I have a few different things I want to tell you about today.
The first one is to wish a very happy birthday to Sammy’s mom, Pam. Here is a video made by blogging pals. I hope you like it.
If you don’t know Sammy and his mom, you will find them at onespoiledcat. Every day is fun, but today is a good day to visit because Sammy gives Sammy Hugs on a Wednesday. A Sammy Hug is the prize for winning the Tuesday Teaser, but he also gives hugs to those of us who didn’t have a clue where the photograph was taken!
Sammy, make sure you save some special Sammy Hugs for your mom today! Have a great day!
A royal pardon
A few weeks ago, I asked you, “Is Jiminy guilty?” Someone, or something, had been feasting on succulent shoots of wisteria. Opinion was divided. Although the evidence was compelling, it was circumstantial. Even those of you who thought he was definitely guilty pleaded for clemency.
He never was in any danger, unless indigestion counts as danger! But, to put your minds at ease, I have arranged for him to receive a royal pardon. He is officially granted free access to the wisteria. Nothing has changed really, except that Jiminy has a fancy scroll. He’ll probably eat it!
Last week I wrote about kopi luwak coffee and the cruelty involved in its production. I want to thank you all for caring about this. I was thrilled by your response. Many of you signed the petition and followed the links and you shared the post in various ways. The post has reached many more readers than I would normally expect. I really appreciate your help in spreading the word about this.
I’m a dog and I find poop fascinating. On a walk, one quick sniff at a pile of poo and I know what type of animal walked this way and how long ago. I know some dogs are so enthusiastic about poop that they like to eat it. I don’t. A nibble at the edge of a particularly appealing cowpat doesn’t count as eating it. And what dog could resist a quick taste test, when happening upon a heap of horse dung that is still steaming?
If they see me nibbling at some poo, my bipeds always say, “Clowie, leave it!” I thought they were a bit strange to dislike poo, until I saw the reaction of other humans when their dogs are tasting poop. I decided that all humans are afflicted with a phobia of poop, their responses range from mild fear to panic when they see some.
Imagine my surprise when I was told that some bipeds drink coffee that is made from beans recovered from poop! I thought they were teasing me, but it’s true and people pay a lot of money for this coffee. This is a perfect example of the double standards of humans – tell the dog off for showing too much interest in poop at the park and then go and drink poop coffee! You couldn’t make it up!
Kopi Luwak Coffee
The palm civet is a shy, nocturnal creature about the same size as a domestic cat. It has sharp claws, similar to a cat, and it climbs trees easily. It eats a variety of fruit and small mammals.
The stones, or coffee beans, are not digested. They can be seen in the excrement.
Civet faeces containing coffee beans Attribution: By Vberger (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Someone in Indonesia decided to extract the coffee beans from the poop. I can find no information on who thought this would be a good idea, nor can I find how this person persuaded other people to drink the resulting coffee!
Kopi luwak coffee was rare and the quality varied. I may think it strange that humans would want to drink it, but no animals were harmed.
The sad part
A little over twenty years ago, kopi luwak coffee was introduced to Europe and America. It has gradually become more popular and more expensive. It has been featured on popular shows, such as Oprah, and in the film “The Bucket List”, leading to more demand for it. Kopi luwak could only be produced in small quantities, so things changed.
Civets are captured and kept in tiny cages, fed on a diet of coffee berries and little else. This picture is heartbreaking, but one of the least distressing I could find. These animals suffer and die because of their restricted diet. They are stressed because they are in such a confined space. Some have bad injuries. I could say more about their plight, but the cruelty is obvious.
Kopi luwak coffee is also known as civet coffee, weasel coffee, cat poo coffee, poop coffee, crap coffee and probably other variations.
Kopi luwak coffee that is labelled as authentic, with the claim it’s made from the poop of wild civets sells for even higher prices than other kopi luwak. We only have the word of the producer on this. There are no checks on their claims. People in the coffee world say that there is very little coffee made in the old way, by collecting excrement from wild animals, and the only way to know the origin of the coffee is to collect it yourself.
At least one plantation that sells ‘authentic’ coffee has civets in cages on its premises. They say the civets are there for research purposes and their poop is not used for the coffee they sell. True or not, I think they’re missing the point – they have wild animals in cages and are exploiting them.
What you can do
• If you drink or buy kopi luwak coffee, you can stop
• You can read the small print on that special blend you enjoy on a Sunday morning and if it contains kopi luwak you can choose a different blend
• There is a Facebook page “Kopi Luwak: Cut the Crap” – https://www.facebook.com/kopiluwakcutthecrap
This campaign is being run by Tony Wild, who imported the first kilo of kopi luwak coffee to Britain and hates what is happening to animals to produce this coffee now.