Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Again at Root of Animal Cruelty: Refuses to Buy Cage Free Eggs

Let’s remember here that Ben and Jerry’s was bought by Unilever in 2000. That being said, their mission is now to make lots of money for lots of stock holders.

If they truly ever had any positive mission (that’s in question) then it’s been lost entirely.

Just like Tom’s of Maine selling out to Colgate Palmolive -
http://geari.blogspot.com/2006/03/
toms-of-maine-sells-out-to-animal.html - the loss of a positive mission is clear.

Here are a few points from the article below:

The Humane Society's issue with Ben & Jerry's stems from a campaign against Michael Foods, a Minnesota-based foodservice company that provides eggs and potatoes to grocery stores and companies such as Ben & Jerry's.

In a report released late last week on its Web site, Humane Society of United States said it found in an undercover investigation that Michael Foods hens died of dehydration and starvation, and the dead birds were kept in cages with live ones. The hens' cages were too small for the birds to spread their wings, according to the report.

The report, titled "A Scoop of Lies," also outlines nearly a year of discussions with Ben & Jerry's in which the organization asked the company to stop doing business with Michael Foods.

Shapiro said at least two other Michael Foods customers -- Trader Joe's and Whole Foods grocery chains -- have pledged to switch to cage-free eggs; more than 100 U.S. colleges and universities have reduced the use of caged bird eggs or eliminated them entirely.

Article:

Ben & Jerry's faces complaint about hens

http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/
20060822/NEWS01/608220316/1009&theme=

Published: Tuesday, August 22, 2006
By Victoria Welch
Free Press Staff Writer

A national animal protection organization spoke out Monday against Ben & Jerry's, claiming the ice cream maker buys eggs produced by hens cooped in tight cages, a practice that belies Ben & Jerry's reputation as a socially and environmentally conscious company.

"No socially responsible company ought to be supporting that kind of animal cruelty," said Paul Shapiro, a spokesman for the Washington, D.C.-based Humane Society of United States.

Ben & Jerry's spokesman Sean Greenwood said his company is aware of Humane Society's concerns, and has not ruled out switching to cage-free eggs.

"Obviously we take the issue of animal welfare real seriously," Greenwood said. The company's best option for buying the eggs used in all Ben & Jerry's ice cream and frozen yogurts is "something that we are still trying to evaluate, what is the best way for us to proceed at this point."

The Humane Society's issue with Ben & Jerry's stems from a campaign against Michael Foods, a Minnesota-based foodservice company that provides eggs and potatoes to grocery stores and companies such as Ben & Jerry's.

In a report released late last week on its Web site, Humane Society of United States said it found in an undercover investigation that Michael Foods hens died of dehydration and starvation, and the dead birds were kept in cages with live ones. The hens' cages were too small for the birds to spread their wings, according to the report.

The Burlington Free Press made three phone calls Monday to Michael Foods' corporate headquarters in Minnetonka, Minn., asking for comment, but those calls were not returned.

The report, titled "A Scoop of Lies," also outlines nearly a year of discussions with Ben & Jerry's in which the organization asked the company to stop doing business with Michael Foods.

Shapiro said at least two other Michael Foods customers -- Trader Joe's and Whole Foods grocery chains -- have pledged to switch to cage-free eggs; more than 100 U.S. colleges and universities have reduced the use of caged bird eggs or eliminated them entirely.

"This is a trend of social responsibility that Ben & Jerry's should be behind," Shapiro said. "There's so much precedent of companies changing. Ben & Jerry's shouldn't find itself on the back burner."
Strong legacy

For much of its 28-year history, Ben & Jerry's has been known for its social awareness and environmental consciousness. Founders and former owners Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield established in 1985 the Ben & Jerry's Foundation, designed to fund community-oriented projects. In 1989, the company spoke out against the use of bovine growth hormone, citing concerns about economic impacts on family farms.

The company was purchased by Anglo-Dutch corporation Unilever for $326 million in 2000.

The company's mission statement includes a pledge "to make, distribute and sell the finest quality all natural ice cream and euphoric concoctions with a continued commitment to incorporating wholesome, natural ingredients and promoting business practices that respect the Earth and the Environment."

On the Ben & Jerry's Web site, the company includes an item about free-range chickens in its Frequently Asked Questions section:

"Our eggs come to us through a broker who deals with a number of suppliers of large poultry operations, none of which are free-range farms," the company writes in its answer. "According to this broker, 'the birds are maintained under humane and ethical standards established by the U.S. poultry industry for proper treatment of laying fowl, providing access to food, water, allocation of space per bird, air circulation, and protection from the elements.' The volume of eggs we require makes sourcing our eggs exclusively from free-range farms not feasible."

