For Immediate Release:
June 17, 2021
Moira Colley 202-483-7382
Cincinnati – Following a PETA campaign and two PETA Asia undercover investigations into the use of chained and caged monkeys in Thailand’s coconut-picking industry, grocery giant Kroger has suspended its purchases of coconut milk from major producer Chaokoh.
In response, PETA has suspended its campaign, which included video footage sent to the company, e-mails from tens of thousands of the group’s members and supporters, protesting “monkey” mascots outside Kroger stores, a billboard next to a Kroger store, a delivery of humanely picked coconuts to six of the company’s executives, and “monkey” mascots who dumped hundreds of such coconuts outside the company’s headquarters. Photos are available here.
“Every can of coconut milk purchased from Chaokoh represents the misery of a chained-up monkey,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “Any grocery store still buying from this brand after PETA’s exposés of coconut cruelty risks losing compassionate shoppers, so Kroger made the right call.”
PETA Asia’s first investigation found cruelty to monkeys on every farm, at every monkey-training facility, and in every coconut-picking contest that used monkey labor. When not being forced to pick coconuts or perform in circus-style shows for tourists, the animals were kept tethered, chained to old tires, or confined to cages barely larger than their bodies. After a global outcry, the coconut industry claimed to have changed this practice—but PETA Asia’s second investigation found producers still using monkey labor and industry insiders discussing how farms conceal this practice by hiding monkeys until auditors leave or by hiring contractors to bring in monkeys only during harvest time.
Kroger is now among more than 30,000 stores—including the chains Albertsons, Safeway, Wegmans, Costco, Target, Food Lion, and Stop & Shop—that have cut ties with coconut milk brands that use coconuts picked by monkeys. PETA is now turning its attention to other retailers that still do business with Chaokoh, including Walmart and Publix.
Photos from the most recent investigation are available here, and broadcast-quality footage is available upon request. 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 PETA.org or click here, or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.