Giant ‘Monkey’ to Hijack Whole Foods Grand Opening Over Thai Coconut Industry Abuse

For Immediate Release:
December 11, 2023

Sara Groves 202-483-7382

Madison, Wis. – Shoppers attending Wednesday’s grand opening of the new Whole Foods store in Madison will be confronted by an 8-foot crying “monkey” chained to a massive coconut as PETA pushes the grocery giant to stop selling coconut milk from Thailand, where the coconut industry is involved in a scandal over the forced labor of endangered pig-tailed macaque monkeys.

When:    Wednesday, December 13, 9 a.m.

Where:    In front of Whole Foods, 4710 Madison Yards Way, Madison

Monkeys used in Thailand’s coconut-picking industry are illegally snatched from their forest homes as babies, fitted with rigid metal collars, chained, whipped, and forced to climb trees to pick coconuts. Their canine teeth are often removed so as 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. Whole Foods sells coconut milk from several companies that were named by industry workers in PETA Asia’s latest investigation as having used coconuts obtained by monkey labor.

Credit: PETA

“Whole Foods’ refusal to stop selling brands tied to the kidnapping and abuse of endangered monkeys is particularly shameful coming from a company that claims to care about animal welfare,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA is urging Whole Foods to stop supporting this abuse.”

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, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, or Instagram.

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