The fact that humans harm animals for profit is old news, sure, but that doesn’t make it right. We’re used to hearing about ivory tusks sourced from elephants, rhino horns and pelts, but it looks like civets are also being exploited in their own way, all because someone out there wants to drink the world’s most expensive coffee at breakfast.
Just in case you’re not already aware, Kopi Luwak is made from the waste of these harmless forest-dwelling creatures native to Southeast Asia, which is why they are now being captured and forced to live in poor conditions for this expensive treat. The civet coffee is made from partially digested coffee beans excreted from these cats, and it costs about $100 per cup. The bad news is that civets held in captivity in Indonesia are being fed unripe beans, and they’re also caged in incredibly sunlit spaces even though they’re normally nocturnal. They sit on wire floors that cause abrasions and sores, and many of them eventually die because of stress or sickness.
Fortunately, animal rights activists have called for regulations, but since it’s incredibly difficult to track the exact origin of civet coffee beans that become available in stores, the only real solution is to stop buying coffee from these Indonesian markets.