Kopi Luwat Makers Accused of Animal Abuse
Kopi Luwat, which sells for approximately $230 per pound, is known as the worlds most expensive coffee. It is made from the droppings of a Asian palm civet, a cat like creature which eats coffee berries, digests the fruit, and passes the bean after digestion. Workers collect the digested beans which are then made into the famous brew, Kopi Luwat.
Animal rights organizations have accused the makers of Kopi Luwat, which is produced mostly in Indionesia, of animal abuse. They claim the civets are confined to small cages and fed a diet exclusively of coffee berries.
Reporters from the Guardian, a newspaper, released their findings after visiting a cafe in Sumatra and finding the animals confined to the cages. The paper says that animal rights groups believe that there may be tens of thousands of civets living in this type of environment and that it is a moral and ethical issue.
“The conditions are awful, much like battery chickens,” Chris Shepherd, deputy regional director of the conservation group Traffic South-East Asia, told the Guardian. “The civets are taken from the wild and have to endure horrific conditions. They fight to stay together but they are separated and have to bear a very poor diet in very small cages.”