Alicia Silverstone to Press Starbucks Over Vegan Surcharge

Actor, Author, and Animal Advocate Joins Forces With PETA to Urge Coffee Chain to Put the Planet Before Profit

For Immediate Release:
March 17, 2020

Moira Colley 202-483-7382

Seattle – “When will Starbucks put its money where its mouth is and remove the barrier to customers choosing climate-, health-, and animal-friendly vegan options by dropping the surcharge on nondairy milk?” That’s the question that Alicia Silverstone, as PETA’s representative, will ask at Starbucks’ virtual annual meeting on Wednesday. Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson has called dairy-free milk “a big part of the solution” in reducing the company’s carbon footprint—yet the company is still charging up to 80 cents more for soy and nut milk lattes.

“Starbucks is paying lip service to environmentalism while penny-pinching at the expense of its customers, cows, and the planet,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA and Alicia Silverstone are telling Starbucks’ shareholders that if they’re really serious about reducing the company’s carbon footprint, they’ll ask it to drop the vegan surcharge immediately.”

Cows used for dairy are artificially inseminated (raped when a person inserts an arm into the rectum and a metal rod into the vagina), and calves are torn away from their loving mothers within a day of birth. According to the United Nations, animal agriculture is responsible for nearly a fifth of human-induced greenhouse-gas emissions and a global shift to vegan eating is vital if we are to combat the worst effects of climate change.

Silverstone, an honorary PETA director and longtime animal advocate, previously spoke out against Starbucks’ vegan milk surcharge on Twitter. PETA bought stock in the company last year in order to push for change from inside its boardroom.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat or abuse in any other way”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit


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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind