Monkeys Abusing Coconut Milk: Asking These Grocery Chains To Stop Supporting Forced Monkey Labor


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Update: June 17, 2021
Food giant Kroger has suspended purchases of Chaokoh coconut milk following PETA’s campaign and investigations into forced labor of monkeys.

Update: May 11, 2021
Supermarkets Raley have joined Albertsons, Target and Costco in ditching Chaokoh after PETA heard about monkeys working in its supply chain.


Monkeys were forced to collect coconuts for milk?

Many kind people choose coconut milk over cow’s milk because they don’t want to support animal cruelty. But PETA Asia’s troubling investigation reveals that frightened young monkeys in Thailand are being held in chains, brutally trained and forced to climb trees to harvest coconuts, which are used to make coconut milk, meat, flour, butter and other foods.

In 2019, PETA Asia researchers visited eight farms where monkeys are forced to harvest coconuts, including for one of Thailand’s main coconut milk producers, Chaokoh, as well as several monkey training centers and a coconut harvesting competition. On each of them, they documented that these sensitive animals had been abused and exploited.

PETA Asia researchers returned in 2020 in response to claims from the coconut industry and the Thai government that monkeys are no longer used to export products. PETA Asia found monkeys are still in use, and that Chaoko and the Thai Ambassador to the United States not only failed to take meaningful action to end the use of forced labor of monkeys, but advertise a deceptive and inadequate audit system to lie. to companies and consumers about the extent of forced labor of monkeys in Thailand’s coconut industry.

Many monkeys, usually pigtailed macaques, are illegally abducted from their families and homes when they are still very young. They are equipped with rigid metal collars and are kept on chains or leashes for a long time.

Photo of a trainer holding a monkey on a chain

Wild pigtailed macaques live in large family groups. Women stay with their families for life. Mothers take great care of their babies and babies rarely leave their mother in the first weeks. Although they can move silently through tree tops, pigtailed monkeys have a wide range of sounds and vocal cues to communicate over long distances.

When forced to pick coconuts, they are denied the freedom to move around, socialize with others, or do anything else that matters to them. These intelligent primates are slowly losing their minds. Driven to despair, they walk and circle endlessly over the barren, garbage-strewn patches of dirt to which they are chained.

Grocers take a stand

Despite warnings about the ugly origins of Chaokoh’s coconut milk, major grocery chains Publix, Jewel-Osco, Save Mart, Woodman’s Market and Tony’s Fresh Market continue to sell these products.

This refusal to take a stance against animal cruelty contrasts with over 28,000 other stores that have pledged not to buy items from Chaokoh, and most of them will not buy any coconut products derived from monkey labor in Thailand

Grocery chains all over the world are in the position. The Walgreens Boots Alliance, with nearly 10,000 stores in the US, UK and Thailand, is committed not to store Chaokoh products or knowingly sell coconut products or beverages of Thai origin under its own trademark.

Target, Costco, Wegman’s, Super King Markets, Cost Plus World Market, Food lion, HEB, Sears, Nam Daye Moon, ShopRite, as well as Smart and final in the US and Albert Hein in the Netherlands changed their purchasing decisions after learning of the violence associated with Thai coconut products.

No tropical paradise

Other coconut growing regions, including Brazil, Colombia, and Hawaii, harvest coconuts using humane, non-animal methods such as hydraulic lifts mounted on tractors, volunteer tree climbers, rope or platform systems or ladders, or they plant dwarf coconuts. trees. Research has shown that these methods are better than using monkeys, which cannot distinguish ripe fruits from unripe ones, and ripe coconuts get bruised when animals drop them on the ground.

Coconut water usually comes from bonsai grown coconuts, including the Nam Hom variety, so they don’t require monkey labor to harvest. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that monkeys won’t be used. However, PETA has confirmed that Harmless Harvest is among the companies that do not use monkey labor to produce coconut water.

Photo of a monkey chained to a tree


Please, the next time you shop for groceries, if you see Chaokoh coconut milk on the shelves, talk to the store manager and ask him to reconsider his relationship with these brands. Use the form below to contact the management of the grocery store chain to let them know how you feel.

Personalized emails always work best. Feel free to use the sample letter provided, but keep in mind that your letter will carry more weight if you write your own message and subject.

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