Prominent western markets have begun to remove Thai coconut products from stores amidst controversy that the coconuts were harvested by monkeys treated under inhumane conditions.
The People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), stated that the monkeys are stolen from the wild, and then made to become laborers, trained to pick-up at least 1,000 coconuts a day.
The advocates for animal rights lambasted the pigtailed macaques’ treatment and stated that they’re treated like “coconut-picking machines.”
The Thai companies alleged to utilize monkey-laborers are two of Thailand’s best-known coconut milk brands: Aroy-D and Chaokoh.
“Following Peta Asia’s investigation, more than 15,000 stores will no longer purchase these brands’ products, with the majority also no longer buying any coconut products sourced from Thailand monkey labor.”
A spokesperson from Tesco, a giant foreign retailer, said:
“Our own-brand coconut milk and coconut water does not use monkey labor in its production, and we don’t sell any of the branded products identified by Peta.”
“We don’t tolerate these practices and would remove any product from sale that is known to have used monkey labor during its production.”
Several store chains in the UK followed suit, disavowing monkey-labored coconuts in their markets.
PETA also stated that they had found eight farms in Thailand where monkey-laborers are prevalently used.
The animal-rights group has also discovered “monkey schools” – establishments with the sole purpose of training monkeys.
The group said:
“The animals at these facilities — many of whom are illegally captured as babies — displayed stereotypic behavior indicative of extreme stress.”
The animal rights advocates, on the issue of monkey-labor prevalence, stated:
“Peta is calling on decent people never to support the use of monkey labor by shunning coconut products from Thailand.”
Source: Bangkok Post