British actor and Primetime Emmy winner James Cromwell glued himself to the counter of a New York City Starbucks to protest the company’s upcharge for alternative milks.
Per KOIN, Cromwell, whose acting credits include Babe—for which he received his Academy Award nom—The Babe, I, Robot, Big Hero 6, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, the Green Mile, and L.A. Confidential, took the lead in the protest put on by PETA on Tuesday morning. The demonstration began just before 10:00 am local time and was live-streamed by the animal rights group, with Cromwell reading a prepared statement while sitting atop the counter he had his hand superglued to. In the statement, Cromwell condemns the alternative milk upcharge at Starbucks as “harmful to the environment and discriminatory toward those who suffer from lactose intolerance, which affects people of color at a greater percentage,” per KOIN.
“When will you stop raking in huge profits while customers, animals, and the environment suffer? … When will you stop penalizing people for their ethnicities, their morals?”
Police were shortly on the scene, and Cromwell and another protestor who had affixed themselves to the counter unstuck themselves about a half-hour after the start of the protest. As of reporting, no charges have been filed against any of the activists.
Gluing oneself to a surface has become a popular mode of protest for the animal rights crowd as of late. During an NBA playoff play-in game between the Minnesota Timberwolves and Los Angeles Clippers, a protestor glued her hand to the court during the game in protest of Timberwolves’ owner Glen Taylor “brutally killing 5 million [chickens] via ‘ventilation shutdown,” per animal rights group Direct Action Everywhere, at Rembrandt Enterprises, an Iowa factory egg farm owned by Taylor.
Nor is Cromwell the first famous Brit to take aim at Starbucks’ alt-milk upcharge. Last month Sir Paul McCartney of Beatles and Wings fame made a public statement disapproving of the charge for non-cows’ milk, though in slightly softer tones. “I would like to politely request that you consider this policy also in Starbucks USA,” McCartney’s statement, made in partnership with PETA said.
The upcharge for alternative milks are becoming a thing of the past. Whereas almond or soy milks were once seen as more of a novelty or something only ordered by those with a lactose intolerance, alternative milks today are much more commonplace, with folks opting for them for a number of reasons, be it environmental, health, or just because they are damn good. Many cafes have already done away with the charge for non-cows’ milk, and some have even gone so far as to make alternative milk the standard offering. Here in 2022, charging extra for alternative milk is about as silly as charging for water.