Yesterday was an adventurous day for the Starbucks headquarters in Seattle. A handful of PETA activists arrived to protest the coffee giant's policy of charging more for vegan milk.
While live on social media, several activists superglued their hands to the counter, I suppose in order to show they "weren't going anywhere".
The protest lasted a couple of hours. The Starbucks closed for business after a few minutes of the protest, and law enforcement was brought in to get the activists unstuck.
The argument against Starbucks is that charging more for non-dairy milk deters customers that are either vegan or allergic to dairy. Many activists see it as a "tax" for climate-conscious coffee drinkers.
So why the extra charge? Well, while the cost of non-dairy milk options like almond or oat milk isn't significantly higher than dairy milk, the products that are added to that milk to replicate the fat and protein of dairy milk make it more expensive to produce. Therefore, making coffee with a non-dairy milk does actually cost the business more money. With the growing popularity of vegan milk options, that could certainly put a damper on profits.
PETA argues, however, that Starbucks delivers more than enough profit to be able to offset the costs and drop the nondairy surcharge.
If you want to watch the entire PETA protest in Seattle, I'll warn you that it's not terribly exciting, but here ya go...