For Immediate Release:
December 8, 2021
Moira Colley 202-483-7382
New York – Following a PETA campaign and two PETA Asia undercover investigations into the use of chained and caged monkeys in Thailand’s coconut-picking industry, locally based grocery delivery service Umamicart has become the first Asian food company to end the sale of coconut milk from major producer Chaokoh. In thanks, PETA is sending Umamicart a box of delicious vegan monkey-shaped chocolates.
“A life as a chained-up coconut-picking machine is no life at all for a monkey, who needs to play, eat, and explore with family members,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “Since PETA exposés have confirmed cover-ups of cruelty on coconut farms, no company with a conscience can keep supporting Chaokoh, and Umamicart should be commended for taking action.”
PETA Asia’s first investigation found cruelty to monkeys on every farm, at every monkey-training facility, and in every coconut-picking contest that used monkey labor. When not being forced to pick coconuts or perform in circus-style shows for tourists, the animals were kept tethered, chained to old tires, or confined to cages barely larger than their bodies. After a global outcry, the coconut industry claimed to have changed this practice—but PETA Asia’s second investigation found producers still using monkey labor and industry insiders discussing how farms conceal this practice by simply hiding monkeys until auditors leave or by hiring contractors to bring in monkeys only during harvest time.
Umamicart is now among more than 30,000 retailers—including chains Albertsons, Wegmans, Costco, Target, Food Lion, and Stop & Shop—that have cut ties with coconut milk brands that use coconuts picked by monkeys. PETA is now turning its attention to other retailers that still do business with Chaokoh, including Walmart and Publix.
Photos from the most recent investigation are available here, and broadcast-quality footage is available upon request. 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 PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.