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  • We need to talk about the monkeys in Thailand being enslaved to pick coconuts



    Retail giants like Costco and Target elected to drop Chaokoh coconut milk from their stores following concerns of monkey slavery. 

    It sounds like something out of a movie, but there's evidence to support claims that humans at the Thai supply company, Theppadungporn Coconut Co. Ltd., are reportedly enslaving monkeys to pick up to a thousand coconuts a day to meet the company's demanding quota. 

    “We believe in the humane treatment of animals and expect those who do business with us to do the same,” Target said in a statement to USA Today. “We take seriously the claims made against Chaokoh, and given they were unable to sufficiently address the concerns raised, we made the decision to remove their product from our assortment in November 2020.”

    People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) weighed in. They encourage more to follow suit. 

    “By dropping Chaokoh, Target is joining thousands of stores that refuse to profit from chained monkeys’ misery,” Tracy Reiman, PETA executive vice president, previously said in a news release. “PETA exposés have confirmed that Thai coconut producers are exploiting monkeys and lying about it, so there’s no excuse for any grocery store to keep Chaokoh on its shelves.”

    Theppadungporn Coconut Co. Ltd. denies the allegations. They claim to have audited coconut plantations using a third party.

    In their 14-page document, “Monkey-Free Coconut Due Diligence Assessment,” they claim out of the 64 "randomly selected" farms out of 817, they "did not find the use of monkey for coconut harvesting."

    "Following the recent news about the use of 'monkey labour' in Thailand’s coconut industry, Chaokoh, one of the world’s leaders in coconut milk production, reassures that we do not engage the use of monkey labour in our coconut plantations," the company continued.

    At the Coconutery, we love coconuts, but not at the expense of living creatures' free will. What do you think? Let us know in the comments below. 

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