A ‘Grande’ Statement: Chef Babette Davis Glued Her Hand to a Starbucks Counter

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2 min read

On International Women’s Day (March 8), 74-year-old grandmother and renowned chef Babette Davis made headlines by supergluing her hand to the counter of a Starbucks store in Inglewood, California in support of PETA’s campaign against the chain. But why such a dramatic gesture?


The issue at hand—pun intended—is that the coffee giant continues to charge extra for the vegan milks it agrees are better for the planet and that don’t rely on the exploitation of mother cows and their calves. Davis, along with PETA and supporters including James Cromwell and Sir Paul McCartney, is urging Starbucks to align its actions with its stated environmental goals by ending its upcharge policy.

In the U.S., cows are the primary source of emissions of the greenhouse gas methane, which is 80 times more potent than carbon dioxide in warming the atmosphere. In addition to driving the climate catastrophe, the dairy industry tears calves away from their beloved mothers so that the milk meant to nourish them can be sold to humans. Once the cows’ bodies wear out after repeated pregnancies, they’re sent to slaughter.

“By incentivizing dairy, Starbucks is helping to prop up an industry that is built on the subjugation of females, is environmentally destructive, and penalizes the millions of Americans who are lactose intolerant, most of whom are people of color like me. My friends at PETA and I are calling on Starbucks to take its social responsibilities seriously and stop prioritizing profits over the health of the planet and our communities.” – Chef Babette Davis

Despite publicly admitting that dairy is the biggest contributor to its carbon footprint and acknowledging the positive impact that dairy-free milk options have on furthering its stated environmental goals, Starbucks continues to charge as much as 90 cents more for these products, lagging far behind its many competitors that offer vegan milk at no additional charge. In the Czech Republic, Germany, Poland, and the U.K. as well as at the majority of its stores in France, Starbucks has already dropped the vegan milk upcharge, and its stores in China, India, and elsewhere offer at least one vegan milk option at no additional cost.

As a prominent figure in Inglewood, California, where she operates her popular restaurant, Stuff I Eat, Davis is deeply invested in promoting health and wellness, particularly among Black communities. She sees Starbucks’ pricing policy as a barrier to access for those seeking healthier, animal-free alternatives, especially considering that 80% of Black and Indigenous Americans and more than 90% of Asian Americans are lactose intolerant.

Join Chef Babette in Stirring the Pot!

As the world celebrates women’s achievements, let’s rally behind those like Davis, whose actions speak volumes for a more just and sustainable future for all species. Please join us in demanding change at Starbucks. After all, a better world begins with each of us taking a stand.

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