This study investigated retinal changes in a Western diet (WD)–induced nonhuman primate model of type 2 diabetes. Rhesus nonhuman primates, aged 15 to 17 years, were fed a high-fat diet (n = 7) for >5 years reflective of the traditional WD. Age-matched controls (n = 6) were fed a standard laboratory primate diet. Retinal fundus photography, optical coherence tomography, autofluorescence imaging, and fluorescein angiography were performed before euthanasia. To assess diabetic retinopathy (DR), eyes were examined using trypsin digests, lipofuscin autofluorescence, and multimarker immunofluorescence on cross-sections and whole mounts. Retinal imaging showed venous engorgement and tortuosity, aneurysms, macular exudates, dot and blot hemorrhages, and a marked increase in fundus autofluorescence. Post-mortem changes included the following: decreased CD31 blood vessel density (P < 0.05); increased acellular capillaries (P < 0.05); increased density of ionized calcium-binding adaptor molecule expressing amoeboid microglia/macrophage; loss of regular distribution in stratum and spacing typical of ramified microglia; and increased immunoreactivity of aquaporin 4 and glial fibrillary acidic protein (P < 0.05). However, rhodopsin immunoreactivity (P < 0.05) in rods and neuronal nuclei antibody–positive neuronal density of 50% (P < 0.05) were decreased. This is the first report of a primate model of DR solely induced by a WD that replicates key features of human DR.