Tell Ben & Jerry’s to Stop Supporting Tail Docking of Dairy Cows

Photo Credit: Waycool27

Target: Ben & Jerry’s CEO Jostein Solheim

Goal: Stop purchasing milk from producers that cruelly dock the tails of dairy cows.

Ben & Jerry’s ice cream is a favorite among American families. The flavors are fantastic, but at least half of the appeal comes from the company marketing itself as socially responsible, politically aware, and light-hearted. Nobody is perfect, but Ben & Jerry’s seems to be headed in the right direction as it recently began supporting parent company Unilever’s recent decision to use cage-free eggs in an effort to be more humane. Cage-free eggs are definitely an improvement, but there is still a glaring animal welfare issue for which there is no excuse that needs sorting out: tail docking.

For those unfamiliar with the term, tail docking is the cruel practice of amputating the tail of an animal, and is typically done without anesthesia. In Vermont, the state which Ben & Jerry’s proudly hails from, this practice is very widespread. There is a program called “Caring Dairy” that provides a pay incentive to Ben & Jerry’s producers that don’t dock the tails of their cows, but it’s completely voluntary and has only been adopted by some; a number of participants are taking the pay cut and still providing milk.

Tail docking doesn’t improve the product in any way, and is only for the convenience of workers. It’s extremely painful, and for this “convenience” cows have rubber bands tied around their tails before having them sliced off, using no anesthesia, causing acute pain and discomfort followed by a lifetime of chronic phantom pain. In addition to the pain, the life if the cow is further impacted by its inability to swat flies and socially signal other animals. Cows that have been docked show increased agitation, tossing grain and trying to spit on their own backs to get rid of annoying flies that cause stress and even disease.

The American Veterinary Medical Association is completely opposed tail docking of dairy cows, and many states have already outlawed the cruel and pointless practice, but Vermont continues to allow it. Ben & Jerry’s is not only aware of these practices, but continues to financially support the inhumane treatment of animals by purchasing milk from tail docking dairy farms. Please help convince Ben & Jerry’s to stop buying milk from known tail-docking producers by signing the petition below.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Solheim,

As a socially responsible and politically driven company, you’ve recently starting using cage-free eggs in order to make strides toward the humane treatment of animals. That’s a step in the right direction, but there is a huge animal welfare issue being overlooked that can be easily remedied.

Your Caring Dairy program provides incentive to dairy farmers that don’t practice tail docking, but regardless of your awareness of the issue you continue to purchase milk from the farmers that took a pay cut over the obviously better option of stopping the cruel and unnecessary butchering of animals for their own convenience.

Tail docking is very painful, and causes life-long suffering for cows involved. There are no shortages of suppliers operating under your Caring Dairy program, and you have already pinpointed which producers refuse to abide by humane standards. Please stop buying milk from the farmers still executing these cruel and pointless tail-docking procedures, and set an example for the humane treatment of animals by companies everywhere. You can do it!

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Waycool27

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13 Comments

  1. For the workers “convenience”, just get rid of a piece of the animal’s anatomy? Just think about it.
    Putting an animal that gives you something to profit by through
    this barbaric procedure is inhumane, disrespectful and totally not necessary!

  2. It’s such a shame,in this day & age that inhumane treatment of animals is still taking place and allowed.its all about the $$$$$$.
    I’m sure if the persons running these business/industries were to have a nice tight rubberband put on their penis(however small they may be)then had their penis chopped off, and remember, no pain meds allowed!, we wouldn’t be hearing of such acts of animal cruelty.sad.

  3. Carole Renard says:

    I worked for Ben & Jerry’s sales office in the UK in the 90s when they were based in Egham, Surrey. I was ‘sacked’ not long after I pointed out a spelling mistake made on the 1000s of fridge magnets that had just been made to advertise the Ice Cream, and raised the issue of the company’s alleged ‘ethics’ after hearing the marketing manager (who’s spelling mistake it was) say that it didn’t matter and that those plastic magnets could just be ‘binned’.
    No mention of looking at recycling or anything. For a company started by Hippy’s and that wanted to portray itself as respectful to nature etc… it was out of order to me and cost me my job. Anyway.

    On the subject of cage free eggs = does that mean the chickens are roaming free, or just that instead of tight cages with one bird in each they are kept on top of each other in a warehouse? If that’s the case = there is not much difference as far as the chicken’s quality of life goes.

  4. David Neely says:

    no animal deserves to suffer. say not to cruelty. STOP tail docking!

  5. UNBELIEVABLE…DOCKING COWS TAILS IS EVIL AND CRUEL, ANYONE WITH A BRAIN WILL KNOW THERE IS NO WAY THE QUALITY OF THE MILK CAN IMPROVE BY THESE CRUEL PRACTICE, THIS IS THE LAMEST EXCUSE I HAVE EVER HEARD…NO THIS IS ABOUT BONE IDLE BLOODY FARMERS THAT DON’T WANT THE EXTRA WORK OF KEEPING THEIR ANIMALS CLEAN. JUST WHEN YOU THINK YOU HAVE HEARD IT ALL, NOW THE HEINOUS PRACTICES OF DOCKING COWS TAILS, MY SUGGESTION TO BEN/JERRY, YOU STAND IN A FIELD WITHOUT TROUSERS ON FOR HOURS, SEE HOW YOU GET ON WITH FLIES AROUND YOUR GENITALS….WHY WOULD YOU THINK ITS ANY DIFFERENT FOR COWS, SHAME ON BOTH OF YOU FOR PURCHASING MILK FROM THESE CRUEL MORONS….WHERE THE HELL IS THE ARE THE LOCAL AUTHORITIES TO STOP THIS. AND TO DATE HOW THE HELL ARE THEY GETTING AWAY WITH IT GIVE THEM A JAIL SENTENCES OR WORSE.

  6. There is no need to harm animals for food. There are so many delicious and healthy alternatives such as coconut or almond milk based and other bases for ice cream and products. Animals want to live and trembling feel just like humans. We need to have compassion beyond our pets as yoga master Dharma Mittra says. Facebook.com/ahimsadiet is my daily posts and vegan recipes.

  7. “So many people insist they are against animal abuse, cruelty, suffering and the inhumane treatment of animals, yet they don’t understand they are actively engaging in and supporting egregious suffering, abuse, cruelty and inhumane treatment when they eat animals and their ‘by-products.’ If you are against cruelty, suffering and inhumane treatment, then you go vegan. It’s just that simple.” – Sarah Kiser

  8. Ben & Jerry supports animal cruelty! Stop buying their products!

  9. Ben & Jerry’s: KNOW THIS & STOP USING FACILITIES THAT TAIL DOCK….THEY NEED THEM TO WAT FLIES OFF !!!

    4 legged VERY GOOD, KIND & TRUSTING….2 LEGGED VERY BAD,STUPID & VERY CRUEL…..ONLY A SUB-HUMAN WOULD DO THIS !!

  10. I have read a lot of these comments and totally agree with most of them but it would also help if the US would also outlaw horse tail docking. The Budweiser Clydesdales are a prime example.

  11. Melanie Young says:

    This practice is completely absurd and if it serves no purpose than why the hell are they causing useless pain and frustration on the cows if they don’t have to. Do people just have this “mean gene” that has to be satisfied in order for them to feel better? Get a life and leave the cows tails alone!

  12. Give me a break — need we point out that cows are living beings, sentient living beings who have emotional and psychological lives —-

    let’s give them some RESPECT, KINDNESS and CARING — tail docking is cruel, torturous and unconscionable —

    what’s more B&J, begin using products NOT derived from animals.

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