Oh boy! Will elephant-poop coffee become a thing? Is it cruel?

elephant
CC BY 2.0 Flickr

It super-expensive cat-poop coffee (aka Kopi Luwak) - which doesn't actually involve cats, but rather poor caged civets - wasn't already bad enough for you, there is now a new kid on the block when it comes to pricey coffees that come from the most weird and unexpected places.

Black Ivory Coffee is made by feeding elephants coffee beans and then, after some digestion, picking the remains from... well, elephant poop.

Like with civet "cat-poop" coffee, the idea is that the fermentation that takes place during the digestion process of the animal supposedly makes the coffee better. I'm not going to argue that part, as I haven't tried it and am no coffee connoisseur, but like with using civets, I have a problem with feeding animals things that they haven't necessarily evolved to eat in those quantities, and keeping them in captivity for those reasons.

The latter part might not be as big a problem in this case, as the company behind the elephant poop coffee (how's that for branding?) claims that they only use "street rescued Thai elephants at the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation" and that "8% of Black Ivory Coffee sales will help fund a specialist elephant veterinarian to provide free care to all the elephants of Thailand through the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation", but there are still questions that remain about the long-term effect of feeding coffee beans to elephants.

I'm genuinely wondering. I'm not saying it's necessarily bad, and the intentions behind this venture certainly seems to be good (though sometimes it's the unintended consequences of our actions that are problematic). The jury's still out...

Either way, don't drink civet coffee. That one is cruel for sure.

Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Via NPR

Tags: Animal Welfare

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