PETA ‘Lobs’ Coconuts at Associated Food Stores CEO Over Monkey Labor

For Immediate Release:
October 18, 2021

Brooke Rossi 202-483-7382

Salt Lake City

As head of some of the few grocery chains still selling coconut milk obtained through forced monkey labor, Associated Food Stores CEO Robert Obray will receive a special delivery this week from PETA: a dozen fresh, humanely obtained coconuts meant to remind him that monkeys forced to pick coconuts are chained, isolated, and even driven insane. PETA is asking Obray to reconsider Associated Food Stores’ business relationship with Chaokoh, a major offender.

“Coconuts are sweet, but the ways monkeys in Thailand are deprived and exploited to pick them is anything but,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA hopes to see Associated Food Stores agree that smart, sensitive primates don’t deserve to be subjected to bitter lives of forced labor.”

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 or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

PETA’s letter to Obray follows.

October 18, 2021

Robert Obray, CEO

Associated Food Stores

Dear Mr. Obray:

Greetings from PETA. We applaud Associated Food Stores for offering tasty vegan products for your customers, and we now urge you to take action on an issue that many of them are concerned about. We’ve sent you these coconuts in the hope of finally cracking open a dialog about reconsidering your business relationship with Chaokoh, a brand implicated in PETA Asia’s investigation into the use of chained monkeys—some whose canine teeth were removed and all of whom were forcibly trained—in Thailand’s coconut industry.

PETA Asia’s investigation revealed that Chaokoh is part of an industry that’s forcing monkeys—taken from their troupes, confined for life, and often driven insane from being deprived of everything that’s natural and important to them—to climb trees and collect coconuts. Most, if not all, of these animals are illegally captured in the forest as babies. Please visit to watch the undercover video footage.

More than 33,000 other stores, including Target, have decided to stop purchasing products from Chaokoh.

We hope you will act swiftly to remove cruelly sourced coconut products from your shelves. May we please hear from you soon?

Very truly yours,

Ingrid Newkirk


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