Ben & Jerry’s Sued Over Whether its Cows are Happy

We all love Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, so it is so sad to see that the company has been sued.  James Ehlers is an environmental activist and filed the lawsuit in October alleging false advertising on the product labeling and the website for claiming that the milk and dairy products come exclusively from “happy cows.”  Ehlers alleges in the lawsuit that many of the farms that produce the milk and cream are factory-style, mass-production dairy operations.

Ben & Jerry’s has asked the court to dismiss the lawsuit because it does not to make any actual claim against the company.  Ben & Jerry’s asks in the Motion to Dismiss:  “How happy is a cow? What should be the first line of a riddle is now the major premise of a lawsuit . . . to the extent a reasonable consumer bought Ben & Jerry’s ice cream because he wanted to support the humane treatment of cows, he got exactly what he paid for.”

Jerry Greenfield and Ben Cohen

Ehlers “alleges that the website then led him to believe that all the dairy Ben & Jerry’s uses is exclusively ‘sourced from ‘happy cows’ on special farms,’” the motion to dismiss states. “But the website also does not make this claim. It contains dozens of links that provide information on Ben & Jerry’s social and environmental programs, including its ‘Caring Dairy’ program.”

I don’t know about the cows, but I’m happy when I eat Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.  

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