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Animal-rights charity PETA has urged Starbucks to end its plant-based surcharge* by becoming a shareholder – buying the minimum number of shares to attend and speak at Starbucks’ annual meetings. 

Currently, the coffee giant adds up to 80 cents to orders that swap cow’s milk for soy, oat, almond, or coconut.

‘Hard to swallow’

“Many coffee drinkers are lactose intolerant, and everyone should be intolerant of cruelty to cows, which is why charging extra for vegan milks is hard to swallow,” PETA said in a statement

“We’re heading to Starbucks’ boardroom to urge the company to end this unfair surcharge.”

‘Encouraging customers’

PETA has pressured Starbucks into dropping its non-dairy charge in the past – attracting more than 177,116 people to sign an online letter written by the charity.

“Starbucks should be encouraging customers to choose animal-friendly, vegan milks rather than cow’s milk,” PETA added.

 Many other chains—including Tim Hortons, Stumptown Coffee Roasters, Noah’s New York Bagels, Philz Coffee, and Costa Coffee—already offer dairy-free milk at no extra charge.”

You can send an online letter to Starbucks requesting it removes its surcharge here

*Starbucks UK does not charge extra for soy milk.

**This article was updated on December 29 to reflect that Starbucks UK does not charge more for soy milk.  It previously said there was no surcharge for any plant milk.

Liam Gilliver

Liam is the Deputy Editor and Social Media Coordinator for Plant Based News. He has written for a number of top publications including Gay Times, Attitude Magazine, Oh Comely, and The Huffington Post - and is the author of 'We're Worried About Him'.