Philippines Buyer Alert: PETA Urges Retailers to Stay Away From Thai Coconut Products

Urgent Letters Have Been Sent to Top Supermarkets After PETA’s Investigation Reveals Suffering Monkeys Forced to Pick Coconuts for Major Coconut Milk Suppliers

Manila — PETA has rushed letters to SM Supermarkets, Sta. Lucia Supermarket, Robinsons Supermarket, Walter Mart, Rustan’s, and Landmark warning that they may be unintentionally selling coconut products from Thailand made by companies whose supply chains use and abuse monkeys. These include staple Filipino brands such as Jolly, Sunbest, and SM Bonus, which import gata from Thailand instead of using local Filipino coconuts.

PETA’s recent investigation into Thailand’s coconut industry revealed that high-profile producers whose products are exported around the world are using monkeys to collect coconuts.

In its letters, PETA points out that monkeys used in the Thai coconut industry are reportedly captured from their natural habitat as babies, which is illegal but virtually untraceable. Then, they endure excruciating training and are chained for extended periods, forced to climb trees to collect coconuts, and transported inside cages so small that they’re barely able to turn around.

The letters also note that enslaved monkeys often display stereotypic behavior: The investigative footage shows one monkey chewing on his own arms out of frustration, and an investigator learned that monkeys’ canine teeth may be removed if they try to defend themselves.

“Monkeys are curious, highly intelligent animals, but in the Thai coconut industry, they’re denied mental stimulation, companionship, freedom, and everything else that would make their lives worth living, all so that they can be used to pick coconuts,” says PETA Senior Vice President Jason Baker. “PETA is calling on all supermarkets in the Philippines to rid their shelves of any coconut products sourced from monkey labor.”

A list of PETA-approved monkey-free coconut products can be found here.

PETA’s letters are available upon request. Photos and broadcast-quality footage are available upon request.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETAAsia.com or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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