As Consumers and Retailers Learn About Torment of Captured Civets, Vile ‘Luxury’ Coffee Made From Beans Picked From Feces Loses Appeal
For Immediate Release:
October 30, 2013
Jakarta — There’s more than just the fact that kopi luwak, or civet coffee, is made from berries that have been eaten and excreted by civets to turn off consumers and retailers from the Far East to Western Europe. That’s because People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Asia has been circulating undercover video that shows the civets in their tiny, filthy cages incessantly pacing, spinning, biting the bars, and bobbing their heads—all indications that the wild-caught animals are going insane from boredom and depression. In addition to more than 50,000 consumers in dozens of countries who have taken PETA’s pledge not to buy the vile product, some of the world’s major hotel chains and biggest retailers have stopped selling it, including the Grand Hyatt in Singapore; the InterContinental, the Langham Hotel, and the Mandarin Oriental in Hong Kong; and the iconic Harrods chain of department stores in the U.K.
“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 result of animal abuse supports that abuse, which is why consumers and major corporations worldwide are refusing to have anything to do with civet coffee.”
Although some farms advertise their beans as “wild-sourced,” many contacts told PETA’s investigator that producing large amounts of coffee from exclusively wild sources was not possible. In the wild, civets frequently climb trees to reach the ripe coffee berries, but in captivity, they are fed more of the 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 told the investigator that some civets don’t survive after they are released back into the wild.