Friday, February 17, 2006

I emailed Ben and Jerry's and they responded within a half hour!

Here is the question I sent to them via their online form:

 Customer (Allie Byrne) - 02/17/2006 01:04 PM
I recently just went vegan, and I must admit
that your ice cream was the hardest thing for me to
give up. Is there any way that you could make
vegan ice creams, using soy milk and etc in place
of dairy and eggs? Living in Vermont, its very
hard to resist your ice cream and you always have
had the best flavors and ideas. I know you have
vegan sorbets, but I've never seen a grocery
store carry them. I think this would be a wonderful
addition to the Ben and Jerry's line of

Here is the response I got:

Response (George) - 02/17/2006 01:53 PM

Thank you for contacting us about making
a non-dairy frozen dessert product. We appreciate the
opportunity to respond.

We have received requests for soy-based
or rice-based alternatives to dairy products,
and we're
happy to consider them. For the time being,
however, we have decided to continue with our line
of milk-based products, with the exception
of our sorbets, which are dairy-free and making a
return to grocery store pints this spring.
While we do recognize the environmental claims for
vegetable products, we are strongly committed
to supporting the small family dairy farms of
Vermont, feeling that their survival is
crucial to maintenance of Vermont's scenic beauty and
the vitality of its rural communities.
We have not ruled out introducing a non-dairy line of
products in the future. We are keeping
track of requests we receive, however, and will be glad
to keep yours on file for periodic review.

Thank you for taking the time and caring to write.

Ben & Jerry's

This is good news! They have not ruled out the possibility of a
non-dairy ice cream, and the sorbets (vegan) will be
hitting the shelves soon! Woohoo!
B&J's email is

** EDIT ** I added more line breaks so it wont
go into the sidebar.


Luella said...

Ahem... Vermont's scenic beauty is more important than the beauty of cows living freely and in peace? They make torture sound so beautiful... no wonder it continues.

lyral said...

Luella, that's a totally false dichotomy you're setting up. If it weren't for dairy farms, do you think wild dairy cows would just be roaming the fields of Vermont? Even if they were, it's not as though the state of nature is particularly peaceful. I say this not to trash veganism but because I think that it's important to have strong arguments rather than resorting to playing the torture card, as it were. It's that kind of thing that makes people dismiss vegans as a bunch of loonies with no perspective. And when you're asking a company to change its product line, it helps not to alienate the people who are at least sympathetic to your arguments, if not in agreement, by calling them torturers.

Anonymous said...

You can get a hand packed pint of any sorbet at any ben and jerry's scoop shop!

allie said...

lyrell -

Animals in the wild may have a hard time sometimes, but their lives are undeniably much better than animals on factory farms. Really go look up factory farms, pick a neutral source (not american cattle ranchers assoc. and not peta.) It's awful.

Also I don't usually make an environmental argument for veganism, because I care more about the animals - but the idea that raising animals is preserving Vermont's beauty is ludicrous.

JackofSpades said...

did you guys not read this?
"we are strongly committed
to supporting the small family dairy farms"
small family dairy farms being the key there. It is easy to assume, and most of the time factual, that most of the 'farms' in America are factory farms, but Ben and Jerry's really tries to get the majority of its milk from small family farms of which there are some left. The classic farm concept is a bit of a myth now-a-days though not everyone knows it, however there are a few in Vermont and elsewhere. (Remember small family farms are huge compared to what they used to be, but minuscule when compared to factory farms.) I have not done the research into what farms exactly they use and to what extent the animals are treated nicely, but I do in a sense believe in the Ben and Jerry's company on their pursuit of doing the best they can and still being a business. We all know factory farms are bad, but try to remember that B&J are trying to not use those farms to the best ability they can. They recycle, they support local business, and they always have the best flavors. Therefore it is not advisable to attack a company that is helping to work towards a greener, kinder future when there are so many worse establishments that can use your protests. Just a friendly thought.


Anonymous said...

I am not an absolutist and I realize that cows on small VT farms have a better life than factory farmed cows. However, they are still repeatedly impregnated to induce lactation, the male calves are still sold for veal (being useless to the dairy farmer) and the "spent" cows go to the same slaughterhouse that meat cows go to. The small farm cows still produce methane that harms the environment, and the manure still runs off into watersheds (the Missisquoi River for instance -- you wouldn't want to swim in it in some places near the dairy farms). I grew up in dairy farm country and am as enamored of the pastoral views as anyone, but you need to know the inside story and go vegan. It's better for your body, the earth, and most importantly, the animals.

Tyler said...

Luella and Allie,
Yes what happens to the majority of animals in this world is gross and hard to think about. But you cannot an ICE CREAM company that is not VEGAN to stop using milk. They are trying their hardest to do the right thing. The have been helping Vermont farmers and farmers in other countries to work with Ben and Jerry's "Caring Dairy's" program. They are helping the environment and they will respond to your emails within an HOUR. this does not sound like some money grubbing, animal slaughtering, evil corporation to me. Go vegan the shit out of your life but stop taking the one negative thing you see about this company and give them shit about it. They are trying to make ice cream for everybody. So relax a little and stop trying to flex the vegan muscle. And by the way most methane gas is produced by termites. termites produce more methane gas than all the cows combined. But nobody is trying to stop the termites are they.

Anonymous said...

Their cows get massages.

Jennifer Dew said...

please make a sorbet as good as Julies sorbet, i am a vegan, i do believe that if we did stop breeding all the cows there wouldn"t be so many and we would eventually find their true worth with out the slaughter . i was reading a post above that asked vegans not to play the torture card, well there really is not anyway around life taking. Simply put we weren't meant to feed masses we were meant to live in communities where we raise what we need and share amongst one another. Its the profit making that brings in the killing , at a young age and constant impregnation

Marty said...

Ben and Jerry's sourcing their mikk from smaller farms merely makes them the least worst of an industry that perpetuates the rape and tourture and ultimate death of the animals ... Unless there is a Ben and Jerry's cow sanctuarary for veal claves and spent moms I don't know about. Torture with a bunch of sugar added is still torture.

Anonymous said...

Lyrell Allie Luella for any progress to be made one the behalf of the cow the consumer or the farmer if all strong arguments are too far swayed to one side. Not all dairy farmers keep there herd in diplorable conditions, and the beauty of Vermont was built around the scenic beauty of those dairy farms and "small" business owners like "tom and jerry's" contracting fair and consistent business with those dairy farmers. Vegan consumers must bring awareness to their needs by contacting manufacturers like you did but as they respect your decision to be a vegan by acknowledging and considering request you should also respect their decision to continue supporting the economy in their home state. Common ground must be found in order the reach agreement and achieve progress.

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