Civet Coffee = A Sip of Cruelty
Kopi luwak coffee is made from the beans of coffee berries that have been eaten and excreted by the Asian palm civet, a small, shy nocturnal mammal. If you think that sounds unappetising, wait until you hear how cruel it is.
To make the inhumane coffee, civets are often captured from the wild and locked up in small, barren, filthy cages. They’re deprived of everything that’s essential to their well-being, including exercise and a spacious, natural environment.
A PETA Asia investigator visited several civet coffee farms and villages in Indonesia and the Philippines, two of the world’s top producers of kopi luwak. Undercover footage from these farms, some of which advertise their coffee as “wild-sourced”, shows sick civets suffering from skin infections and exhibiting signs of zoochosis, a condition in which captive animals display neurotic behaviour such as pacing, spinning and bobbing their heads – indications that the animals are going insane from boredom and depression.
Here’s the video, narrated by British actor Peter Egan:
In the wild, civets frequently climb trees to reach the coffee berries, but in captivity, they are fed more of the ripe fruit than would ever be natural for them. One farmer explained that civets are generally kept caged for at least three years before being released back into the wild and that the stress of confinement and lack of nutrition cause them to lose their fur. Another farmer compared civets eating too many coffee berries to humans smoking since the civets’ health deteriorates greatly during captivity because of lack of vitamins and nutrition. The same farmer told PETA’s investigator that some civets, especially the captive-bred ones, don’t survive after they are released back into the wild.
While kopi luwak is often advertised as “wild-sourced”, farmers told the investigator that it would be nearly impossible to produce exclusively wild-sourced civet coffee and that the industry knowingly mislabels coffee from captive animals as “wild-sourced”. At two farms, the investigator was told that businesses didn’t have a problem selling coffee from caged civets with a “100 percent wild-sourced” or similar label. One farmer even gave the investigator a sample of coffee bearing a false label.
If you don’t want to support a cruel and dishonest industry – or drink something that’s essentially made from poop – please don’t buy kopi luwak coffee. And if you see a retailer selling this repugnant product, speak out by telling the company how unethical civet coffee is, then share the information with us.