What do Frappuccinos and furry companions have in common?
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) just announced that it has become a shareholder of Starbucks Corporation in an effort to be heard at the coffee giant’s annual meetings. The animal-rights group, known for its embrace of theatrics, is planning to protest Starbucks’s upcharge of 80 cents on nondairy milk options for its drinks.
“Many coffee drinkers are lactose intolerant, and PETA is intolerant of cruelty to cows, which is why charging extra for soy and nut milks is hard to swallow,” the group’s executive vice president, Tracy Reiman, said in a press release. “PETA is heading to Starbucks’ boardroom to urge the company to end this unfair surcharge.”
The organization says it also unfairly targets beverage buyers who refuse to drink cow’s milk “to reduce methane-gas emissions,” because “a single cow emits more of these harmful gases than a car does.”
Earlier this year, PETA asked concerned citizens to call Starbucks or alert them on social media that this practice of upcharging has to stop.
This isn’t the first time PETA has purchased shares in a company that may have questionable practices against animals. In 2011, PETA submitted resolutions to General Electric, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Bayer, Proctor & Gamble, and Covance and urged other shareholders to do the same.
We’ve reached out to Starbucks for comment and will update if we hear back.