So, if you are the type of person who drinks coconut milk because you think this is a wholesome and healthy activity, you may need to reconsider.
Some coconut milk suppliers apparently rely on the heavily abusive Thai coconut industry, wherein captive monkeys are exploited for their labor. Once such brand accused of forcing chained monkeys to pick coconuts for them is Chaokoh.
Go-Go's singer Belinda Carlisle, who now lives in Thailand, has written a letter on behalf of PETA to Cincinnati-based grocery giant Kroger asking them to drop Chaokoh from their stores — a move recently made by Walgreens, Giant and Food Lion. She has also sent letters to Costco and Albertsons.
"These monkeys are denied everything that makes their lives worth living," Carlisle writes. "Handlers put metal collars around their necks to make it easy to control them. Every day, they're forced them to climb tall trees and twist heavy coconuts until they fall off. When they aren't working, these intelligent animals are usually kept chained on barren, trash-strewn patches of dirt."
You can read the full letter below.
W. Rodney McMullen
Chairman & CEO
Dear Mr. McMullen,
I'm writing on behalf of my friends at PETA and its 6.5 million members and supporters worldwide to ask that Kroger join Walgreens, Giant, Food Lion, and other chains that have dropped coconut milk brands Aroy-D and Chaokoh because of their use of forced labor by captive monkeys. You can read about the case in this CBS News story.
I have been an active PETA supporter since my band, The Go-Go's, launched PETA's "Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur" campaign 30 years ago. I'm also active in Thailand, where I have lived for many years—and where PETA's new case was uncovered. When I saw that PETA Asia's investigation revealed that some coconut growers here chain wild monkeys and force them to pick coconuts, I knew I had to contact the few companies in my native land that haven't yet dropped these two cruel brands.
These monkeys are denied everything that makes their lives worth living. In "monkey schools," they're taught to pick coconuts by means of abusive training methods and are often made to do tricks to entertain tourists as well. If they try to defend themselves, their canine teeth may be yanked out. Handlers put metal collars around their necks to make it easy to control them. Every day, they're forced them to climb tall trees and twist heavy coconuts until they fall off. When they aren't working, these intelligent animals are usually kept chained on barren, trash-strewn patches of dirt. They pace and circle endlessly out of frustration and desperation. After a while, they begin to lose their minds.
Since PETA Asia released its investigation, more than 25,000 stores have dropped Aroy-D and Chaokoh, and customers around the world are boycotting these brands because of their connection to animal abuse. Won't you please reconsider your relationship with these companies? I look forward to your response.