Monkeys picking coconuts in Ko Samui, Thailand

Coconut Farmer

I heard some ‘thudding’ sounds today.  Looking out from my window I saw two guys looking up at the coconut trees. They had very long, thick string running up to the top of the trees.  I then realised that they had monkeys up the trees knocking down the coconuts.  The monkeys are tied to the string to stop them running away.

This seems pretty ingenious to me (animal cruelty rights aside, see below).  Koh Samui’s income historically, and even today despite the tourism, is from coconuts.  The island is covered with coconut filled rain forest.  A lot of coconuts grow here, and are sold.

The original travellers that came to Koh Samui in the 1970s came on coconut boats, that were brining supplies to the island, and would return loading with coconuts.

The guys I saw today were there for most of the day, but left with 2 pickups full of coconuts.

Some would argue that it is cruel to make the monkeys climb the trees.  I do not like animal cruelty, but I am not a vegetarian.  I eat meat, wear leather, and drink milk.  Some would argue that those things are also animal cruelty.  The people of southeast Asia would probably not consider it cruel to have a monkey climb a tree.  They probably would think it cruel to rear chickens in battery farms, or to heard massive numbers of dairy cows, both of which have happened in the west for decades.

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