It’s a tradition among Harry Potter fans to indulge in butterbeer goodness whenever they visit the Wizarding World section of Universal Studios. Indeed, with the possible exception of wands, the cream soda–like drink is probably the most popular item for kids — and adults — at the theme park.
However, some fans are feeling left out, notably vegans. The butterbeer is topped off with a foamy, dairy-based whipped topping.
The Protego Foundation, a Harry Potter–inspired animal-rights group, and its vegan allies have launched an effort to get Universal and Warner Bros. (which produced the movie) to provide fans with a vegan alternative. On June 8, they participated in a tweet storm aimed at executives of the park and motion picture company. On top of this, an online petition has received more than 2,700 signatures — a possible obliviate charm to exclusively dairy-based topping.
“We would like Universal and J.K. Rowling to consider that by changing the butterbeer recipe to one that is fully vegan, not only will they be enabling vegan fans to enjoy a drink that they have dreamed about consuming since childhood but they will also be helping us create a world that is a better place for all the humans and animals that inhabit it,” Protego member Kathryn Henzler said.
Universal has not responded to requests for comment.
Henzler, of Burbank, said that dairy cows are exploited and “abused,” and suggested the dairy-based topping could be replaced with toppings made from coconut milk, rice milk or almond milk.
Among the supporters of vegan butterbeer are Evanna Lynch, who played the quirky Luna Lovegood in the films. She co-hosts a vegan podcast called The Chickpeeps alongside Robbie Jarvis, who appeared in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
“I’ve been a member of the vegan community for the past five years and the Harry Potter community for most of my life, and nothing makes me happier than when these two worlds intersect,” Lynch said in a prepared statement. “I genuinely can’t imagine a lovelier day out than going to the Wizarding World to enjoy a butterbeer with my vegan friends. I will be first in line when that day comes.”