For Immediate Release:
December 15, 2023
Brittney Williams 202-483-7382
Sarasota, Fla. – Whole Foods’ continued sale of Thai coconut milk, even though it knows that the Thai coconut industry is driven by the forced labor of endangered pig-tailed macaques, has earned the grocery giant an international rebuke, so PETA “monkeys” in prisoner garb will dump wheelbarrows of humanely picked coconuts outside the Whole Foods store on First Street on Tuesday.
When: Tuesday, December 19, 12 noon
Where: Outside Whole Foods, 1451 First St., Sarasota
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.
Chained “monkeys” in prisoner garb dump coconuts outside a Whole Foods store to blast the company’s continued sale of Thai coconut products. 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.”
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview.