Portfolio of Hope

focus photography of gray monkey

We’re being misled.

As we switch from traditional cows milk to coconut milk (for the sake of being kinder to animals), some (not very kind) people are fulfilling the demand for such plant-based alternatives by exploiting animals…

Through the exploitation of monkeys in Thailand, we switch from cows milk to end the suffering of cows only to, inadvertently, contribute to the suffering of monkeys…

Forced to spend hour after hour, day after day, picking coconuts from trees in Thailand, endangered monkeys are being treated as nothing more than coconut picking machines. Subjected to a life of deprivation, the coconuts are heavy, the trees are tall, and the monkeys often fall and break bones.*

*(Which, by the way, doesn’t translate to an ‘early retirement’, but abandonment– injured monkeys are released into the wild, left to fend for themselves, something which they find impossible to do having been in captivity their whole life)…

When they’re not being forced up trees, they’re kept in miserable living conditions. Confined to cages and tethered to chains, with no food or water nearby, no protection from the elements, and no mental stimulation, companionship, or freedom, their basic needs as intelligent, sociable wild animals, are denied… And, this continues, despite pressure to stop using monkey labour, as farms, brokers, manufacturers, and the Thai government actively mislead consumers instead of taking legitimate action to end monkey suffering.

thailand monkeys coconut picking

Wondering what you can do in the face of such exploitation and dishonesty?


If the label of a coconut milk product reads, “Product of Thailand,” leave the item on the shelf. Other coconut-growing regions such as Brazil, Colombia, and Hawaii harvest coconuts using humane methods. Purchase from brands that support monkey-free coconut-harvesting instead.

You can also ‘do your bit’ by signing this petition urging Whole Foods to stop selling coconut milk from Thailand, and you can donate directly to PETA here, to support their mission to end the senseless exploitation of monkeys in Thailand.

Leave a Reply