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US grocers cut ties with Thai coconut milk company after PETA reveals monkey labour

Caitlin Ashworth

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US grocers cut ties with Thai coconut milk company after PETA reveals monkey labour | The Thaiger
PHOTO: PETA
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Grocery stores throughout the United States are cutting ties with the Thai coconut milk company Chaokoh and other Thailand coconut product suppliers following an investigation by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) into the monkey labour at Thailand coconut farms. PETA Asia claims the Thai macaques are “snatched from the wild” and treated like “coconut picking machines.”

Recently, the US grocery chains Costco, Wegmans, Walgreens, Food Lion, Giant Food and Stop & Shop have stopped selling coconut products from Thai suppliers that use monkeys to gather coconuts.

Other western retailers are also boycotting Thai coconut products derived from monkey labour in response to the PETA investigation. In the United Kingdom, the chains Waitrose, Ocado, Co-op and Boots announced earlier this year that they would stop selling some coconut products from Thailand that use monkey labour.

PETA says the social animals are “chained and driven insane.” A video of the alleged abuse shows monkeys in small cages, one shaking the cage to try to get out.

Many kind people choose coconut milk instead of cow’s milk because they don’t want to support cruelty to animals. But a disturbing PETA Asia investigation reveals that terrified young monkeys in Thailand are kept chained, abusively trained, and forced to climb trees to pick coconuts that are used to make coconut milk, meat, flour, oil, and other products.

In Thailand, it’s fairly common for those in rural areas to own a monkey to pick coconuts at local farms and sell the coconuts in the area. How the monkey is treated depends on the owner. The monkeys on a long leash run up a palm tree and drop the fresh coconuts to the ground for the owner to collect. Some monkeys get angry while others are relaxed and ride with their owner on a motorbike to and from a farm.

There’s even training schools for the monkeys, teaching the animals how to pick out a fresh coconut as well as how to get out of a knot just in case their leash gets tangled up in the palm tree. One monkey training school in Southern Thailand is well known by locals and many students go on school field trips to see how the monkeys are trained.

SOURCE: PETA

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20 Comments

20 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Ted Dunn

    November 13, 2020 at 2:03 pm

    I have read that that monkeys are not used by commercial growers. It is only a tourist attraction.
    Maybe the author could show proof of the monkeys being used by commercial interestes and sho proof of the abuse.
    I love animals and hate abuse but also do not like artciles like this that do not show ample proof.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      November 13, 2020 at 9:14 pm

      You’ve read correctly. I lived in an area full of commercial coconut plantations for about ten years, and also sold the coconuts on my land, and there were no monkeys – just long bamboo poles. Not nearly as much of an attraction for tourists, but far simpler and quicker.

  2. Avatar

    Pieter Wilhelm

    November 13, 2020 at 2:24 pm

    These are the same supermarkets who sell pork from pigs who were castrated without any anesthesia. These supermarkets are often located in countries where torture in the name of religion is allowed such as slicing the throat of animals until they bleed slowly to dead during religious rituals. Double standards or Hypocrits? You decide yourself.

    • Avatar

      preesy chepuce

      November 13, 2020 at 9:19 pm

      Alas the age of empires is history, and civilised parts of the world can’t administer the barbarous parts of the world, unless they’re willing roll back many decades of legal and cultural changes to enlist public support, and fund their militaries to bring back plunder from distant shores.
      As with any bitter medicine, close your eyes when you take it, and perhaps add some sugar to distract you from the less appetising taste.

  3. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    November 13, 2020 at 2:43 pm

    Well PETA is the largest animal rights organisation in the world. They should be trusted, or they would lose credibility and funding.
    I believe them.
    I accept that some monkeys are not badly treated, however some are, and if the Thai accept this they can all suffer from lose of sales to the West. This will get their attention.
    It is up to the Thais to stop the torture of monkeys.
    If western supermarkets ban this brand of coconut milk, they should also ban all coconut milk from Thailand otherwise the Thais will just sell monkey gathered coconut milk to the Thai brands that do not use monkeys.
    These brands will then sell to the West.

    • Avatar

      preesy chepuce

      November 13, 2020 at 9:21 pm

      You think Philippines coconut products are more cautiously harvested? Where would you go to find your tropical non-European delicacies procured by European standards? It’s not a criticism, but you need more than a trade agreement, you need boots on the ground to administer regulations abroad.

