For Immediate Release:
January 17, 2024
Nicole Perreira 202-483-7382
South Windsor, Conn. – A whole lot of monkey business is going on at Whole Foods’ grand opening at The Shops at Evergreen Walk as PETA supporters draped in chains and wearing monkey masks and prisoner garb dump humanely picked coconuts outside the store to condemn the chain’s continued sale of Thai coconut milk, even though it knows that Thailand’s coconut industry is driven by the forced labor of endangered pig-tailed macaques.
Coconuts are dumped outside a Whole Foods store. Credit: PETA
“Whole Foods’ continued sale of products implicated in the abuse of an endangered species is particularly appalling coming from a company that claims to care about animal welfare,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA is calling on Whole Foods to live up to its values and sell coconut milk only from countries where monkey labor isn’t used, including India, Indonesia, and the Philippines.”
Many monkeys used in Thailand’s coconut-picking industry are illegally snatched from their natural habitat as babies, fitted with rigid metal collars, chained, whipped, and forced to climb trees to pick heavy coconuts. Their canine teeth are sometimes pulled out in order to leave them defenseless. Because the industry and the Thai government lie about their systemic reliance on forced monkey labor, it’s impossible to guarantee that any coconut milk from Thailand is free of it. Multiple companies that produce coconut milk sold at Whole Foods were named by industry workers in a PETA Asia investigation as having used coconuts obtained by monkey labor. HelloFresh, Purple Carrot, and Performance Food Group stopped sourcing coconut milk from Thailand following PETA Asia’s exposé.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—points out that Every Animal Is Someone and offers free Empathy Kits for people who need a lesson in kindness. For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, or Instagram.