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 its production is.
Here’s a video, narrated by actor Peter Egan, showing how it’s produced:
To make the inhumane coffee, civets are often captured in 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 in villages in Indonesia and the Philippines, two of the world’s top producers of kopi luwak. Eyewitness 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. The condition, which is common in captive wild animals, involves neurotic behaviour patterns such as pacing, spinning, and head-bobbing – indications that the animals are being driven mad by confinement.
In their native environment, civets commonly climb trees to reach coffee berries, but on farms, they’re fed more of the ripe fruit than they would ever naturally consume. One farmer explained that civets are generally kept in cages for at least three years before being released from captivity and that the stress of confinement and inadequate nutrition cause them to lose their fur. Another farmer compared forcing civets to eat excessive quantities of coffee berries rather than more appropriate foods to smoking in humans because – owing to the lack of vitamins and other necessary nutrients – the civets’ health deteriorates greatly. The same farmer told PETA Asia’s investigator that some civets, especially those bred in captivity, don’t survive after they’re released.
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”. On two farms, the investigator was told that businesses didn’t have a problem selling coffee from caged civets with a “100% wild-sourced” or similar label. One farmer even gave the investigator a sample of coffee bearing a false label.
What You Can Do
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 let us know where you found it.
Please also share the video with your friends and family to spread the word that civet coffee is a product of immense cruelty: