For Immediate Release:
May 30, 2023
Nicole Meyer 202-483-7382
Fort Lauderdale, Fla. – Because Whole Foods is selling coconut milk from Thailand—including through its own 365 by Whole Foods Market brand—even though PETA Asia investigations have revealed that monkeys in that country are caged, kept in isolation, chained for life, and trained through fear of punishment to pick coconuts, PETA “monkeys” will dump wheelbarrows full of humanely picked coconuts outside a Whole Foods store in Fort Lauderdale, near the Whole Foods Southeast regional office, as part of a new international campaign against the company. The action follows PETA’s successful campaign against HelloFresh, which has now confirmed that Thai coconut milk will be out of its meal-kit service by this summer.
When: Thursday, June 1, 12 noon
Where: Outside Whole Foods, 501 S.E. 17th St., at the intersection of S.E. 17th Street and U.S. Route 1, Fort Lauderdale
Many monkeys used in Thailand’s coconut-picking industry are taken from their natural forest homes when they’re babies. Handlers put metal collars and leashes on them and sometimes remove their canine teeth so they can’t defend themselves. PETA Asia’s investigative footage shows trainers striking them, dangling them by their necks, and whipping them. Because the industry and the Thai government lie about and deceive consumers about their systemic reliance on monkey labor, it’s impossible to guarantee that any coconut milk from Thailand is cruelty-free.
“Whole Foods knows that Thailand’s forced monkey labor is a damnable business, yet it’s profiting off these suffering primates by obtaining coconut milk from that country,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA is calling on Whole Foods to take a whole lot of cruelty off its shelves by selling canned coconut milk only from countries like India, Indonesia, and the Philippines, where monkey labor isn’t used.”
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview.