Kate Nash urges Starbucks to ditch US vegan milk surcharge from dairy-free drinks ‘no animal had to suffer for’

Author: Maria Chiorando

Read Time:   |  25th August 2023

Vegan Food & Living may earn commission from the links on this page, but we only ever share brands that we love and trust.

Kate Nash has written to Starbucks urging it to ditch its US vegan milk surcharge – pointing out that dairy is harmful to both cows and the planet.

The actor and musician sent a letter to Starbucks CEO Laxman Narasimhan on behalf of animal rights charity PETA UK.

In her letter, she pointed out that while she enjoys the taste of the coffee chain’s drinks, she was disappointed to learn that US customers who opt for dairy-free drinks have to pay more.

Starbucks UK dropped the surcharge at the beginning of 2022, and several US coffee chains already offer vegan milks at no extra cost.

Kate also noted that while the surcharge is harmful to both cows and the planet, it is also unfair to the millions of consumers who suffer from dairy allergies and intolerances.


Kate Nash sends open letter to Starbucks

In her letter, Kate wrote: “I’m currently starring in Coffee Wars, a movie in which my character, like me, is all about creating delicious coffee drinks that no animal had to suffer for.

“And while I love Starbucks coffee, it left a bitter taste in my mouth when I learned from my friends at PETA that customers who choose non-dairy milk still have to pay extra in the US. There’s no surcharge for plant-based milk in the UK, so that just doesn’t add up.”

She continued: “Favouring guests who choose cows’ milk doesn’t fit with Starbucks’ commitment to reducing its environmental impact. 

“The dairy industry is damaging our planet: dairy farms release huge amounts of methane into the atmosphere and poison waterways, creating huge dead zones. 

“And promoting vegan milk over cows’ milk would help save the lives of gentle cows who suffer immensely for dairy.”


Downsides of dairy

In a statement about Kate Nash’s letter , PETA UK said: “In the dairy industry, calves are taken away from their beloved mothers so that the milk they produce for the calves can be sold to humans.

“Once the cows’ bodies wear out after repeated pregnancies, they’re sent to slaughter.”

It also spoke about the environmental impact of dairy, writing that ‘its emissions are the primary source of the greenhouse gas methane, which is 80 times more potent in warming the atmosphere than carbon dioxide’.

The charity also raised the issue of how the vegan milk surcharge affects people who cannot consume dairy, saying it is ‘unfair to the…people around the world who are lactose intolerant’.

Addressing this in her letter, Kate wrote: “Millions of people around the world are also lactose intolerant, including 80 per cent of African Americans and over 90 per cent of Asian-Americans.

“Is the amount that Starbucks earns by charging extra for plant milk worth alienating so many customers?”

It’s the plant-milk taking the world by storm, but is oat milk good for you?

Featured photo © Kevork Djansezian/Stringer via Getty Images

Written by

Maria Chiorando

Maria is an editor and journalist. Her work has been published by the Huffington Post, the Guardian, TechnoBuffalo, Plant Based News, and Kent on Sunday among other national and regional titles.

We use cookies to give you a better experience on veganfoodandliving.com. By continuing to use our site, you are agreeing to the use of cookies as set in our Cookie Policy.

OK, got it