Coffee lovers who indulge in the world’s priciest brew may have no idea they’re sipping on a cup of animal cruelty.
An investigator from Los Angeles based animal rights organization Lady Freethinker (LFT) visited multiple locations in Bali, Indonesia selling kopi luwak – coffee made by feeding civets, also called luwaks, coffee cherries and collecting their excrement – and documented the filthy, miserable conditions of the captive animals.
LFT’s investigator found dozens of tourist attractions in Bali forcing these wild, solitary and nocturnal animals together in cages for noisy tourists to gawk at all day long. These tourist traps cage civets purely for display, then sell luwak coffee sourced from deplorable, factory-style farms where conditions are even worse.
One local luwak coffee farm held civets in tiny, filthy, barren wire cages, stacked on top of one another with no visible food or water. The rows of cages also held roosters and dogs – likely to slaughter for meat or ceremonial sacrifice.
Shockingly, TripAdvisor sells tickets to luwak coffee tours on its website, promoting the cruel trade to tourists around the world.
This month, TripAdvisor ended ticket sales to SeaWorld due to cruel treatment of whales and dolphins; in 2016, they stopped selling experiences where humans touch captive wild animals, such as elephant rides. Yet despite their stated commitment to animal welfare, the travel giant continues to perpetuate cruelty to civet cats with dozens of luwak coffee tours bookable directly on their website.
Lady Freethinker is calling on TripAdvisor to stop selling luwak coffee bookings on their website, and urges the government of Indonesia to prioritize the protection of their natural wildlife and work to end animal abuse in the country.
Featured image: a civet is kept in a cage and fed coffee cherries for the production of civet coffee. Image credit Stefan Magdalinski, CC BY-SA 2.0.