    • Avatar

      Michael

      November 15, 2020 at 9:24 am

      Trust PETA?
      Hahahahaha

  4. Avatar

    Ynwaps

    November 13, 2020 at 2:48 pm

    I’d buy coconuts from well treated monkey’s, that don’t go nuts.
    Organic CoCo Monkeys – 100% natural, non vegan – but happy.

  5. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    November 13, 2020 at 3:46 pm

    Ah but imagine the anguish of the monkey who picks a coconut and then is not allowed to eat the coconut?
    That would be enough to make any monkey go nuts.

    • Avatar

      preesy chepuce

      November 13, 2020 at 9:22 pm

      You could always give the monkey’s pizza, then they would be too fat to climb up the tree.

  6. Avatar

    Scuzz

    November 13, 2020 at 7:18 pm

    Well, I guess that now that all those monkeys are out of a job, they might as well be culled as they are a drain on society. Nice job PETA.

  7. Avatar

    AI

    November 13, 2020 at 11:49 pm

    Go tell this to any human who works 8 or more hours a day in some factory. If that isn’t slavery, what is? Or how about something the likes of begging? Where do you draw the line? How many millions + are born into this realm where their lives are a misery?
    Not going to mention the 25,000 people who died daily from malnutrition….(check WHO numbers online).

  8. Avatar

    James

    November 14, 2020 at 12:25 am

    A Thai friend I know owns 12 rye of land planted with coconuts, I think there are hundreds of thousands of such small growers all over Thailand. It is just an extra income for them.

    Monkeys pick the coconuts and as far as I could tell while watching, the monkeys are adored by their owners and are treated well, the monkeys see it as more of a game.

    Of course, if large corporations are using the monkeys in a bad way then they should be prosecuted.

    What next, ban buffalo, police dogs and horses as they are not able to sign an employee’s contract.

    I wonder if this organization has the same worry about the many thousands of Americans who are killed just going to work and back by the many gun slinging Americans on the loose?

  9. Avatar

    Khun plastic

    November 14, 2020 at 7:21 am

    Would have thought if the monkeys were genuinely mistreated once they
    Got up to the top of the palm trees they would not come down again.
    Feel peta need to do a bit more research on the subject really.

  10. Avatar

    Stone Cold Steve Austin

    November 14, 2020 at 7:59 am

    Thailand, the Land of animal crualty. B****rds !

  11. Avatar

    Mads

    November 14, 2020 at 2:46 pm

    I don’t get why US companies are complaining. After all 70 mio voters seem fine with the monkey business supplied by the WH and it’s white gorillas. Simple discrimination and jealousy of the smarter Thai monkeys.

  12. Avatar

    Khun plastic

    November 14, 2020 at 3:51 pm

    You watch, they will be complaining about the treatment of elephants by there mahouts next and probably stop the import of elephant dung products.

    I think trump or the cia is probably behind it.

    Why should us monkeys and elephants be out of work when there thai cousins have an unfair advantage.

    We shall see.

  13. Avatar

    Alex

    November 16, 2020 at 5:50 pm

    Good

  14. Avatar

    JIM KELLY

    November 16, 2020 at 6:52 pm

    typically Thai!!! BACKWARD PEOPLE..BACKWARD NATION!!!

  15. Avatar

    James Pate

    November 17, 2020 at 2:29 am

    Some monkeys are treated well and others are not. We could say the same about every species on Earth, including humans. An overall ban on Thai coconuts is going to far. While I abhor idiotic practices like cosmetics testing on shaved animals, this is too much. PETA should prioritize and pick its battles more judiciously.

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

Pattaya

Pandemic has washed away Pattaya’s “soapy” massage parlours

The Thaiger

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Pandemic has washed away Pattaya’s “soapy” massage parlours | The Thaiger

While the Covid pandemic has hit Thailand’s businesses hard, it has also washed away its not-so-legal soapy massage parlours after tourism has dried up its clientele. Such places, known as glorified brothels, have left many masseuses out of work as boards have barricaded the once booming establishments.

Soapy Massage (àap-òp-nûat, อาบอบนวด, literally bath, steam, massage)…
These are the bigger massage parlours where girls are presented in the fishbowl and you get the full program (including sex) for a fixed price, depending on the girl starting from 1,500 and up to 5,000 Baht.

Only a few of the soapy services have survived the pandemic in Pattaya, with Honey Massage Parlour being one of them, according to The Pattaya Mail. After adjusting to the new requirements for social distancing, the business has re-opened on November 19. However, its largest shop has closed, once known as Honey 1 on Soi Honey, or Soi 11, the windows are dark and barricaded. Honey Inn is also up for sale.

