James Cromwell, nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar in 1995 for his role in Babe, took up the banner of animal rights today in a protest at a New York-area Starbucks. As part of a PETA action against the chain upcharging for non-dairy milk substitutes favored by vegans, Cromwell and one other man glued themselves to the front counter in the store while other activists held signs protesting the policy.
“Non-dairy products all over the world…France, they give these things away. There’s no charge for it. Here, there’s an exorbitant charge,” said Cromwell as he sat with his hand glued to the store’s payment counter. “Why, when it’s so important now to address climate change and to understand the violence to animals to go on to make dairy products that are served here? There’s no reason for it except greed.”
The police were soon called and reportedly asked the protesters to leave, which they did after about 30 minutes. It is unclear how the actor unglued his hand from the counter, but he later showed the camera his palm, which looked to still have the substance on it.
Cromwell became a vegetarian in 1974 and then went vegan while playing Farmer Hoggett in Babe.
He later recalled that on the project he was “working with a lot of animals and animal trainers. I cared about their welfare and then of course you have lunch and it’s all there in front of you, and I thought, ‘I should go the whole hog,’ so to speak. So I made that decision and kept that during the shooting. When I came back, I got involved with PETA.”
Cromwell has been arrested multiple times in PETA protests, including in a 2017 action targeting SeaWorld’s treatment of orcas.
He is not the only animal rights activist to make a statement with glue of late.
Last month, a woman protesting an egg farm owned by longtime Minnesota Timberwolves governor Glen Taylor tried to glue herself to the court during the live telecast of an NBA tournament play-in game between the Timberwolves and the L.A. Clippers.
After Minnesota won that game and moved on to a playoff series against the Memphis Grizzlies, another woman protested the same farm by chaining herself to the basket on live TV.
See the video of Cromwell’s protest posted to PETA’s Facebook page below.