I was driving to get lunch earlier today, when about 5 minutes from my apartment I noticed a whole squad of cop cars blocking the road and surrounding a Starbucks.
My first thought was that maybe the whole staff orchestrated a union-motivated walkout — those seem to be all the rage right now.
But as I got closer I saw a number of people with picket signs decked out in PETA gear.
Boom. I was witnessing my first ever animal-rights protest .
Like any logical person, I decided that my burrito bowl could wait and so I parked to check out the scene.
Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get super close since the area had been barricaded off — but I got the gist of the situation.
Protesters had cemented their feet into large blocks blocking the entrance and exit of this Starbucks.
And their reasoning: Starbucks $0.90 upcharge for vegan milk.
A bold move indeed.
My fiancé is vegan, so I have become privy to a lot of the vegan culture — but this seemed a little extreme.
But that’s PETA for yah.
Look, I am all for the ethical treatment of animals — I think we can all get behind that. But PETA, the organization, is kind of fucked up.
Often seen a extremist, irrational, and hypocritical, they’re certainly not the most reputable of organizations.
And as a believer in science, it’s hard to get behind an organization that often uses false statistics and fear mongering to push their agenda.
But I digress.
A fun little twist to the whole situation was that there seemed to be a counter-protest to the protest forming across the street.
And when I say “forming”, I mean there was one guy with a cardboard sign that said: “Soy Milk Sucks”.
No idea who that guy was, or what his reasoning was for being there — but honestly, good for him.
After leaving the scene, the main thought going through my head was: “What the fuck is going to happen to those people’s feet?” (For some reason, I assumed they were barefoot? But that probably was not the case.)
Still, it was a cool 90 degrees in Nashville today and who knows how long these people had been out there.
And what if a strong breeze knocked one of them over?
Once I got home, I headed over to Twitter to do a little more research and it seemed like the protest really wasn’t gaining too much traction.
But the biggest disappointment was reading that these protesters actually could easily slip out of the cement blocks thanks to the rubber boots that they were wearing…
Which seemed a little cheap.
Like, if you want to make a point you have to go all out in your protest — you don’t get an easy-out when cementing yourself into the ground for free vegan milk.
That’s a cow-ardly move.
I mean clearly PETA would never have the balls to set themselves on fire for a non-upcharged soy latte… so how much do they really care?
Look I am a firm believer in the First Amendment and our right to protest, so I’m glad I finally got to see it in action.
But I’m not sure whose side I’m on here.
On one side you’ve got the crazies over at PETA… and on the other side you have the capitalistic monster that is Starbucks.
Truthfully I don’t think it’s a totally crazy ask to not have to pay extra for your milk choice at Starbucks, especially since lactose intolerant people exist.
But also it’s like $0.90?
Plus there’s economics to it.
Like when we get vegan milk from the store it’s expensive as shit! But that’s obviously because it’s not as readily available as a gallon of milk straight from the udder.
I guess if I had to pick a side, I’d go with the “Soy Milk Sucks” guy.
He seemed like he just wanted to introduce a little chaos.
And that was my excitement for the day.
Support your local coffee shops!