Now, there is a whole new thing to think about when you hear the name 'Ben & Jerry's' - marriage equality.
In the UK, Ben & Jerry's has partnered with the Stonewall Foundation to rename their Apple Pie flavoured ice cream to 'Apple-y Ever After' in support of gay marriage in the UK. Awwww, right? The motto for the flavour is our favourite 'Because everyone deserves a piece of the pie!' Their website states that civil partnerships are second best, and all Ben & Jerry's fans deserve marriage!
This isn't the first time Ben & Jerry's have stood up for gay rights - in the USA, they have also changed their flavour 'Chubby Hubby' to 'Hubby Hubby' with a picture of two grooms on a cake on the tub. In fact, Ben & Jerrys was among the first to extend benefits to their unmarried domestic partnered employees - over 30 years ago. They are such an impressively forward-thinking company!!
We read an article by a columnist for the Telegraph who complained that he doesn't like his food to tell him what to believe, and that Ben & Jerry's are blatantly pushing the 'Buy me or you're a bigot' 'gay propaganda' in his face. We think this is an idiotic and ignorant attitude to have. Neither one of us actually like apple pie - and besides this first tub to try it, we probably won't buy the flavour itself again (we are Cookie Dough & Half Baked people). However, we don't think there is anything wrong with a company wearing its values on its sleeves - so many companies secretly support causes, whether they be for the good of the world, or to spread bigotry and hatred *cough Chick Fil A cough*, its refreshing to have a business stand up for what they believe in, despite the potential loss in earnings from non-supporters. We believe that more people will take notice of B&J's efforts in a positive way - buy their ice cream, or at least see that the issue is a big one and not something that will be going away anytime soon. We've said before that the more mainstream figures/businesses/people come out in support of gay marriage/equal rights, the more the average Joe will think 'Well, if all these people support it, maybe I should re-evaluate what I believe' *cough Sarah's parents cough*. It certainly looks that way from B&J's Facebook page, which from what we saw has hundreds of support messages and thank you's, and one lonesome rant from a backwards Christian named Glenda Sue or something who hypocritically wrote such hateful things on Ben & Jerry's wall, but has a profile picture of her and a young Mexican child from one of her many missions there. It's a shame someone who does so many good deeds can so easily be so hateful (and un-Christ-like?) towards those who have done nothing to hurt her. Sorry, rant over. The point is, they have received overwhelming support from the community, and hopefully will be the first in a long line of companies doing something similar.
What's even better, this is not the first stand that Ben & Jerry's has taken. They make an effort to use all fair trade ingredients where possible, free range eggs, their ice cream tubs are made from 90% renewable paper stock, and all their flavours are suitable for vegetarians - they are deeply committed to reducing their carbon footprint and helping the environment. Also, a percentage of Ben & Jerry's profits goes to the Ben & Jerry's Foundation - a charity devoted to helping community members gain social, environmental, and economical justice. They have already helped countless people around the world.
And if we haven't convinced you already, then their Double Scoop Sundae, a music festival that provides free ice cream all weekend, is held every summer in London. It's full of great music peace, love and ice cream! (And it's hosted just over the river from us in Clapham!)
If more companies were like Ben & Jerry's, the world would be a much better place. This is what we need - less money grabbing selfish companies focused on their bottom line, and more willing and wanting to give back to the community and stand up for what they believe in. We will (and we hope you will too) continue to support such a wonderful, witty, and good-natured company by eating lots of ice cream. It's a small price to pay, right?