Belinda Carlisle ‘Go-Go’s’ After Costco: Reconsider Ties With Monkey-Abusing Coconut Company

PETA Exposé Reveals That Monkeys Are Chained and Forced to Pick Coconuts for Major Coconut Milk Supplier in Thailand, Where Carlisle Lives

For Immediate Release:
August 11, 2020

Contact:
Moira Colley 202-483-7382

Seattle – Go-Go’s singer and longtime PETA supporter Belinda Carlisle has just sent a letter on PETA’s behalf asking Costco—whose headquarters is in Issaquah—to reconsider its relationship with coconut milk supplier Chaokoh, which was recently implicated in PETA’s exposé of monkey labor in the Thai coconut industry. Walgreens, Giant, Food Lion, and other chains have already dropped the brand.

Carlisle, who has lived in Thailand for the last several years, writes, “These monkeys are denied everything that makes their lives worth living. … 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.”

Since the release of PETA’s exposé, more than 25,000 stores have pledged not to purchase products from Chaokoh, and the majority will not buy any coconut products derived from monkey labor in Thailand. Carlisle has also written to Kroger and Albertsons to ask them to follow suit.

This month, Showtime debuted a critically acclaimed Go-Go’s documentary, and the group just released its first single in two decades.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org.

Carlisle’s letter to Costco follows.

W. Craig Jelinek
President, CEO, and Director
Costco Wholesale Corp.

Dear Mr. Jelinek,

I’m writing on behalf of my friends at PETA and its 6.5 million members and supporters worldwide to ask that Costco 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.

Kind regards,
Belinda Carlisle

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