PETA Investigation Reveals Cruelty, Fraud In Civet Coffee Trade
Wild-Caught Animals Suffer Physically and Go Insane in Barren Cages So Beans Can Be Obtained From Their Feces
For Immediate Release:
October 17, 2013
Jakarta — With some beans fetching several hundred dollars a kilo, there’s more to get over than the price when considering a cup of kopi luwak, or civet coffee, which is made from the beans of coffee berries that have been eaten and excreted by Asian palm civets. A PETA Asia investigator who visited several civet coffee farms in Indonesia and the Philippines—two of the world’s top producers of kopi luwak—documented civets who were confined to filthy, barren cages. Undercover video footage (view it at: PETAAsiaPacific.com) shows how the civets also exhibit neurotic behavior such as incessant pacing, spinning, bar-biting and head-bobbing—indications that the wild-caught animals are going insane from boredom and depression.
Although it would be nearly impossible to sustain a viable enterprise by collecting the beans from civet feces in the wild, some of the farms advertise their beans as “wild-sourced.” Two Indonesian farmers who caged civets told our investigator that they’d be able to manufacture coffee bearing the “wild-caught” label, and one presented the investigator with a sample already bearing this label. Many contacts told our investigator that producing large amounts of coffee from exclusively wild sources was not possible.
“Although unappetizing, drinking coffee made from beans that were plucked from feces isn’t the most revolting aspect of civet coffee,” says PETA Asia Vice President of International Operations Jason Baker. “Purchasing a product that’s the direct result of animal abuse supports that abuse, which is why PETA is asking consumers to boycott civet coffee.”
In the wild, civets frequently climb trees to reach the ripe coffee berries, but in captivity, they are fed more of the ripe fruit than would ever be natural for them. One farmer explained that civets are generally kept caged for a maximum of three years before being released back into the wild and that the stress of confinement and lack of nutrition cause them to lose their fur. Another farmer compared civets eating too many coffee berries to humans smoking as the civets’ health deteriorates greatly during captivity because of lack of vitamins and nutrition. The same farmer also told PETA’s investigator that some civets don’t survive after they are released back into the wild.