PETA protests Starbucks over vegan milk upcharge

 Curtis Vollmar, Animal liberation activist as he protests local Starbucks.
Curtis Vollmar, Animal liberation activist as he protests local Starbucks. (WILX)
Published: Jan. 25, 2020 at 4:48 PM EST
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PETA is protesting Starbucks locations across the country for charging a 60-80 cent surcharge for dairy-free milk products.

"It's just so insane that Starbucks is charging people for making an ethical and environmentally friendly decision," Curtis Vollmar, Animal liberation activist said.

This is similar to the reaction of thousands of PETA protesters as they gathered at Starbucks locations across the nation.

Protesters in Okemos say Starbucks is not following through on its promise to be a sustainable business.

"They claim to be sustainable by helping us reduce our waste, yet we're promoting this idea of using cow milk, which puts so much waste into the environment," Jessica Chapman, Michigan State University law student and PETA law intern said.

Protesters say the goal is to eventually eliminate all animal-based products, but for now, it's just about the 60 to 80 cent surcharge.

"All we want is for people who choose the vegan healthy option to not be discriminated against," Chapman said.

Protesters say that not all coffee businesses charge extra for non-dairy milk and they want Starbucks to get on board.

They say it costs much less to sell vegan milk.

"In the long run, vegan products are a lot less expensive than animal products," Chapman said.

"When you take into account the plants that the cow needed, the water that the cow needed, it takes thousands of gallons of water to produce one gallon of milk and we're charging more for the plant-based milk which requires fewer resources? That's absolutely insane," Curtis continued.

The Starbucks chain has responded to the PETA protest saying in part, "We are proud to have a history of offering our customers products that meet their diverse needs, adding a splash of any alternative milk to some beverages is offered free of charge."

The statement still leaves protesters with questions.

"The CEO Kevin Johnson came out and said that plant-based milk or dairy alternatives will be apart of the solution. I don't know what he meant by that, but I don't know if they're going to keep the up charge or not," Vollmar said.

PETA says their pressure campaign for Starbucks was supposed to last only from January 19th until January 25th, but they're prepared to extend it.

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