Naturally, coconuts are vegan-friendly and when processed, make a perfect dairy alternative for consumers with lactose intolerance and living a vegan lifestyle.
However, coconut milk and other coconut products aren’t always vegan. In Southeast Asia, where most of the world’s coconuts are produced, some countries often use monkey labor during the harvest of coconuts.
Use of Monkeys for Harvest
According to an investigation carried out by PETA, one country in Southeast Asia has been confirmed to be using monkeys to pick up coconuts on trees. These monkeys are often captured in the wild as babies or bred purely for this kind of harvest practice.
During harvest, monkeys are leashed and are forced to climb trees to pick up 1000 coconuts per day, when humans can only pick around 80.
When not being used, monkeys are kept in small cages individually which means they cannot behave naturally and are denied freedom and companionship. If they showed any signs of aggression, their canine teeth are removed.
Why are monkeys being used?
By using monkeys, farmers can harvest much faster and much bigger. Monkeys do not also require salaries so they can save up on labor costs. Climbing up trees is a hard and risky job so by letting monkeys do the work, farmers can reduce their risk of getting injured.
Following PETA’s investigation, many stores in the United States have dropped the selling and distribution of two well-known coconut milk brands in the market for their use of monkey labor during harvest.
Are Roxas Sigma’s Coconuts Cruelty-Free?
In an article published by PETA, they name the Philippines and India as two countries in Asia that do not use monkeys during harvest.
Roxas Sigma’s raw materials for all its coconut products are free of animal cruelty. The company partners with many farmers around South Cotabato, Philippines and keeps a team of professionals (Raw Materials Sourcing) overseeing the harvest of the coconuts we use for our 100% Pure and All-Natural Coconut Products.