Phones of Starbucks Execs, Patrons to Play James Cromwell Video Slamming Vegan Upcharge

For Immediate Release:
February 27, 2024

Nicole Perreira 202-483-7382


Starbucks saboteur! People visiting the local Starbucks Reserve Roastery—and executives working in the company’s headquarters—will be served a venti shot of disgust at the chain’s disgraceful vegan milk upcharge, courtesy of geofencing technology and PETA. For up to a month—and even after they’ve left the area—Starbucks’ top brass and customers will see an inventive ad spot as they browse the web starring Succession actor James Cromwell. In the video, Cromwell appears as a greedy, fictional Starbucks executive who exploits eco-conscious customers by charging them up to 90 cents more for vegan milk—even though the chain reported $4.1 billion in profits last year alone.

image shows actor James Cromwell

Spliced with images of cruel milking machines, baby cows being torn away from their mothers, melting ice caps, and wildfires, the video features Cromwell in the chain’s signature green apron explaining that Starbucks is aware of dairy’s contribution to “a giant burning hellscape” and that customers choose vegan milks to slash greenhouse gas emissions. “And it’s good that you pay. I mean care,” he says. “Because we also have other things to care about. Like a $1.6 million cash sign-on bonus for our new CEO.”

“You just keep caring about saving the world, and we’ll keep caring about our savings account. Because Starbucks cares about money. Hey, it’s right there in our name,” he says with a smirk, handing over a latte with a dollar symbol outlined in foam.

In addition to driving the climate catastrophe, the dairy industry tears calves away from their mothers within a day of birth so the milk meant to nourish them can be stolen and sold to humans. PETA’s investigations into dairy facilities have found workers electroshocking a cow in the face, hitting cows with poles and a cane, and abusing them in other ways. Once their bodies wear out from repeated pregnancies, they’re sent to slaughter to be used for ground beef or dog food.

Cromwell previously supported PETA’s campaign against the coffee giant by supergluing himself to a Starbucks counter in Midtown Manhattan to pressure the company to end the upcharge for vegan milks (which other chains offer at no extra cost).

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat or abuse in any other way”—points out that Every Animal Is Someone and offers free Empathy Kits for people who need a lesson in kindness. For more information, please visit or follow the group on X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, or Instagram.

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