The retailer is the latest company to drop coconut milk produced by a Thai supplier accused of forcing chained monkeys to pick the coconuts.
Walmart has stopped selling Chaokoh coconut milk over claims that the Thai company is using forced monkey labor to pick the coconuts.
The move comes after multiple undercover investigations by animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), which revealed monkeys in Thailand are being forced into a lifetime of hard labor picking coconuts, in order to produce products like coconut water, milk, and oil.
Footage released by the group shows chained monkeys being forced to climb trees and pick coconuts. When not working, the animals are allegedly kept tethered, chained to old tires, or confined to cramped cages barely bigger than their bodies, and some were filmed displaying repetitive behaviors indicative of extreme distress.
Following a global outcry, the likes of Costco, Target, and Kroger have already dropped the Thai brand implicated in the monkey-picking scandal. Walmart now becomes the largest retailer to join the ban, having reportedly received more than 85,000 e-mails from concerned customers about the issue.
“The coconut trade uses social monkeys as chained-up coconut-picking machines, depriving them of any opportunity to eat, play, or spend time with their families,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “With one PETA exposé after another confirming cruelty on coconut farms, retailers are dropping Chaokoh left and right. Kudos to Walmart for its kind decision.”
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