ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Palm Civet Gauge

Updated on July 31, 2017

The Palm Civet in Asia is represented by several different species and umpteen subspecies. The most familiar is the Common Palm Civet Paradoxurus hermaphroditus. This cat sized mammal is actually known as the 'Toddy Cat' in some areas but is not a member of the cat family. It is from the Viverridae. All Civets are omnivorous and largely nocturnal.

The Palm Civet is the primary harvester of the worlds most expensive coffee. The fussy civet sneaks into the coffee plantations at night and eats only the ripest and juiciest of the coffee berries. The coffee 'beans' are not digested but are acted upon and changed by enzymes in the Civets gut and are passed out in the Civet Poop. This is collected and the beans roasted and processed to produce pricey aromatic coffee (Kopi Luak). As long as you don't think about it it tastes fine. In spite of the high prices demanded it sells because of its reputed aphrodisiac properties. Not the only one with such a claim to fame. There is that famous Malaysian brew as well.

Today the poor little Palm Civet is being farmed in the most horrendous conditions to supply a luxury market.

Unprocessed Civet Coffee Beans

Photo by: http://www.flickr.com/photos/71494338@N00/
Photo by: http://www.flickr.com/photos/71494338@N00/

Masked Palm Civet

Photo by: http://www.flickr.com/photos/_temaki_/
Photo by: http://www.flickr.com/photos/_temaki_/

Believe it or not there is even a beer brewed out of civet cat dung. It is quite strong too (as well as being expensive) and I daresay that once you have forced the first couple of pints down your throat you will not be too bothered where it came from.

Civet Poo Beer

Civet in a Hole

Photo by: http://www.flickr.com/photos/briangratwicke/
Photo by: http://www.flickr.com/photos/briangratwicke/
Photo by: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sejibodo/
Photo by: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sejibodo/

As members of the Viverridae the Civets have an active gland beneth the tail producing a strongly scented 'oil' used for marking its territory and letting other Civets know what it has been up to. This oil is known as 'Civet' and was originally imported into Europe as a medicine from Asia where it had been used as such for thousands of years as a cure for scabies amongst other things. Today its main use is as a fixative in the manufacture of perfumes. Its use in perfumery goes back to the tenth century BC when it was recorded as being imported from Africa (African Civets) by King Solomon. Naturally too there were claims of aphrodisiac powers.

This unfortunate little creature was blamed for the SARS outbreak in 2003. At the time the Civet figured highly on the menus of many Chinese meals. Thousands of of Palm Civets were slaughtered and incinerated. It was only after the fact that the most likely culprit was believed to be bats and that the Civet Cats had caught SARS off people.

You may think that you have seen Civet on the menu in some restaurants in Europe but it is unlikely....though the word 'Civet' is used to describe some French and Italian game cooking recipes.

World's most expensive coffee

The Palm Civet Gauge

The Palm Civet is common enough in Asia and practically every animal collection you visit will have at least one. To me, just because an animal is common does not make it any less deserving than the rarities. I am not alone of course as many staff in many zoos genuinely care about their animals.

It did not take me long into my tour of Asian Zoos to see there exists a parity in how a collection treats its Palm Civets. If the Palm Civet and its enclosure are dirty and ignored, its natural biology  not taken into account and if there is no cage furniture and enrichment then the rest of the zoo will compare in many ways.

Zoos which cannot care for Palm Civets should not keep animals at all. 

So that is the Palm Civet Gauge. Give it a try sometime.

Comments

Submit a Comment

  • Peter Dickinson profile image
    Author

    Peter Dickinson 8 years ago from South East Asia

    dohn - I have enjoyed the coffee a time or two but not at the outrageous prices quoted. Definitely I would give the beer a try but like you I am not into the consuming of carnivores...yes close to the mongoose. Thank you for your comment.

  • dohn121 profile image

    dohn121 8 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

    What a fascinating creature. I'm sure it shares its traits with the mongoose and the weasel? I'd really like to give that coffee a try as I am a big fan...Not so sure about the beer however and no, I don't want to try it as a meal! Thank you Peter for this interesting hub.

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)