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This may seem hard to swallow, but the world’s most expensive coffee is made out of poop. Kopi luwak comes from coffee beans digested and excreted by the Asian palm civet, also called the civet cat or luwak, and sells for about $600 a pound.
If you wouldn’t drink “cat poop coffee” if your life depended on it — well, it just might. Civet cats, which are commonly sold at the now-infamous Chinese wildlife markets where COVID-19 is thought to have originated, are linked to a host of human diseases. Yet alarmingly, bustling tourist attractions across Bali, Indonesia, hold these animals captive for profit, reveals an investigation by my organization, Lady Freethinker.
At kopi luwak tourist traps, our investigator found these cat-like, nocturnal mammals locked in small, barren-wire cages and kept awake during the day by noisy, gawking crowds. Allowing hundreds of people to interact with stressed, potentially disease-carrying animals is bad enough, but behind closed doors, the problem gets much worse.