College Students to ‘Roast’ Starbucks Over Vegan Milk Upcharge

Young PETA Supporters Will 'Press' the Company to Stop Penalizing People for Choosing Eco- and Animal-Friendly Options

For Immediate Release:
October 7, 2019

Brooke Rossi 202-483-7382

Richmond, Va. – Armed with giant PETA posters proclaiming, “Soy Milk Surcharge Sux,” a group of Virginia Commonwealth University students will spend the day inside a Starbucks near the school’s campus on Tuesday. The students will point out that Starbucks’ extra charge for dairy-free milk punishes those who are lactose intolerant—most of whom are people of color—along with anyone who simply wants to reduce methane-gas emissions or who opposes cruelty to cows.

When:    Tuesday, October 8, 12 noon

Where:    Starbucks, 1500 W. Broad St. (at the intersection with Bowe Street), Richmond

“Soy and nut milks shouldn’t cost a cent more than their dairy counterparts, which are cruel to cows and downright indigestible to many humans,” says PETA Future Senior Director Marta Holmberg. “Starbucks’ cup runneth over with reasons to ditch this shameful surcharge, and PETA is urging the company to take action.”

In today’s dairy industry, cows are artificially inseminated (raped via an inserted syringe) and calves are torn away from their loving mothers within a day of birth. Mother cows have been known to wail for their calves for days after separation. Male calves are often slaughtered for veal, and females are eventually sentenced to the same miserable fate as their mothers.

The protest will take place under Starbucks’ “Third Place Policy,” which allows people to use its spaces regardless of whether they make a purchase.

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

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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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