Kopi Luwak which can sell for as much as $80 in the United States, is made from Coffee beans that are partially digested and then pooped out by the civet.
The animal which has a long tail like a monkey, face markings like a raccoon, and stripes or spots on its body, plays an important role in Kopi Luwak producting proses, by Their digestive enzymes, which change the structure of proteins in the coffee beans, and remove some of the acidity, a smoother cup of Coffee can be made.
The civet coffee has gained popularity, and with Indonesia is growing as a tourist destination where visitors want to see and interact with wildlife, more wild civets are being confined to cages on coffee plantations. In part, this is for coffee production, but it’s also so money can be made from civet-ogling tourists.
On the other hand , says one coffee expert quoted in an article for the Specialty Coffee Association of America, the trade organization for gourmet coffee roasters and baristas, kopi luwak just isn’t that good to begin with. Although the civets’ digestive process does make the coffee smoother, it also removes the good acids and flavor that characterize a specialty cup of coffee.
Kopi Luwak with a grim picture of animal welfare.
Researchers from Oxford University’s Wildlife Conservation Research Unit and the London-based nonprofit World Animal Protection assessed the living conditions of nearly 50 wild civets held in cages at 16 plantations on Bali. The results, published in the journal Animal Welfare.
From the size and sanitation of the cages to the ability of their occupants to act like normal civets, an intense source of pain and discomfort is the big title. A failed in basic animal welfare requirements is rising.
“Some of these cages were literally the tiniest—we would call them rabbit hutches. They’re absolutely soaked through with urine and droppings all over the place,” said Neil D’Cruze, one of the researchers.
Some of the Civets were very thin, from being fed a restricted diet of only coffee cherries—the fruit that surrounds the coffee bean. Some were obese, from never being able to move around freely. And some were jacked up on caffeine, D’Cruze said.
Many of the civets had no access to clean water and no opportunity to interact with other civets. And the most disturbing was the wire floor many of the animals were forced to stand, sit, and sleep on around the clock.
“If you’re standing on that kind of wire mesh all the time, it’s going to cause sores and abrasions. They have nowhere to go to get off that flooring,” D’Cruze said. “It’s a constant, intense source of pain and discomfort.”
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