Target Acquired: PETA Locks Onto Seattle Starbucks Execs, Customers With Ad

Thanks to PETA and James Cromwell, Starbucks’ executives and patrons are in for a venti cup of disgust over the chain’s disgraceful vegan milk upcharge.

For up to a month—Starbucks’ top brass and customers to the Seattle flagship Reserve Roastery will see our sardonic video ad starring Succession actor James Cromwell as they browse the web. How did we do it? The magic of geofencing, of course!

Watch Cromwell’s PETA Video Slamming Starbucks:

Originally published on September 28, 2023:

In his first acting role since Succession, actor James Cromwell plays Ewan Roy’s worst nightmare—a greedy, fictional Starbucks executive who exploits eco-conscious customers by charging them more for vegan milk—in a new PETA video released in time for National Coffee Day on September 29.

Director: Nim Shapira Producer: Noa Osheroff Writers: Ronen Harten, Nim Shapira, and PETA Director of photography and colorist: Eyal Bau Cohen
Editor: Nitay Dagan Gaffer: Daniele Sestito Sound design and mix: Daniel Bloch Title design: Adriano Reis
First assistant director: Zohar Zeev Script supervisor: Alon Shabshin Production services: Besties Make Movies

Spliced with images of cruel industrialized milking, melting ice caps, and wildfires, the video features Cromwell in Starbucks’ signature green apron, explaining that the coffee chain is aware of the dairy industry’s contribution to “a giant burning hellscape.” He also explains why customers choose vegan milks to slash greenhouse gas emissions.

James Cromwell with vegan milk dressed in starbucks uniform with swirling colors

“It’s good that you pay … I mean, care,” he says, “because we also have other things to care about, like the $1.6 million cash sign-on bonus for our new CEO.”

“You just keep caring about saving the world, and we’ll keep caring about our savings account, because Starbucks cares about money. Heck, it’s right there in our name,” Cromwell says with a smirk, handing over a latte with a dollar symbol outlined in foam.

The socially conscious actor previously supported PETA’s campaign against the coffee giant by supergluing himself to a Starbucks counter in Midtown Manhattan to pressure the company to end its upcharge for vegan milks (which other chains offer at no extra cost).

James Cromwell superglue Starbucks protest

Dairy Is a Disaster—so Why Charge for Change?

It’s widely recognized that the production of dairy products contributes significantly to greenhouse gas emissions, land use, deforestation, and water scarcity.

Considering that each cow produces an amount of methane equivalent to burning 125 gallons of diesel fuel annually, Starbucks is likely responsible for a huge methane footprint since it purchases tens of millions of gallons of dairy milk every year.

In addition to driving the climate catastrophe, the dairy industry tears calves away from their mothers within a day of birth so that the milk meant to nourish them can be stolen and sold to humans. Cows are fiercely protective of their loved ones and form lifelong friendships.

PETA’s investigations into dairy facilities have found workers electroshocking a cow in the face, hitting cows with poles and a cane, and abusing them in other ways. Once their bodies wear out from repeated pregnancies, they’re sent to slaughter.

Starbucks’ continued punishment of vegan customers is despicable, nonsensical, and a betrayal of its own stated solution to reducing its environmental impact.

Join Cromwell in urging Starbucks to stop charging extra for vegan milks:

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