Ben & Jerry’s ‘Happy Cows’ Suit Dismissed

May 14, 2020
A lawsuit over whether the cows that make milk for Ben & Jerry’s ice cream can be legally described as “happy” has been dismissed by a federal judge.

A lawsuit over whether the cows that make milk for Ben & Jerry’s ice cream can be legally described as “happy” has been dismissed by a federal judge.

The suit against Unilever, which owns the Ben & Jerry’s brand, was brought last fall by James Ehlers, an environmental activist who came in a distant second in the Democratic primary for governor of Vermont in 2018. It centered on the use of the phrase “Made from Happy Cows” on Ben & Jerry’s packaging and advertising constituted fraud, because some of the milk was sourced from dairies that did not certify humane treatment of their cows. Ehlers sought monetary claims for himself and all consumers of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.

U.S. District Court Judge Christina Reiss dismissed the lawsuit on May 7, ruling that “Plaintiff's entire claim is grounded on a single phrase in a single heading on a multipage website which is neither false nor misleading when considered as a whole.”