Tell Starbucks to Cancel Its Speciesist, Unjust Surcharge


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Starbucks charges up to 80 cents more to have vegan milk added to drinks, but people shouldn’t have to pay extra for making that compassionate choice. And if you’re lactose intolerant (as many folks are, especially people of color), you have to skip dairy to avoid getting sick.

In the dairy industry, workers rape and forcibly inseminate, harass, and slaughter mother cows and abduct and kill their babies. Those are good enough reasons not to sell dairy at all. But at the very least, Starbucks shouldn’t set prices that deter its customers from choosing vegan milk.

Not only is dairy the product of immense suffering and violence, using cows for milk is also devastating the environment. Dairy is the biggest source of carbon dioxide emissions across Starbucks’ operations and supply chain—and the company announced in early 2020 that its goal is to reduce its carbon emissions, water withdrawal, and waste sent to landfills by 50% by 2030. If the coffee giant actually wants to reach this goal, it’s imperative that it stop supporting the filthy, cruel dairy industry.

Even Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson has said that he’ll push customers to choose almond, coconut, soy, or oat milk, all of which are more environmentally friendly than dairy. He stated, “Alternative milks will be a big part of the solution.” That’s obvious, Kevin—but continuing to charge more for vegan milk while admitting that it’s the key to reducing Starbucks’ massive carbon footprint is illogical and hypocritical.

According to the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse, 75% of African Americans and American Indians are lactose intolerant, as are 90% of Asian Americans. Exploiting cows for milk is speciesist, charging extra for dairy-free options is classist, and disregarding the fact that many BIPOC folks are lactose intolerant smacks of racism. The general public is ditching dairy to help animals, save the environment, stand up for human rights, and improve their own health.

It’s time Starbucks stopped charging customers extra for choosing nondairy milk.


Tell Starbucks to stop charging extra for nondairy milk!

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