The activists, from global animal rights organization Direct Action Everywhere (DxE), entered the store bearing placards with messages including 'watch Dairy is Scary on YouTube' and 'you are not a baby cow', and chanted: "Not your mum! Not your milk!"
"Dairy cows are continuously artificially and forcibly impregnated," a DxE spokesperson said during the protest, according to a statement sent to Plant Based News.
"Every year they go through over nine months of pregnancy, they suffer through childbirth and then have their babies stolen. This happens for profit. This happens so you can have milk in your coffee and cheese in your sandwich.
"These exhausted and abused dairy cows are typically slaughtered at just five years old, a fraction of their natural lifespan...Nothing is sacred to the dairy industry, not motherhood, not a baby's need to be with their mother, not pregnancy, not anything."
A DxE spokesperson added: "The truth is the dairy industry is incredibly cruel and most people have no idea how much suffering and death is involved. 21,000,000 dairy calves are slaughtered for veal or cheap beef every year. Hopefully more people will think twice about who suffered for the milk and cheese they are buying after today."
"We only work with suppliers across our business who are committed to doing the right thing," a spokesperson for Starbucks told PBN. "Our contracted dairy supplier for milk and cream in the UK is part of the Red Tractor Assurance scheme to ensure high welfare standards apply throughout the animal’s life.
"They are also committed to driving up animal welfare standards based on the five freedoms defined by the Farm Animal Welfare Council.
"In our stores, we cater for all our customers' dietary needs and taste preferences so always make sure there is a wide range of food and drink choices available. This includes dairy alternatives such as soy, coconut, almond and oat."
This article was updated on February 26 when Starbucks responded to a request for comment.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are prepared in the author's capacity and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Plant Based News itself.Reuse this content
Maria is the Editor of Plant Based News. A former magazine editor, newspaper reporter, and features writer, her work has been published by The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and various regional newspapers. She was previously the editor of Vegan Life magazine and Vegan Trade Journal. She has interviewed a huge range of people, from Prime Ministers to authors, activists, pop stars and actors, and enjoys the varied range of topics writing for PBN allows her to tackle. You can follow her on Twitter @MariaChiorando and Instagram @mariachiorando.
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