Starbucks recently announced that they were going to charge for soy milk for their drinks. From here on
out all drinks will come with cow milk and if you don't want that bodily secretion in your drink you will penalized and have to pay up more money for an already expensive drink. Not a smart move on Starbucks part, in my opinion.
This makes me wonder what their motives are for the change. Either a) they are really greedy, or b) they were bribed by the dairy industry. Neither of which are good reasons.
From what is being reported here, the upgrade (and let's face it, going from cow milk to soy milk is an upgrade) only costs the company 2.5 cents. Yet they plan to charge you $.40 and up. I've been to Starbucks this year that charged me $.60 to give me soy milk, because they said they didn't give gold card perks at their location (typically with the gold card you get the soy milk free).
Why is this a bad move for Starbucks? Many reasons, including:
- According to the National Institutes of Health, it is estimated that up to 50 million Americans are lactose intolerant, meaning they have difficulty digesting the sugars found in cow milk. Their body lacks the necessary enzyme to do so. If they consume it their body will experience various degrees of bloating, cramping, diarrhea, flatulence, and abdominal pain.
- When you break it down by the genetic numbers, those who are lactose intolerant include 95 percent of Asians, 60-80 percent of African Americans, 80-100 percent of Native Americans, and 50-80 percent of Hispanics. So the move to charge for soy milk could also be seen as a racially biased one that will hurt particular sects of the population more than others.
- The facts on how harmful cow milk is for the body, lactose intolerance aside, are well established. Animal fat, including cow milk, is a big contributor to raising artery-clogging cholesterol levels, which leads to heart disease. Cancer has been linked to dairy consumption, and it's often loaded with growth hormones. Oh, and you probably didn't that milk also contains pus.
- Health reasons aside, there are a lot of problems with cow milk, most of which the general public (and likely those making the decisions at Starbucks) are not aware of. The only way that cows can produce milk is if they are kept continuously pregnant. They are artificially inseminated (raped), forced to have babies, and those babies are ripped away from them immediately following birth. Why? Because the cow milk was intended for, well, the calf! If the calf drinks it up, then there won't be any for the humans to take.
- When the baby calves are ripped away from their mother, the mother is distraught, crying for her baby, just as humans would. Meanwhile, if she had a girl it goes into the meat/dairy industry, and if she had a boy it will go into the veal industry, where it will live a short miserable life before being put on someone's plate (and the skin on someone's back).
- Another problem with having to pay additional money for soy milk is that we tax payers who want soy are being double charged. According to the research, cow milk has been subsidized by the government to the tune of nearly $5 billion since 1995. So my tax dollars are already helping to pay to keep the cow milk cheaper, yet I am being told that I have to pay a premium for the soy milk. As a tax payer, when I step up to purchase a Starbucks drink and ask for soy milk, I not only helped pay with my tax dollars to keep the cow milk low cost, but then I'm charged for soy. So essentially, I am paying for both my soy milk, as well as helping to pay for the cow milk. Not good!
- There are also environmental reasons that make cow milk a lesser choice when it comes to purchasing a Starbucks drink. The USDA reports that as of 2007 there were 9 million dairy cows in the country. Let's be realistic here - 9 millon cows are guzzling a lot of water, putting a lot of methane gas into the air, and are taking at least one bowel movement per day. Where are 9 million piles of the stuff per day going to? You guessed it, our water supplies, including lakes, rivers, etc. There is so much information readily available about how livestock is the world's biggest environmental problem there is! It's wreaking havoc on the planet, leading to everything from deforestation and a rise in greenhouse gases, to animal waste problems and more.
- The same USDA report above also states that milk production per cow has dobuled since 1970. Cows down't just "double" their milk prodution on their own. They only way that happens is if they are being given growth hormone (which also leads them to have udder infections, leading to needing more antibiotics). You can read information about the growth hormone on the American Cancer Society site, listed under "other carcinogens."
- Finally, guess what happens to those 9 million dairy cows when they are considered "spent" and no longer have good milk production. You guessed it, they are slaughtered. The diary industry helps to fuel an industry that leads to the death millions of animals every year. If I were to ask you if you were against animal cruetly you would likely say 'yes," yet every cup of Starbucks with cow milk supports it.
For all of these reasons (and I'm sure there are more), Starbucks is making a poor choice in charging everyone for soy milk. When you order a drink at Starbucks you should be able to have the choice if you want cow milk or soy milk, and not be penalized for choosing soy. As you can see, there are a lot of good reasons to choose the soy milk over the cow milk!
I urge you to contact the customer service department at Starbucks and complain, as well as spread the news to others. You can contact them here. Also, sign the Change.org petition for this here. Finally, if they won't change their position, I urge you to reconsider how often you purchase a Starbucks, especially considering their stance on you opting for a milk that is healthier, as well as more ethical and eco-friendly!