According to PETA’s research, it costs Starbucks a few pennies extra to use vegan milk in a drink — but it charges you 10 times the cost or more. To me, the reasoning is obvious. About 40 percent of U.S. adults now purchase nondairy milk (mostly almond), oat milk sales shot up 95 percent in the 52-week period ending in early September, and around half of Gen Zers say they’re dropping dairy. Making conscientious people pay more is profitable. But for any company with the reach and resources of Starbucks to profiteer in the face of a global calamity … well, it brings to mind the greedy Gordon Gekko.
For those questioning whether an extra fee on a beverage that already isn’t cheap really makes a difference, consider this: Starbucks sells more than 4 million coffee drinks a day in the United States alone. If even a small proportion of those customers are dissuaded from making an eco-conscious choice because they’ll have to pay a bit more, you can practically watch the emissions pile up, like the line at 8 a.m.
And the environment is not the only reason I’m passionate about this issue: Cows endure heartbreaking and horrifying abuse on dairy farms. These animals aren’t fountains. They aren’t constantly producing milk and hoping some solicitous human will relieve them of it.
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