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Baskin Robbins Heir Wants California to Stop Misleading Consumers About Cows

Written by PETA | January 14, 2010
portlandvegfest / CC
John Robbins

A couple of months ago, we filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) urging it to make the California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB) stop misleading consumers about the way cows on dairy farms are treated. Now, John Robbins—son of the founder of the Baskin-Robbins ice cream empire and the Pulitzer Prize–nominated author of Food Revolution—has written a letter to the FTC in support of our complaint.

“As the only son of the founder of the Baskin-Robbins ice cream empire, I was groomed from an early age to take over the family business. However, once I became aware of the tremendous suffering of cows on dairy farms, the suffering of their calves, and the devastating impact that dairy production has on the environment, I instead committed myself to working for a more compassionate and environmentally responsible world,” writes Robbins, whose decision to put his father’s legacy to a compassionate cause has inspired many to ditch the pus for good.

Cows in the dairy industry do not typically wander along in green pastures like the Happy Cows ads would have consumers believe. The reality for cows who are forced to produce milk for human consumption is that most are crammed into huge sheds, where they wallow in mud and feces. They are forcefully impregnated again and again only to have their babies ripped away from them shortly after birth so that their milk—which is meant for their children—can be sold in supermarkets.

Tons of people have already taken action to help cows suffering on dairy farms—won’t you do the same?

Thank you soy much!

Written by Logan Scherer

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  • Hmm says:

    Milk is need to kids

  • TG says:

    Miho unfortunately for the dairy industry and especially for the cows that means that whether or not they were raised in pastures or in factory farms just about every carton of milk would have to depict a terrified baby calf being ripped from its mother moments after birth and slaughtered often while still trying to suckle anything they can reach for cheap veal flavored dog food and TV dinners. Well half of the cartons would have to depict that….for each baby boy born anyway

  • Miho Reed says:

    There should be a law that says whatever the living conditions of the cow and calves that is what must be depicted on the front of the milk carton. If you want to depict happy cows in a pasture setting then by all means treat the cows humanely. If you don’t show the consumer the REAL picture. If you are afraid to do that there’s something wrong with the picture.

  • Miho Reed says:

    Yes please make a movie. Happy cow ads are a blatant lie. They should be fined for false advertising.

  • Darlena says:

    Thank you Mr. Robbins… you are an inspiration to so many. To make an incredibly great ice cream…. Make an extra thick almond milk… 12 cup almonds to 1 cup milk. Blend the inside of a baby coconut and add 14 cup to the almond milk..sweeten with some dates agave if you chose or whatever sweetener is your chose and put into ice cream maker. When almost frozen add nuts chocolate or fruit. Yum!

  • Mike Quinoa says:

    Jay That’s why I buy soy milk made from organic beans Natura brand. I would certainly hope noone would eat exclusively soy products or any one single food. Vegans can find plenty of healthy variety in fruits vegetables whole grains legumes including soy and nuts and seeds.

  • klarasun says:

    Add It’s called “trans fats” formed during hydrogenation the process to harden vegetable oils and sadly still used.

  • klarasun says:

    Thank you Mr. Robbins also for the environment thought! And soy is a good alternative. Take “organic soy” http://www.soyinfo.com and you get a lot of answers. No panics concerning this… What you should avoid is hardened vegatable fat that’s poison !!!

  • Jay says:

    Everything you eat exclusively can harm! Soy is not the best. Tess is right better rice hazelnut or almond milk. To saturate the market they had to contaminate the soy to make it grow faster or more resistant. That’s unfortunately no myth it’s the truth!

  • Mike Quinoa says:

    Tess I’ve done a lot of research on soy and I have no qualms about consuming it. I get Natura brand unsweetened soy milk here in Toronto. It’s made from whole organic soybeans. It comes in aseptic Tetra Paks. I also eat tofu and sometimes plain old soybeans. I occasionally eat mock meats when I dine out. Soy is only one part of a diet that I try to keep varied. Soy is like a lot of foods in that the closer you stay to a wholefoods unrefined product the better it’ll be for you healthwise. Don’t forget also there are animalexploitive industries that stand to lose a lot of money when people go veg who are doing their best to discredit soy they think that’s all we eatlol.

