PETA Handing Out Free Oat Milk Lattes in Front of Cincinnati Starbucks to Protest Company's Vegan-Milk Upcharge

“Starbucks is counting its beans when it should be counting the number of customers it will lose if it doesn’t end the vegan milk upcharge soon.”

click to enlarge Starbucks offers reusable cups, seen here, for customers' vegan — or non-vegan — lattes. - Photo: Provided by Starbucks Media Site
Photo: Provided by Starbucks Media Site
Starbucks offers reusable cups, seen here, for customers' vegan — or non-vegan — lattes.

Animal rights group PETA is taking on coffee giant Starbucks with a local protest — and free nitro cold brew mochas.

From 8-9 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 9, PETA will be outside of the Starbucks at 2692 Madison Road in Rookwood giving away cold-brew mochas made with oat milk from RISE Brewing Co. The goal is to steal those Starbucks customers to encourage the company to lose the upcharge for its vegan milk options.

“Starbucks is counting its beans when it should be counting the number of customers it will lose if it doesn’t end the vegan milk upcharge soon,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman in a release. “People who want to drink responsibly for the sake of animals or their own health or because they know that dairy farming is fueling the climate crisis are angry with the company for placing profits above ethics.”

PETA says they have garnered almost 150,000 supporters on their call for Starbucks to stop charging extra for dairy-free milk.

"Starbucks should be encouraging customers to choose animal-friendly, vegan milks rather than cow's milk. Many other chains — including Wawa, Panera Bread, Pret A Manger, Stumptown Coffee Roasters, Noah's New York Bagels, Philz Coffee, and Costa Coffee — already offer dairy-free milk at no extra charge," says the group on the petition page.

Actor Alan Cumming joined the charge, writing a letter to Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson saying, “[I]t’s been over a year since your company acknowledged that cow’s milk is its biggest source of carbon dioxide emissions, yet you are still charging more for vegan milk. I’m urging you to put your words into action by dropping the surcharge on it.

“The most responsible move would be to stop selling cow’s milk altogether. But at the very least, you can end the upcharge on vegan milk that penalizes customers who are making the humane, environmentally friendly choice, along with those who are lactose intolerant."

RISE Brewing Co. is a nitro cold brew coffee company that says it is "dedicated to sourcing organic ingredients and using recyclable aluminum cans and cardboard packaging." 

In addition to the Cincinnati stop, PETA is also giving away vegan coffees outside Starbucks locations in Omaha, Nebraska.


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