Protests Erupt Over Starbucks' Vegan Milk Surcharge

People Want Starbucks to Stop Charging Extra for Vegan Milk

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Swapping cruelly obtained cow’s milk for soy, almond, or coconut milk is beneficial to the planet, animals, and humans’ own health. Why, then, does a massive chain like Starbucks force its compassionate customers to pay upwards of 80 cents for vegan milk?

We’re as clueless as you are. 😕

We were thrilled when Starbucks finally added a soy milk option. But charging customers extra for it? Not so thrilling.

As of September 13, 2019, more than 128,600 people have written to Starbucks using our action alert to ask that the company stop charging extra for dairy-free milk. Countless others have taken to Twitter, Facebook, and elsewhere to voice their frustrations—including us:

In July, activists gathered outside the headquarters of Starbucks in Seattle holding signs proclaiming, “Soymilk Surcharge Sux,” “Vegan Surcharge: Udder Nonsense,” and “Surcharge Unfair for People of Color” …

Protests Erupt Over Starbucks' Vegan Milk Surcharge

… to make it clear that animal rights advocates, lactose-intolerant coffee drinkers, and environmentalists (practically all consumers) want the chain to dump its surcharge for adding dairy-free milk to a drink.

Protests Erupt Over Starbucks' Vegan Milk Surcharge

The surcharge is unfair to customers who oppose animal abuse—such as the separation of mother cows from their calves in the dairy industry—and it punishes people who are lactose intolerant (most of whom are people of color) as well as anyone who chooses vegan milk in order to reduce methane-gas emissions.

Click here to read more about the way Starbucks’ policy is discriminatory. >>

Here are just some of the people who are as tired of paying extra to decalf their Starbucks beverages as we are:

Humans aren’t the only animals who want Starbucks to nix its vegan-milk surcharge. Anna—a cow forced to endure a painful leg injury for weeks at Reitz Dairy Farm in Northumberland County, Pennsylvania—does, too:

cow injured Reitz Dairy Farm

So does this cow’s calf (whose milk was stolen by humans):

cow’s calf (whose milk was stolen by humans)

In the dairy industry, mother cows’ babies are typically taken away from them within one to three days—and they never get to see each other again. Male calves are usually sold to the veal industry and killed after just a few miserable months. Female calves will likely be forced to follow in their mothers’ footsteps—used and exploited for their milk until they either succumb to the abuse or are slaughtered for meat.

Starbucks should charge extra for cow’s milk, not vegan milk.

The move would certainly bolster the company’s claims of having a positive social impact and being environmentally mindful.

“As a company, we’ve made sustainability a priority,” claims Starbucks.

Perhaps the coffee chain should consider the detrimental effect that dairy farms have on the environment. Cows produce a lot of waste (which can end up in our waterways and drinking water) as well as methane (which is 25 to 100 times more damaging to the atmosphere than CO2). Nixing its dairy-free milk surcharge would undoubtedly entice more customers to opt for the kinder milk choice, truly reducing Starbucks’ environmental impact.

Cow’s milk is for calves. 🐄

Smart, compassionate, and health-conscious consumers know what’s up. We’d choose soy, almond, coconut, or any other vegan milk option over a beverage associated with rape, distress, and slaughter any day of the week (and twice on Sundays). What we’re not into is paying extra to keep our coffee free of cow secretions.

Did you know that many other chains—including Tim Hortons, Stumptown Coffee Roasters, Noah’s New York Bagels, Philz Coffee, and Costa Coffee—offer dairy-free milk at no extra charge? It’s true!

Find out which coffee chains are vegan-friendly and which ones aren’t. >>

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