Monkey Abuse: Walgreens Drops Coconut Milk Brands After Exposé

DEERFIELD, IL — Walgreens Boots Alliance has severed ties with several coconut milk producers that use monkeys for hard labor during the making of the product. According to an exposé from PETA Asia, the monkeys are tied to tires and forced to pick coconuts on behalf of Thai companies Aroy-D and Chaokoy.

Headquartered in Deerfield, Walgreens Boots Alliance is the parent company of Walgreens, Boots and a number of pharmaceutical, manufacturing, wholesale and distribution companies. Walgreens Boot Alliance has committed to not selling any own-brand coconut food or drink products of Thai origin in its 9,277 Walgreens and Duane Reed stores in the U.S., and its 2,578 Boots stores in the U.K. and Thailand.

Clothing At Deerfield-Based Caterpillar Made At Illegal Chinese Labor Camp: Report

The PETA investigation reveals that monkeys are chained, confined to cramped cages, and forced to climb trees and pick coconuts in Thailand to be used in products like coconut milk. PETA Asia’s eyewitnesses visited four “monkey schools,” eight farms, and one coconut-picking competition, in which chained monkeys — reportedly illegally captured as babies — were forced to climb palm trees and pick coconuts for export around the world, according to the report.

When not being forced to pick coconuts, the animals were kept tethered, chained to old tires, or confined to cages barely larger than their bodies. At the facilities, monkeys displayed stereotypic repetitive behavior indicative of extreme stress. One monkey in a cage on a truck bed shook the cage repeatedly in a desperate, futile attempt to escape, and a screaming monkey on a rope frantically tried to run away from a handler. An investigator learned that if monkeys try to defend themselves, their canine teeth may be pulled out, according to the report.

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