Panera Bread Ends Vegan Milk Surcharge After PETA Appeal

Restaurant Chain Stops Charging Extra for Animal- and Earth-Friendly Nondairy Milk—and Starbucks Should Follow Suit

For Immediate Release:
February 19, 2020

Brooke Rossi 202-483-7382

St. Louis

Following discussions with PETA, Panera Bread has just announced the end of its vegan milk upcharge. The move comes after reports that the restaurant intends to introduce plant-based products to every menu category by 2021—and makes it the third brand under the JAB Holding Company to end the surcharge on nondairy milk, after Stumptown Coffee Roasters and Pret A Manger.

“Panera Bread is helping its customers hit back against an industry that treats sensitive cows as nothing more than milk machines and spews out contaminants that are heating up our planet,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA is calling on Starbucks, which is still penalizing people for opting for eco- and animal-friendly vegan milk, to follow Panera’s progressive lead.”

In today’s dairy industry, cows 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. 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 and then killed when they stop producing enough milk to be profitable.

Each person who goes vegan saves the lives of nearly 200 cows and other animals every year—and they significantly reduce their own carbon footprint, as the dairy and meat industries are major producers of the greenhouse gases that contribute to catastrophic climate change.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat” and which opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview—is currently pushing Starbucks to end its surcharge on vegan milk, which continues despite the company’s release of its “sustainability commitment” and an environmental assessment revealing that dairy products are the chain’s “biggest source of carbon dioxide emissions.”

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