  • vegancoin says:

    yeah that industrial strength Happy Cows myth is a bit much. such incorrect and sensationalist bunkum. and thank you Mr. Robbins you are an inspiration to us all. as for the incredible dull and unobjective soy myths being carelessly promoted here that is just shallow and spiritless disinformation and nothing else in a word totally absurd. and switching to a plant based diet is the most compassionate and healthy thing one can do. support meat free monday.

  • Tess says:

    I agree! ditch the milk! but dont drink soy milk! its a slow killing poison! im not joking! try almond mild rice milk or hazelnut milk. they are the best choice of milk you can get

  • Jay says:

    Commercials seldom tell the truth and without green pastures only watching the real conditions cows live in? Who would buy dairy products watching the suffer? Why are cows not allowed to live more naturally there’s ground enough to wander around. And what a good feeling then to know they are well doing probably possible to visit them. Integrate them into live!

  • susan says:

    Iwa please make the movie. I would love to see that. Before his death Heath Ledger made an animated feature about whales capturing and skinning humans.It was absolutely fabulous! I applauded him and I would applaud you!!!

  • Pam Ernest says:

    I highly recommend almond milk to anyone who wants make the switch. No sour after taste.

  • Katie says:

    Sooo…I was dating someone and he didn’t support my turning vegan in fact he made fun of it. So he’s single with egg on his face and I’m sipping away on my soy latte!!!!!!

  • Julie Munne says:

    Thank you Mr. Robbins for listening to your heart from an early age on and doing what it is right. I also grew up with a father who hunted and mistreated our pets. I always knew in my heart it was not the right thing to do! and I did not emulate his example. Animals have all the needs we do they just can’t tell us.

  • Joanna says:

    We all need heros. He’s one of mine.

  • mary says:

    Soy is fantastic and available in so many usable variants yummy recipes of every kind you can create. But what makes me angry is the genetically manipulated soy or corn. And it shocked me to read about the poisened tomatoes and other vegetables. With meat you eat it “twice” but there has really much to be done about cleaner and more ethical food generally!

  • Mike Quinoa says:

    There’s absolutely nothing wrong with soy as part of a varied vegan diet especially if the soy is a whole food organic product. Use moderation with soybased fake meats though. As Dr. John McDougall states “Despite concerns there is no definite evidence that traditional soy foods are harmful at levels customarily consumed. Consider the hundreds of millions of people living in Japan consuming soy products throughout their life and they enjoy the longest life expectancy in the world Japanese women are expected to live 84.93 years compared to US women to 79.5 years and Japanese men to 78.07 years compared to 74.1 years for US men.”

  • Himani Shetty says:

    I have recently turned veganand its fascinating to see the response of most people when I tell them. There is horror a standard comment ‘are you gonna live on air??’ and a typical defensive statement ‘I love my meat and chocolates’. My question is is a few minutes of satiation of a craving worth that much pain being inflicted? Why do we simply not want to see the reality? I turned vegetarian 5 years back but with dairyit did not even occur to me how many products have them. I had to read up PETA sites to know that this is happening in my own country we traditionally worshiped cows and nature! Since then I simply had to turn Vegan. I so wish people would just learn to see…

  • Brad says:

    Soy ice cream is delicious and much less fattening!

  • Janna says:

    It was at a milking demonstration in the dairy barn at the Indiana State Fair almost six years ago that I made the decision onthespot to forsake my vegetarian diet and go vegan. And I have never looked back. Those ‘happy cow’ commercials make me angry. Thank you peta and John Robbins for your work to bring reality to a culture that would rather look the other way.

  • Sharon says:

    I found PETA kind of on accident about four months ago. I didn’t have a clue about how animals are treated butchered and eaten. How did this happen? Why is it that the majority of our population doesn’t care about animals? I’m wondering how we can change things drastically and soon. On the bright side I haven’t eaten any animals in over four months and plan on staying meat free.

