A multi-faith coalition of Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish leaders is urging Starbucks Coffee Company; world's largest coffee chain; to immediately stop charging extra for plant-based milk alternatives; calling it “unethical” and “unfair”.
Senior Episcopal priest Father Thomas W. Blake, high-ranking Greek-Orthodox clergyman in Nevada Father Stephen R. Karcher, distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, renowned Buddhist minister Reverend Matthew T. Fisher, esteemed Jewish rabbi in California-Nevada ElizaBeth Webb Beyer; in a joint statement in Nevada today; reminded Starbucks to follow its own ideal of “conducting business ethically and striving to do the right thing” by fixing this issue of unfairness.
A coffee company should not be in the business of taxing individuals who had chosen the plant-based lifestyle and thus dairy-milk-alternatives for dietary restrictions, ethical issues, health risk worries, environmental concerns, lactose intolerance, milk allergy, increased prostate cancer risk, unease at antibiotics-hormones-pesticides, animal welfare, etc.; Blake, Karcher, Zed, Fisher, Beyer wrote.
Why does Starbucks perpetuate such unfairness simply for its mercantile greed; Rajan Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, asks. On the other hand, Starbucks, whose mission includes “To inspire and nurture the human spirit”, should work towards making plant-based milk alternatives more accessible to every customer by removing the surcharge barriers; Zed added.
These Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish religious leaders urged Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz and its Board Chair Mellody Hobson to immediately drop this surcharge for choosing plant-based milk alternatives and not blatantly ignore the company ‘belief” of “the pursuit of doing good".
Most US Starbucks locations reportedly charge customers roughly 70¢ extra per coffee cup for oat, soy, almond, coconut milk if customers choose these substitutes replacing dairy milk.
Starbucks, founded in 1971 and headquartered in Seattle, now has over 34,000 stores worldwide; and it claims to be the “premier roaster and retailer of specialty coffee in the world.”