For Immediate Release:
March 24, 2023
Nicole Meyer 202-483-7382
Austin, Texas – Because Whole Foods is selling coconut milk from Thailand—including through its own 365 brand—even though PETA Asia investigations reveal 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 launch a new international campaign by dumping wheelbarrows full of humanely picked coconuts outside Whole Foods’ world headquarters in Austin. 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: Tuesday, March 28, 12 noon
Where: Outside Whole Foods, 525 N. Lamar Blvd., Austin
Many monkeys used in Thailand’s coconut-picking industry are taken from their natural forest homes and troops 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 primates’ suffering by sourcing coconut milk from that country,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA is calling on Whole Foods to take a whole lot of suffering 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.