We love that Starbucks has so many drinks that are easy to veganize, but can we discuss why it charges extra for nondairy milk in most drinks? Now, don’t get me wrong—I understand that nondairy milk can be a bit pricier than cow’s milk—but should customers really have to pay upward of 60 cents for choosing soy milk in their lattes?
There’s something weird about making people pay more for making a healthier, more compassionate and animal-friendly food choice. Let’s take a look at just a few reasons why cow’s milk is the worst and why Starbucks should make compassionate choices more accessible to people:
- Dairy foods are a product of rape.
Most of us have been fed lies about the dairy industry for our entire lives. The truth is that cows do NOT always have milk in their udders, and they do NOT have to be milked by farmers. Like humans, cows produce milk to feed their babies.
In the dairy industry, cows are forcibly impregnated (raped), and when they give birth, their babies are taken away from them so that humans can drink the milk that was intended for their calves. This causes extreme distress for both mother and calf. It’s wrong and unnatural. #NotYourMilk
- Consuming dairy foods supports the slaughter of cows.
Although they could naturally live to be about 20 years old, female cows in the dairy industry are impregnated repeatedly and used as milk machines until they’re slaughtered for low-grade meat at about 4 years old.
Male calves born in the dairy industry are usually used for veal. They’re kept isolated in cramped crates and killed after a few lonely months of life.
- Dairy foods can make us sick.
Besides humans (and companion animals who are fed by humans), no species drinks milk beyond infancy or drinks the milk of another species. Cow’s milk is suited to the nutritional needs of calves, who have four stomachs and gain hundreds of pounds in a matter of months, sometimes weighing more than 1,000 pounds before they’re 2 years old.
According to The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, dairy foods add cholesterol and saturated fat to the diet that can lead to heart disease and other serious health problems. Dairy foods have also been linked to a higher risk of developing various types of cancer.
Cow’s milk is also the number one cause of food allergies among infants and children, according to the American Gastroenterological Association. Millions of Americans are lactose intolerant, and an estimated 90 percent of Asian-Americans and 75 percent of Native and African Americans suffer from the condition, which can cause bloating, gas, cramps, vomiting, headaches, rashes, and asthma.
- Raising animals for food is hurting the environment. Here are some facts to get you thinking:
- 51 percent or more of global greenhouse-gas emissions are caused by animal agriculture.
- About seven football fields of land are bulldozed worldwide every minute to create more room for farmed animals.
- Raising animals for food takes up half of all water used in the U.S.
It only makes sense that Starbucks do the right thing and NOT charge customers extra for choosing nondairy milk over cow’s milk. A massive chain like Starbucks can afford it. (The company used to offer free soy milk to Starbucks Rewards Gold Card holders.)
The current fee can deter people from trying nondairy milk in their drink. Starbucks has an opportunity to encourage people to make healthier, more compassionate food choices by getting rid of or reducing the fee for choosing nondairy milk over cow’s milk.
What You Can Do
Now that you know what’s wrong with that dairy creamer, try out soy, almond, or coconut milk in your next drink. You can also send a polite e-mail to your fave coffee shop and let it know why you think it should stop charging for nondairy milk.