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

For Immediate Release:
February 20, 2024

Nicole Perreira 202-483-7382

Albuquerque, N.M.

Shoppers attending Thursday’s grand opening of the new Whole Foods store in Albuquerque 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.

Where:    In front of Whole Foods, 2100 Carlisle Blvd. N.E., Albuquerque

When:    Thursday, February 22, 9 a.m

giant inflatable monkey chained to a equally giant inflatable coconut at a whole foods store protest
Credit: PETA

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 the exposé.

“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”—points out that Every 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 (formerly Twitter), Facebook, or Instagram.

Stay up to date on the latest vegan trends and get breaking animal rights news delivered straight to your inbox!

By submitting this form, you’re acknowledging that you have read and agree to our privacy policy and agree to receive e-mails from us.

Get the Latest Tips—Right in Your Inbox
We’ll e-mail you weekly with the latest in vegan recipes, fashion, and more!

By submitting this form, you’re acknowledging that you have read and agree to our privacy policy and agree to receive e-mails from us.