Monkey Abuse for Products Sold by Whole Foods Prompts PETA Action at Shareholder Meeting

For Immediate Release:
May 22, 2023

Nicole Meyer 202-483-7382


At Amazon’s shareholder meeting on Wednesday, PETA will submit a statement challenging the company’s subsidiary Whole Foods’ continued sale of Thai coconut milk even after learning of PETA Asia’s investigations revealing that monkeys are forced to pick coconuts in Thailand and are trained through fear of punishment, caged in isolation, and chained for life.

When:    Wednesday, May 24, 8:30 a.m.

Where:    Outside Amazon headquarters, 2021 Seventh Ave., Seattle

At the same time, outside Amazon headquarters, a “monkey” in prison garb chained to a large can of coconut milk will protest against the cruelty inherent in the Thai coconut industry while PETA supporters brandish giant photos of the tormented animals used to pick coconuts.

In Thailand’s coconut-picking industry, endangered pig-tailed macaques are often illegally snatched from their forest homes as babies. Handlers put metal collars and leashes on them and may even remove their canine teeth so they can’t defend themselves. Several brands of coconut milk Whole Foods sells were named by industry workers as having sourced coconuts obtained by monkey labor. PETA Asia’s investigative footage shows trainers striking macaques, dangling them by their necks, and whipping them. 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.

“After three damning investigations, Whole Foods knows that abuse of vulnerable monkeys is rampant in the Thai coconut industry,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA is calling on Whole Foods to sell coconut milk only from countries such as India, Indonesia, and the Philippines, where monkey labor isn’t used.”

Last December, PETA submitted a resolution challenging Whole Foods’ purported “rigorous standards” for animal welfare and also cited an exposé that found evidence of abuse at a pig farm certified by the “humane” program that Whole Foods supports and a PETA exposé of Plainville Farms, a former supplier to Whole Foods that touted itself as “humane,” that resulted in 12 former workers being charged with a total of 141 counts of cruelty to animals.

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 about PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on 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.