Victory! Following several PETA Asia investigations and nearly 100,000 e-mails from PETA supporters, meal-kit business HelloFresh has confirmed that it will remove Thai coconut milk products from its supply chain, which is the only way to guarantee that they weren’t produced via forced monkey labor. Monkeys exploited for Thai coconuts are kept chained and tethered on trash-strewn patches of dirt and are forced into a lifetime of labor picking coconuts, so this is a huge win.
HelloFresh had previously denied its use of coconut milk tied to forced monkey labor, citing flimsy assurances from Thai coconut milk producers. PETA Asia has shown time and time again that the Thai government and coconut milk producers in Thailand can’t be trusted not to lie about abusing monkeys in coconut milk production. The group’s latest heart-wrenching investigation showed that HelloFresh was profiting from the fruits of forced monkey labor in its meal kits, despite having known for years the circumstances of Thai coconut milk production.
Since the Thai coconut industry continues to lie, the best thing anyone can do to help the monkeys it abuses is to avoid supporting companies that source canned coconut milk from Thailand.
A Lifetime of Forced Labor for Monkeys
Monkey suppliers are reported to illegally abduct most of the macaques used in the Thai coconut milk industry, tearing them away from their loving families and natural homes. Then their victims enter a living hell.
Handlers put rigid metal collars around the animals’ necks and use chains and leashes to choke and control them. Through months of physical abuse and punishment, they’re coerced into submission. Their canine teeth may be removed so they can’t defend themselves, and investigators learned that monkeys may incur injuries from falls and animal bites. They’re kept chained on barren, trash-strewn patches of dirt or in cramped cages, often without access to food, water, or adequate shelter. Many monkeys endure extreme mental distress from the forced captivity and abuse.
Keeping Up the Momentum
There’s no way to guarantee that coconut milk from Thailand didn’t come from forced monkey labor. In light of HelloFresh’s move away from Thai coconut milk, PETA is calling on Whole Foods to drop it, too, and choose one of the many available alternatives instead. There’s no legitimate excuse for continuing to support forced labor of any kind.