Since 2015 World of Vegan has proudly been an inclusive and nonjudgmental space for people at any stage of their journey.
Our work is rooted in kindness and respect for all, and we strive to make this world a safer, more compassionate, and equitable place for humans and non-human animals alike.
That’s why we’ve launched our first-ever campaign to nudge major coffee chains and local coffeehouses to do away with the plant-milk upcharge.
The outdated plant milk upcharge trend began during a time when vegan milk alternatives were not widely available. However, this is no longer the case. Plant-based milk is now more accessible than ever, and unanimously considered the more sustainable and ethical milk option.
If anything, coffee shops committed to sustainability should be charging a fee for cow’s milk and offering plant-milk as the default.
Coffee shops that continue to offer dairy for free while charging extra for plant-based milk options are (often unintentionally) propagating dietary racism, disregard for the harm of dairy farming to the environment and to animals (warning: graphic content), and are ignoring the ethical preferences of consumers.
Why is this so important?
Lactose intolerance disproportionately affects racial minorities. The body’s inability to process dairy without potentially-severe side effects occurs in approximately 50-80% of people of Hispanic origin, people from south India, Black folks, roughly 75% of all Jewish individuals, and nearly all Native Americans and people of Asian descent.
Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, and Jewish leaders alike agree that the upcharge on dairy-free alternatives is, essentially, an unethical tax on individuals who have adopted plant-based lifestyles on ethical and religious grounds, environmental and animal welfare concerns, or for health reasons.
And finally, animal-based dairy is a huge drain on our planet. The dairy industry contributes to a wide array of environmental issues, including the deforestation of the Amazon rainforest, the creation of toxic waste cesspools that are sprayed in the air and rain down on neighboring low-income communities, the release of methane emissions that contribute to global warming, and the excessively high water usage associated with dairy production.
Coffee chains like Blue Bottle and Stumptown Coffee Roasters, as well as LinkedIn offices in San Francisco, have tested oat milk as the default to great success, and Peet’s Coffee did away with the dairy-free upcharge throughout Earth Month. Caribou Coffee is likewise rewarding its loyal customers with free plant-based milk at all 765 locations, and now college coffee shops are getting in on the trend. Starbucks has already ditched the vegan milk upcharge throughout the United Kingdom, Germany, France, China, and India, so why not the U.S.?
We encourage you to sign your name on the petition above which will send an email directly to the CEO of Starbucks asking for change.
We also invite you to utilize our digital downloads that you can customize and email to coffee corporations, as well as print and share with your favorite local coffee shops.
Thank you, wholeheartedly, for being an ally to the planet and all those who share this home.
Looking for an easy way to make a difference in your local community? Download our customizable letter and deliver it to your favorite cafes and coffee shops asking them to eliminate the upcharge for plant-based milk options. By making inclusive and sustainable choices, we can all work towards a better future for ourselves and our planet.
Do you want to make a difference on a larger scale? Send this letter to coffee corporations like Starbucks, Dunkin’, and Peet’s Coffee, urging them to eliminate the upcharge for plant-based milk. By doing so, these corporations can show their commitment to inclusivity and sustainability and make a positive impact on the world, one cup of coffee at a time.
Has your cafe recently eliminated the upcharge for plant-based milk options? We applaud your decision to make inclusive and sustainable choices, and we’d love to feature you! Please drop us a note and we will be in touch. Thank you for being a leader in the industry and for making a positive impact on the world!