Protesters to Occupy Local Starbucks Over Vegan Milk Upcharge on Saturday

PETA's 'Week of Action' Will 'Press' Chain to Stop Penalizing People for Choosing Climate- and Animal-Friendly Options

For Immediate Release:
January 24, 2020

David Perle 202-483-7382

Norfolk, Va. – On Saturday, groups of PETA protesters will gather peacefully inside Starbucks locations in Ann Arbor, Michigan; Belton, Missouri; Bradenton, Florida; Conway, South Carolina; Lansing, Michigan; and Owings Mills, Maryland to urge the company to dump its surcharge for dairy-free milk.

The sit-ins—a part of PETA’s Week of Action, during which supporters will occupy Starbucks locations across the U.S. and Canada—come in the wake of the chain’s release of its new “sustainability commitment.” Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson recently stated, “Alternative milks will be a big part of the solution,” and said that he’ll push consumers to choose milk made from almonds, coconuts, soy, or oats, whose production is friendlier to the environment than dairy. The protests also come as Starbucks fails to address its continued vegan milk upcharge even though a recent environmental assessment unveiled on Tuesday revealed that cow’s milk is the company’s “biggest source of carbon dioxide emissions.”

“Continuing to charge more for vegan milk while admitting that it’s the key to reducing Starbucks’ massive carbon footprint is irresponsible and unethical,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “Soy and nut milks shouldn’t cost a cent more than their dairy counterpart, which drives climate change and is cruel to cows and indigestible to many humans. The surcharge must stop now.”

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. 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 necessary to combat the worst effects of climate change.

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

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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