While changing the newspaper in my bird’s cage, I was drawn to the compelling eyes in this photo. After reading the caption, I was surprised to read people actually drink a coffee originated from this animal’s digestive system. In this case, a civet – a small mammal found in Southeast Asia and Southern China. Toxoplasmosis came to mind immediately but apparently there are no safety health issues when drinking this excrement inspired drink.
The coffee is sold as “Kopi Luwak.” The luwaks or civets it was discovered like to naturally eat the coffee cherries. The seeds remain basically undigested thus exiting the animal. Their body juices breakdown the fruit and permeate the seed as it goes through their system, resulting in a type of fermentation process…and apparently a bean made into a coffee with a carmel like taste.
It all sounds ok until I did more reading. Civets in many cases are force fed and kept in cramped, dirty, unnatural conditions, resembling factory farms, given the rise in demand for this unique blend. Why people decide to turn to cruelty for money I will never understand when they can still make money while being compassionate. Doi Chaang Coffee is one such business. It is a fair trade company that sells a cruelty free civet coffee which supports the local people. http://doichaangcoffee.com/doi-chaang-wild-civet-coffee
I had no idea that after cutting out this picture I would know the story behind those eyes. I am glad I do.