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It shouldn’t happen to monkeys, but it does. PETA Asia investigators visited coconut farms in Thailand and found monkeys with heavy metal collars fastened around their necks, chained and forced to spend long hours climbing trees and picking coconuts, including for one of Thailand’s major coconut milk producers, Chaokoh. In nature, infant pigtail macaques—one of coconut growers’ favorite targets to capture—would be nursing, learning from their mothers how to groom, kissing, and beginning to explore their surroundings. On coconut farms, the animals are trained to work through abuse and fear and kept chained in trash-strewn dirt patches at night, even though humane harvest methods are readily available.
After being made aware of the ugly origins of Chaokoh coconut milk, more than 33,000 stores have stopped selling it, including Wegmans, Kroger, Target, Albertsons, and Safeway. But Korean chain Lotte Plaza Market—which has stores in Florida, Maryland, New Jersey, and Virginia—is still selling these products.
Please send a polite e-mail to the chain’s parent company, Lotte Plaza Market Group, and let executives know that you won’t be buying anything until the stores are no longer complicit in forced monkey labor. Feel free to use the sample letter provided, but remember that your own words may carry more weight.