Luckily, in Panama we are blessed to have coconut trees and nuts all over the place, and I have never seen a monkey being exploited in picking the coconuts under force, luckily.
But a recent PETA investigation has shown that many major Thai coconut milk brands are still exploiting terrified monkeys on coconut farms. After the PETA investigation was made public, every major U.K supermarket has now dropped two Thai coconut brands following an investigation into monkey labor, according to vegan charity PETA.
The organization recently released footage it said was taped at eight farms where the animals are forced to pick coconuts for export around the world, four 'monkey schools', and at a coconut-picking competition.
Dropping brands As a result of the footage, Waitrose, Tesco, Co-op, Boots, Ocado, Morrisons, and others pledged to ditch products that used monkey labor. "These curious, highly intelligent animals are denied psychological stimulation, companionship, freedom, and everything else that would make their lives worth living, all so that they can be used to gather coconuts," PETA senior corporate liaison, Dr. Carys Bennett, said.
"PETA is grateful to British supermarkets for taking swift action to rid their shelves of these unethical products, and we urge the Thai government to take meaningful steps towards ending the vile practice of using monkeys to harvest coconuts." Denial Thai commerce minister Jurin Laksanawisit claimed monkey labor is 'almost non-existent' following the release of the investigation, Reuters reports.
Liberacion Animal Panama will check the brands of Thai coconut milk and cream that are for sale in our supermarkets, and check if any of these brands are expliting monkeys, so we will be able to urge the supermarket owners to drop these brands in Panama as well.
Meanwhile, the Thai minister of commerce told reporters that "Using monkeys for the coconut industry is almost non-existent," Laksanawisit told reporters, adding that monkey labor had been replaced by human labor a long time ago. He added: "But there may still be the pictures of monkey collecting coconuts for tourism on video clips, which created a misunderstanding." 'Makes the public angrier' But PETA senior vice president Jason Baker has disputed Laksanawisit's claims - and said denying the 'extreme cruelty' will only further inflame public emotion. He said: "PETA’s investigation footage was captured recently on plantations and training schools. "When the government tries to explain away extreme cruelty to monkeys, it only makes the public angrier."
Let's keep an eye out for products that are made exploiting animals, and create a future generation of compassionate Panamanians, living and purchasing in respect for all animals.