For Immediate Release:
June 26, 2023
Nicole Perreira 202-483-7382
Washingtton – On opening day of a new Whole Foods location in the District, a troop of PETA supporters will be on the scene to urge the grocery chain to stop selling coconut milk from Thailand—including through its own 365 by Whole Foods Market brand—which it has so far refused to do 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. The action is part of a new international campaign against Whole Foods and follows PETA’s successful push against HelloFresh, which will now no longer obtain coconut milk from Thailand.
When: Wednesday, June 28, 12 noon
Where: Whole Foods, 7130 12th St. N.W (at the intersection with Main Drive N.W.) Washington
Many monkeys used in Thailand’s coconut-picking industry are abducted from their forest homes as 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 the systemic reliance on monkey labor, it’s impossible to guarantee that any coconut milk from Thailand is cruelty-free.
“It’s egregiously cruel that Whole Foods continues to sell coconut milk from a country where monkeys are shackled, beaten, and worked to the bone,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA is calling on the company to find some standards and sell 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.