Friday, September 26, 2008

An Open Letter to Ben and Jerry's

September 26, 2008

Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, Cofounders
Ben & Jerry's Homemade Inc.

Dear Mr. Cohen and Mr. Greenfield,

On behalf of my readers and supporters, I'd like to congratulate you on your balanced response to PETA's suggestion that you replace the cow's milk in your ice cream with breast milk. I think spokesman Sean Greenwood's statement, "We applaud PETA's novel approach to bringing attention to an issue, but we believe a mother's milk is best used for her child," was well said.

I'd like to offer a compromise, if I may. Have you considered making some non-dairy ice cream flavors? I'm not asking you to do away with your cow's milk ice cream. I just think that the company that makes the best dairy ice cream could do a great job with dairy-free ice cream. Soy milk? Rice milk? Coconut milk? The options are many, and none of them involve hooking women up to high-powered breast pumps.

The production of a dairy-free line of frozen desserts--beyond your three excellent sorbets--could broaden your customer base to include people with lactose intolerance, people with dairy allergies, and vegans. This would also be a way to show PETA you are listening. (I was going to say "a way to throw PETA a bone," but they wouldn't appreciate that.)

Thank you for your consideration,



  1. I saw the article last night and thought PETA was kind of crazy. Who is going to spend their life attached to a breast pump so others can have ice cream? And also - GROSS!

    Your idea for them to make some alternatives though sounds good!

  2. OH, you should SO send that letter! :) Thow 'em a bone. I like that! ha!

  3. This is funny. You should really send this to Ben & Jerry's if you haven't already.

  4. You know, a friend of mine said exactly the same thing. Why not soy? Of course you are the Non-Dairy Queen, so of course you would think of rice and coconut. How clever! They should consider it.

  5. Excellent letter. Definitely send it. They could really do well selling non-dairy ice creams. It would also open up the market to those without a Whole Foods or similar near them if they pushed the mainstream stores to carry their soy, rice or coconut milk ice creams.

    I had to laugh at the PETA thing. I hadn't heard about it and at first thought it was a joke.

  6. I have some kids with dairy issues as well. Love the letter!

    Do you happen to have the blog address for Frog and Toad Are Still Friends?


  7. Have you tried the Coconut Milk one from Purely Decadent? (I think that is who makes it). I've only heard about it, can't find it local.

    As for breastmilk!! HA!

  8. I have a major milk "issue" my entire life and the breast milk thing almost made me want to throw up. I can't imagine anybody taking that seriously and buying it off the shelves.

    We're facing the same problem in our household. Edy's used to be about the only whey-free ice cream out there, but b/c of this "recession" they've changed. Most of their flavors are now "fun flavors" which, upon closer inspecttion is code word for Whey is the FIRST ingredient!

    We've already started writing the letters. I'm glad you do the same! Companies need to hear from their customers to take us seriously.

  9. HKM--No. I want to try the coconut ice cream so badly. And the coconut milk yogurt.

    Blessedwith5--I need to update my blogroll!! It was so out of date, I deleted it. You can find Beck at

  10. this is awesome. i hope you sent it!

    i love b&j's ice cream but would love some non milk varieties just as much.

    when you want ice cream, sorbets just don't cut it.

  11. Great letter!

    I found the coconut milk yogurt and my husband and I tried the vanilla. It was really good. Alex, the allergic one, doesn't like the slight coconut flavor. Oh well, can't win them all.

  12. What a good letter and what a good citizen you are for writing it!