The latest coffee craze is coffee beans made from animal excretion. It sounds disgusting, but kopi luwak — or civet poop coffee (a small nocturnal animal native to forests in Asia and Africa) — is more than just unsettling for sanitary reasons.
Known as “the world’s most expensive coffee,” kopi luwak can fetch as much as $100 a cup in boutique shops, and according to animal rights activists, is produced through means of animal torture.
According to the Wildlife Alliance, this feces fanaticism is encouraging poachers to hunt down the animals, dwindling their numbers significantly. Civets are also being ensnared by “vicious” traps that injure and torture them, according to USA Today.
The method for raising civets in captivity for the production of kopi luwak is similar to geese for foie gras, a controversial food that has been banned in many parts of the United States for multiple times for animal cruelty. The animals live in small cages and are “force fed” coffee berries. The small mammals are usually fed more caffeine than their bodies can handle and many die at the expense of upscale coffee. Each day, the animals’ excrement is collected, the beans are picked out, sanitized and can sell for upwards of $100 per bag.
“Please do not buy ‘weasel coffee’ or kopi luwak,” Suwanna Gauntlett, founder of Wildlife Alliance told USA Today. “It’s encouraging the farming of animals in terrible conditions.”