About a month ago, Ben & Jerry’s announced that they are releasing a 100% vegan line of flavors. They’ve recently divulged that almond milk will be the main ingredient in the forthcoming ice-cream. Or, more accurately named, yummy-ish-frozen-stuff-that-sure-ain’t-ice-cream.
Hailing from Vermont, home of Ben & Jerry’s, I have been dealt a series of disappointing blows from the moment that the company changed hands from the founders, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield (one of whom my Grandma knew personally, and once autographed a post-card for me) to being wholly owned by the multinational company, Unilever.
As a child, I used to attend the Ben & Jerry’s festival in the summers, which took place the beautiful bucolic hills–we would dance barefoot to Phish and The Grateful Dead and eat Peace-Pops. We celebrated “Free Cone Day” annually, at Ben & Jerry’s flagship scoop-shop in the state’s capital, Montpelier, VT, where one could also receive free ice cream on their birthday. We rooted through a cooler at our local general store for discounted Factory Seconds; pints that had been mislabeled, under-filled, or disproportionality stuffed with cookie dough and marshmallows.
A few years back, that Ben & Jerry’s storefront in Montpelier closed. I tried to get free ice-cream on my birthday at a shop in NYC, and I was denied. Factory Seconds have been discontinued. None of the conventions I was raised on live on.
And now, this. A dairy-free ice-cream, coming from a company born in Vermont, a state whose livelihood has for generations flowed from the swollen pink utters of dairy cows. It’s a long-standing adage that there are more cows than people in the state, for god’s sake. Admittedly, this may no longer reign true, but what is truth, really, in comparison to tradition.
A B&J’s ice-cream without dairy? Preposterous. RIP, Ben & Jerry’s. It is better to have loved and lost, I suppose.
Featured photo by theimpulsivebuy.