Animal rights front PETA and British retailers and media have teamed up to deliver a collective and politically-motivated blow to Thailand’s agricultural exports and in particular its large coconut industry (second largest coconut exporter in the world).
PETA makes the absurd claim that Thailand’s immense coconut industry depends on “monkey labour” to collect coconuts from trees and that these alleged monkeys are regularly abused.
The vague, baseless report citing neither specific numbers nor basic statistics regarding Thailand’s coconut industry and practices nonetheless prompted, according to PETA, “more than 18,000 stores around the world” to “never stocking products sourced from monkey labour after speaking with PETA and its affiliates.” The campaign was also publically supported by the British prime minister’s fiancée, Carrie Symonds.
The economic impact is already being felt in Thailand by some with Reuters claiming in an article titled, “Coconut milk maker hit by monkey labour accusation,” one of the nation’s largest coconut product exporters has seen sales drop by 20-30% after the move.
PETA and the UK’s collective action comes at a time when the US and British governments have been increasing pressure on China and its allies.
Thailand has in recent years expanded its cooperation with China at the cost of US-European influence in Asia-Pacific and as a result has suffered serial public relations attacks, political subversion and targeted condemnation from the West.
This most recent attack is hardly an isolated incident. It makes up part of a much larger campaign of baseless attacks aimed at undermining Thailand’s economic and political stability and Asia’s continued rise as a whole.
The use of monkeys to collect coconuts in Thailand in reality is almost nonexistent on large farms. Thailand produces over 800,000 tonnes of coconuts a year, meaning “monkey labour,” if true, would be so extensive PETA would have had an easy time documenting specific numbers and presenting sufficient, overwhelming evidence.
Instead, it posted vague accusations and admits it only visited eight farms (though provides no evidence of even this). Its own “video” shows only 14 scenes from what appears to be only one farm and the same 1-2 monkeys used throughout the entire short 1 minute and 39 second video clip. No information was provided about where or when the video was taken or how representative it is of Thailand’s overall coconut industry.
At least one “scene” was reused twice in the clip meaning PETA didn’t even have enough video footage of its own allegations to pad out its extremely short presentation.
At the time of this writing, no full report is linked to on its website (if one even exists) and no statistics at all are presented amid what is otherwise clearly propaganda aimed at audience’s emotions rather than genuinely investigating and exposing “abuses.”
While the UK and other Western countries eagerly target Thailand’s entire coconut industry based on PETA’s 1 minute and 39 second long video of 1-2 monkeys collecting coconuts, these nations and the specific stores boycotting Thai products still eagerly consume products using cocoa produced in Africa through the use of child labour.
Stores in the UK including Sainsbury’s, Asda, Waitrose, Tesco and others still carry products produced by Mars, Nestlé and Hershey.PETA-UK Scam a Warning to Trading With West
Beyond blatant hypocrisy, the UK’s selective outrage demonstrates what are clearly political motivations and serve as a warning for the rest of the world when doing business with not only the UK but the West in general.