ROCHESTER, NY (WXXI) – PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, says that it is sending coconuts to Wegmans CEO Colleen Wegman this week, to highlight a problem about how coconuts are sometimes harvested.
PETA’s President, Ingrid Newkirk, says that monkeys are used in Thailand, forced to pick coconuts used in a brand of coconut milk called Chaokoh, which PETA says is sold by Wegmans. PETA says the coconuts it’s sending to Colleen Wegman were humanely obtained.
Newkirk says the monkeys endure abusive training including being confined for life and being subject to abusive training.
Wegmans responded with this statement: “PETA sent letters to a number of retailers and issued a press release about each. This is regarding one specific SKU of canned coconut milk that we sell in the international section of the store, and we are actively investigating the matter.”
In its press release, PETA said it was also asking the CEOs of companies that include Save Mart and Publix, also asking them to stop selling that specific brand of coconut milk.
Thai officials have disputed the claims about how prevalent the situation is with monkeys being used to harvest coconuts, with a coconut milk producer telling Reuters it was auditing plantations to show animals were not used.