Splashed across the Ben & Jerry’s website are cartoon-like pictures of happy cows romping in green pastures. The cows, according to Ben & Jerry's marketing claims, live on farms that belong to the company's "Caring Dairy" program.
There’s a reason those cows are depicted by drawings, not actual photos—many of the real, live cows whose milk and cream are used in Ben & Jerry’s ice cream products live on "Caring Dairy" farms that don't meet the program's standards. Worse yet, not all of milk and cream that goes into Ben & Jerry's even comes from "Caring Dairy" farms, even though the company claims otherwise.
Ben & Jerry’s goes to great lengths to create the perception that the Unilever-owned company “cares” deeply about the farmers who supply milk and cream for the brand, the cows raised on Vermont dairy farms, and the state of Vermont’s environment.
The company’s “Caring Dairy” program sounds like a dream-come-true for Vermont’s dairy farmers and dairy cows.
But it’s more like a nightmare, not only for many of the cows, but also for Vermont’s environment and for consumers who care about animal welfare.