Greenwood, speaking on behalf of Ben & Jerry's, said his company was and has continued to be in contact with Humane Society of United States, an organization that is not directly affiliated with regional or local humane societies in Vermont. Ben & Jerry's was not comfortable with the Humane Society of United States' timetable for discontinuing the use of eggs from caged birds, Greenwood said.

"We really like the Humane Society. We value what they're about and appreciate their work on this," Greenwood said. "In the process of communicating back and forth on this, we have learned a lot. Our discussions with them helped us and have increased our learning regarding egg suppliers."

The problem, Greenwood said, is that there continues to be large gray areas of information around proper hen care. Ben & Jerry's ice cream produced in the United Kingdom does use eggs from cage-free hens, but those animals are more readily available and the eggs affordable than their American counterparts.

Shapiro said that, as a company known for thinking outside the corporate box and pushing for social awareness, Ben & Jerry's is obligated to find every way to make those practices feasible stateside.

"Ben & Jerry's is doing many things that are more socially responsible than other companies. But they are making claims that other companies don't make," Shapiro said. "If they're making these claims, it's important that they are living up to them."

Monday's news left at least one local humane society in a quandary. B.J. Rogers, executive director of the Humane Society of Chittenden County, said Monday that he had not read Humane Society of United States' allegations against Ben & Jerry's. The company has long supported his organization, he said, and often supplies free ice cream to Humane Society of Chittenden County events -- including a fundraiser scheduled for Thursday.

His staff was in the process Monday of contacting Ben & Jerry's officials to discuss the matter, Rogers said.

"If it is a case that there's question about their suppliers treating their animals humanely, that would be a concern for us," Rogers said. If Ben & Jerry's does use a producer that treats animals cruelly, "we would advocate directly to change those practices. If they refused to change those, we would have to reconsider accepting their gift, in the form of free ice cream for events.

"Ben & Jerry's has always been very good to us," Rogers said, "but we are committed to our mission before participants' getting free Ben & Jerry's ice cream."

1 comment:

Aerialrose said...

I appreciate the appeal to more "humane" products. However, I'd like to point out that cage-free eggs are not what they seem, either.

Please keep in mind that 99% of all livestock raised in the U.S. are from factory farms (USDA 2012). Organic means nothing other than the animal was not shot up with antibiotics or growth hormones: it has nothing to do with how they're treated, where or how they live, or how they're slaughtered.

In cage-free systems, chickens are packed into sheds just as tightly with no room to move and with no living outdoors, but this time, they are standing in their own excrement. "Free-Range" means legally that a chicken can be outside for 10 minutes of its life (or have a door installed to the shed that it can't even access) and be called "Free-Range".

www.humanemyth.com

Once one knows about the inherent violence in all animal products, the only ethical and logical choice is to go Vegan. No: backyard chicks or cows do not work either, for it is impossible to obtain cow's breast secretions (and keep it up) without forced impregnations/births, and via "rape rack" (aka textbook definition of rape), as well as separation of mother and baby within 3 months (or else the baby will drink the milk to the point of udder emptying), plus the problem of the male calves being born who are not "profitable" (and end up being killed as a by-product).

Backyard chickens are most often never rescued: they are from the suppliers who make a profit off of animal exploitation, thereby contributing further to the exploiter's ability to keep purchasing, murdering, and selling chickens. Chickens normally would never provide so many eggs and have been genetically induced to do so: that does not mean we should exploit this. They will eat their own eggs again given the chance to regain the lost nutrients, as each egg produced is a huge calcium and nutrient loss for the chicken. They will stop laying generally when their nests are full (so when you take the eggs, you are contributing to taking the life force/harming that chicken.). And part of a chicken's period we simply don't need, with much evidence that Americans get well over the American Heart Association recommended amount of cholesterol per day, which should be under 250 mg (1 egg is almost this much--people say, "Well, I don't eat a whole egg per day, or only one a day if that!", but unless they're otherwise completely Vegan, they're eating other products that happen to continue to have animal products in it, which already provides that cholesterol.). And unless you have an extremely rare disease where your body no longer generates enough cholesterol, your body makes all the cholesterol needed from plant-based sources.

In fact, we easily get all of our nutrients, vitamins, minerals, amino acids and protein needed for the most optimal health from a plant-based diet, and without supplementation, with the possible exception of B12 created by bacteria, which studies have shown carnists are also in need of (please click "see more" under the caption and read the article with credible sources provided.):

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151107304698100&set=t.557968099&type=3&theater

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