25 year old masseuse Maywadee, says she used to work in such parlours where she would get a cut of the 1,500 to 2,500 baht fee. She says she used to see up to 7 clients a day, but now that number has been cut in half as Chinese and Japanese tourists, who were her largest group of customers have dwindled. Now, she is thinking about heading back to her home city of Chiang Mai, to sell handicrafts, as her Pattaya income has dried up.

Such parlours feature masseuses that are usually not native to the area, as many come from lower socio-economic areas such as Thailands northeastern provinces, otherwise known as Isaan. Many make the trip to tourist-driven cities like Pattaya, Koh Samui, Bangkok and others, in an attempt to make a higher salary than they would if they were back in Isaan.

SOURCE: The Pattaya Mail

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Business

Bank of Thailand takes action to curb Thai baht’s strength

The Thaiger

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Bank of Thailand takes action to curb Thai baht’s strength | The Thaiger

The Bank of Thailand has moved forward measures, originally meant to begin early 2021, but most of which will now take effect from end of this month. The end result is that the new rules will make it easier for Thais to shuffle money overseas and invest in foreign assets. It will also make is easier for Thai citizens to hold foreign currency in local banks. The new rules will also require the registration of local and overseas bond investors.

“Following the U.S. elections and positive news on Covid-19 vaccine development, investors have turned toward investing in emerging markets, including Thailand. The situation has resulted in strengthening the baht quickly and can impact economic recovery.”

“The registration of bond investors will allow close monitoring of investor’s behaviours and thereby enable the implementation of targeted measures in a timely manner.”

Last week the Bank of Thailand assessed that the Thai baht’s recent rapid gains could affect the country’s “fragile” economic recovery. The Thai government has called on the central bank to do its best to use what tools it has at its disposal to restrain the baht to protect exports.

Khoon Goh, head of Asia research at ANZ Banking Group, says that he central bank also will continue to resort to direct intervention in foreign-exchange markets.

“The issue here is that local investors have a very strong home bias. Making it easier to invest overseas may not actually encourage them to do so.”

The Thai baht has been the 2nd best performer in Asia this month after foreign investors turned net buyers of almost $2.4 billion of bonds and stocks as appetite returns for riskier emerging-market assets amid a weak dollar, according to Bloomberg.

The Thai baht had recently rallied 8.8% from this year’s low in April, hitting a 10 month high last week.

SOURCE: Bloomberg

This morning, Thai time…

Bank of Thailand takes action to curb Thai baht's strength | News by The Thaiger

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Technology

Hotel investment group launches world’s first “green” hotel fund

The Thaiger

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Hotel investment group launches world’s first “green” hotel fund | The Thaiger

Destination Capital, a hotel investment group in Bangkok, has announced that it will launch the world’s first ever “green” hotel fund. The fund will acquire hotels and implement sustainability systems and procedures to promote long term environmental and financial sustainability in investments using the EDGE certification programme. EDGE, an online platform, is an innovation of the International Finance Corporation, which helps property developers to build and brand “green” establishments in a fast and affordable way. EDGE is used by more than 170 countries and reportedly has kept almost 230,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually from entering the atmosphere.

DC’s fund, titled Descap I, is part of its efforts to acquire freehold, 4 star hotels in prime destinations all over Thailand. James Kaplan, the CEO of DC, says he sees opportunities to renovate hotels to accommodate “green” technology and systems due to the current Covid pandemic that has ravaged the tourism sector in the kingdom.

“Destination Capital’s adoption of the EDGE certification program will provide the Descap I with the opportunity to gain a competitive advantage by differentiating our products and improving carbon emissions of the hotels.”

“If there is one thing we have learned during Covid-19 it is that the environment and nature recover quickly from poor resource management practices. Our participation in EDGE will serve to encourage the hospitality industry to adopt best practices with respect to better managing our scarce resources, raise broader consciousness about global warming and stem the tide of environmental degradation. We will implement operational elements to reduce water consumption, reduce waste emissions, reduce electricity use, and to the best of our ability eliminate plastic usage.”

Descap I, is a Thai Private Equity Trust. The company partners with Private Equity and Institutional Funds to source hotel acquisition opportunities and manage assets in the Asia Pacific region, turning its main focus to Thailand.

SOURCE: Pattaya Mail

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