a lot of sense is when it became popular, we weren't having this kind of public conscious conversation. It was more of kind of an offshoot, but the animals that get displaced because of these things, or, you know, you see the pictures of I think it's a ring of things that are like burned and scalded from the burning of these rainforests. And I'm always surprised that that's not shared more, because I mean, talk about a way to get some to someone's heartstrings. And I see it, because I think I'm really intentional, like more and more with, like, what I'm seeing or who I'm following. But in terms of some of the other more global conversations, I mean, gosh, those pictures alone.

Roxy Furman

Yeah. And Ranga tangs have kind of been like the token species for palm oil. But you know, there are hundreds of different animals that live in these rainforests, as elephants as tigers as rhinos, and I felt like that whole topics really just not been delved into in, like, the wildlife and the diversity in these forests is incredible. Obviously, things are really like, iconic and we relate to them much easier because we narrate for conservation terms, which is like a whole story about the marketing of conservation minds of cute they

Carly Puch

did you say the science of cute? Yeah. Oh, interesting. I've never heard that.

Roxy Furman

Basically cute animals sell and they're like conservation favorites. So if you want to save Borneo, you're talking about the Ranga Tang or if you're talking about wildlife in China, it's the panda. Whereas, like, if I was talking to you about like some frog that was sent to me too big and the rainforests of Borneo, people tend to not care as well.

Carly Puch

That's so interesting, but so true. And even just what you were saying, like all I could think of even though I know more things live in the rainforest, and I have some knowledge on this topic. My first thing was like the array of things. So like, even someone who you know, I like to think of myself on that journey to consciousness, and, and growing and learning like, I couldn't have named a lot of other species that are upset by the palm oil industry just because it's just not the same kind of conversation. So interesting. Thank you for that, because that was super helpful for me, I think I can better explain it to others now. Just being conscious of your time, speaking of consciousness, before we kind of wrap up, I'm just curious, with all the work you do, which all sounds really amazing and inspiring, but it also sounds really taxing because you're learning a lot about what's going wrong, right? And like doing all this work, because of all these issues, so what do you do to kind of slow down and take care of yourself?

Roxy Furman

Um, well, kind of like, alongside all of my science, I've always done dance. And I've kind of moved a bit away from dance now and do more like training in terms of like gym training or here. But also yoga and meditation and journaling and eating clean food and drinking lots of water. You know, all of this stuff that people always tell you to do, actually does make a difference. And yes, I kind of my morning routine, kind of, whenever it gets thrown off, I feel completely different as a person. And I think just having those healthy habits like help to keep your mind healthier as well. And like, if you're in a good space, where, you know, you've woken up with natural light, and you've gone for a walk and you're drinking water, and you're just like taking the time to like have a slow morning like we actually would how we evolved to be as humans. If then when you finally sit down to check your emails, or you check the news, and you see something, oh my God, that's horrible. You're in a more of a state where you can emotionally deal with that. And processes emotions better. And I think emotional intelligence really helps you then deal with, like, everything that's going on in the world as well. And knowing that, like, it's okay to be sad, it's okay to be angry about what's happening because it's shit.

Carly Puc

Oh, four, that is the least of my worries. Absolutely. Because it's the truth.

Roxy Furman

Yeah. And like, I feel, often we're taught, you know, you can't be sad, because there's someone that's in a worse position, you know, they've lost someone they loved or whatever.

Carly Puch

But we play that like oppression Olympics. Yeah.

Roxy Furman

Or you can't be angry, because angry is like this evil emotion that we feel that's like, some negativity on to it. But learning that like, it's okay. It's just how you express that or how you deal with it, that problems can occur. And, yeah, I mean, we're living in a world where it's hard. And we're hearing hard and horrible stuff all the time. And if you aren't in a place where you can deal with that, it's going to affect you. So just like taking the time to like, work on yourself as much as you're working to fight for a better cause.

Carly Puch

That's a really good, good message for all of us, especially activists to remember. Is there anything that you want to share that I haven't asked you or haven't given you space to share?

Roxy Furman

I don't think so. I think you've done a good job. Awesome. I will put

Carly Puch