PETA Earth Day Gift to Starbucks CEO Is a Gas

For Immediate Release:
April 21, 2023

Contact:
David Perle 202-483-7382

Seattle – New Starbucks CEO Laxman Narasimhan will get a cheeky gift from PETA in honor of Earth Day: a “cow fart” in a jar. The mock Starbucks Frappuccino bottle contains a foul-smelling spray that draws attention to the devastating climate impact of methane—a greenhouse gas generated by cows on dairy farms—and will remind Narasimhan that Starbucks’ upcharge for vegan milks stinks. PETA points out that although Starbucks pledged to cut its carbon footprint in half by 2030, it still punishes its customers for choosing climate-friendly, animal-friendly, healthier nondairy milks.

“Cow farts and belches might not be silent, but they are deadly—methane has 80 times the warming power of carbon dioxide,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA urges Narasimhan to stop milking his customers and harming animals and the planet.”

By incentivizing customers to choose dairy milk, Starbucks perpetuates immense cruelty to cows, whose beloved calves are torn away from them so that the milk meant to nourish their babies can be used by humans. Once the cows’ bodies wear out after repeated pregnancies, they’re sent to slaughter.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

PETA’s letter to Narasimhan follows.

April 21, 2023

Laxman Narasimhan, CEO

Starbucks

2401 Utah Ave. S

Suite 800

Seattle, WA 98134

Dear Mr. Narasimhan:

In advance of Earth Day, I’m writing on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and enclosing a cow fart in a jar, in the hope that unlike your predecessors, you are not full of hot air. We don’t mean to be rude, but I think you’ll agree this is an apt reminder of the stinky problem Starbucks has and an appeal to you to drop the extra fee on vegan milks.

During Starbucks’ last shareholder meeting, you stated, “At our best, we give to the Earth more than we take”—but regrettably, Starbucks is not currently at its best. Far from it! When Starbucks pledged to reduce its carbon footprint by 50% and recognized that cow’s milk is the largest contributor to it, we hoped the company would take great strides to encourage consumers to choose nondairy options. However, your company continues to disregard your own message and pimp the public, charging as much as 90 cents extra for eco-friendly vegan milk—and that surcharge stinks.

Cow farts and burps may not be silent, but they are deadly. Dairy factory farms that Starbucks supports produce massive amounts of methane gas, which is 80 times more potent in warming the atmosphere than carbon dioxide. Cow emissions are the primary source of this harmful gas, which exacerbates the climate catastrophe we’re all facing. Any milk from plants is far better for the planet, so Starbucks should, at a minimum, offer nondairy milk at no extra charge to get closer to achieving its environmental goals.

It’s also past time for Starbucks to help lactose intolerant folks (most of whom are people of color) and all customers who avoid dairy for ethical or religious reasons. The chain’s locations in other countries have rejected the surcharge, including recently in Germany, and it’s time for Starbucks here in the U.S. to follow suit. As the new CEO, you have the power to make a significant impact and ensure that your legacy really matters.

Thank you for your consideration. I hope you’ll take this opportunity to make a positive change for animals, the environment, and your customers.

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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