  • Cully says:

    I recently set up a Vegan table at an event offering lots of compassionate food choices. Among the samples I offered included ice cream from Purely Decadent which uses coconut milk. Without exception every single person that tried it raved about it. I’m not saying to eat ice cream every day but there are very tasty alternatives that are crueltyfree.

  • serena says:

    Brenda humans exploit animals in so many ways… it’s sad and hard to understand why so many people are unaware or don’t care but once you know the truth…. you can make better decisions and vote with your purchases. I started becoming aware about 6 months ago I quickly became a vegetarian and now a vegan since Jan 1. Good luck! John Robbins you rock!

  • Janet says:

    Thank you Mr. John Robbins for being brave enough to stand up for what is right.

  • Brenda says:

    God! Is there no end to it? I just joined PETA and read every article I can. I drink milk eat cheese etc. and feel okay as I think “no animal is getting hurt here”. I love my cheese!!!! I guess I’d better get used to veg. based alternatives.

  • Iwa says:

    The human race went from People Holocaust during the 2nd. World War to now Animal Holocaust!!! This is really really sad…and humans think that we are so evolved…right?! Evolved into selfish greedy monsters!!! First of all…if you are going to eat animal products than why don’t you treat these animals with some Respect First!!! Give them at least a happy life before they sacrifice their bodies for us!!! They do NOT owe us their bodies…so we can torture or eat them like a piece of meat!!! I am a digital filmmaker and have been thinking about making a movie that flips the picture to now animals being the people and behaving like people…torturing the people in peoples farms and later eating them…just for the simple pleasure of their own selfish and greedy needs! I think this would really open everyone’s eyes to see that an animal’s life is just as precious as it a human’s life! I have become a vegan raw foodist about a year ago and can’t even tell you in words how GREAT I feel and look. What you put into your body therefore you are. We live in a very toxic world and if you are ignorant to it…it will soon take you down as well! Please be more compassionate towards EVERY living being and treat everyone the way you would like to be treated as if the tables were turned! Blessing to all…especially all the Animals and Mother Nature…without them…we are done!!!

  • Bonnie Bakkom says:

    Thank you for speaking the truth about dairy farming. Many people don’t want to know about negative things but some do want to become educated about how animals are treated and are willing to hurt so they can help. Human voices are the only voices animals have. Please use yours for the betterment of any and all animals!

  • moo.lennon. says:

    oh my gosh!if that is how the treat cows than i MUST go vegan!i dont care what my family says!!

  • Cristina Mazardee says:

    I grew up in Tulare County California where the main source of jobs is the dairy industry. I do agree that dairy farmers have gone too far to maximize their milk production. I think it is time for our government to get involved if not for the sake of cows for the sake of dairy product consumers because it is inhumane and unsanitary to see the conditions in which dairy cows are kept.

  • Alicia says:

    Chris soy is much better for you than dairy which is linked to a host of diseases and illnesses. But if you don’t like soy there’s always rice almond hemp and other tasty milks that were not stolen from baby cows.

  • Shari says:

    I am trying to go Vegan. I started by eating Soy Ice Cream! And I love it! I hope to keep trying..poor little cows! They need our help! Drop the Ice Cream and nobody gets hurt! Cows are Cool!

  • Rodrigo Garcia says:

    Vegan is the only smart humane and healthy choice.

  • Alexa says:

    Would’ve been nice if he’d made Baskin Robins a Veganfriendly dessert place with sorbets and dairyfree ice creams.

  • Chris says:

    Yes factory farming is criminal!! But is possible to get milk from small organic farms that treat their cows well… and unfortunately soy products are not a healthy alternative.

  • Sherri Black says:

    Please help the dairy cows…use soy based dairy and spread the word

  • Lydia says:

    This is one of the many reasons I went from vegetarian to vegan. The dairy industry is incredibly cruel and disgusting. The truth must be exposed to all!

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