Actor James Cromwell — who starred in “Babe” — superglued his hand to a counter in Starbucks to protest the surcharge for non-dairy milk. He and other members of PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) staged a protest yesterday at a Midtown Manhattan, New York location of the coffee chain. Cromwell serves as an honorary director for the group of which he has been a longtime supporter.
The star was filmed by another protestor. In the video, Cromwell can be seen wearing a black t-shirt that said “Free The Animals” as he asked Starbucks to “stop charging more” for vegan milk. The coffee chain charges around 70 cents extra for non-dairy alternatives, including coconut, almond, soy, and oat milk.
Cromwell was not the only one who participated in the “glued-in” event. The protest was live-streamed and began trending on social media quickly. People began joking about the stunt, most of which were “Babe” jokes.
He and other protesters can be seen sitting on the coffee shop’s counter with their hands firmly attached to the space next to them. Next, to the protestors, people were holding signs. One sign said, “Text STARBUCKS to 73833 to End the Upcharge” with a black and white image of a cow at the bottom.
One of the people who replied to PETA’s live stream wrote, “Starbucks – stop being so hypocritical! You pretend to be progressive and want to treat the planet responsibly. YET YOU CHARGE EXTRA FOR THE LOWEST CARBON-FOOTPRINT MILK! STOP CHARGING EXTRA FOR PLANT-BASED MILKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” Another person replied, “Yes! It makes no sense that Starbucks charges more for plant-based milk. Hopefully someday they’ll stop offering cow’s milk and switch to 100% plant-based!”
After saying a few words, Cromwell pulled out a speech from his pocket. “More than 13,000 customers have asked you,” he read. “Now we’re asking: Will you stop charging more for vegan milk? When will you stop raking in huge profits while customers, animals and the environment suffer?”
Cromwell stated that cows, like humans, produces milk to nourish their young. However, “in the dairy industry, they give birth and their babies are taken from them almost immediately so that their milk can be sold.” He added that the mother cows then spend days crying for their calves. “They suffer no less than human mothers would.”
Officers eventually showed up at the Starbucks to tell patrons the facility was closed. They allowed customers to pick up their outstanding orders. Cromwell and the other protesters detached themselves from the counter and left before being arrested.
Written by Sheena Robertson
The Washington Post: ‘Babe’ star James Cromwell superglues hand to Starbucks counter; by Travis M. Andrews
CNN: James Cromwell superglued his hand to a Starbucks counter to protest vegan milk charges; by Jordan Valinsky