Chained PETA ‘Monkeys’ to Dump Coconuts at St. Louis Whole Foods Over Ties to Forced Labor

For Immediate Release:
April 22, 2024

Nicole Perreira 202-483-7382

St. Louis

A troop of PETA “monkeys” in prisoner garb will dump wheelbarrows of humanely picked coconuts outside the Whole Foods store on W. Pine Boulevard on Wednesday to slam the grocery giant for continuing to sell coconut milk from Thailand while knowing full well that the country’s coconut industry is driven by the forced labor of endangered pig-tailed macaques.

Where: Outside Whole Foods, 4577 W. Pine Blvd. (at the intersection with Euclid Avenue), St. Louis

When: Wednesday, April 24, 12 noon

PETA “monkeys” dump coconuts outside a Whole Foods store during a previous demonstration to blast the company’s continued sale of Thai coconut products. Credit: PETA

“Whole Foods is signing off on the abuse of an endangered species and willfully propping up an industry that kidnaps monkeys, chains them, and treats them as nothing more than coconut-picking machines,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA is calling on the company to find a moral compass and sell coconut milk only from countries where monkey labor isn’t used, such as the Dominican Republic, India, 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 thatEvery Animal Is Someone

and offers free Empathy Kits for people who need a lesson in kindness.

For more information, please visit or follow the group on X, Facebook, or Instagram.

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