We love getting creative with our ice cream flavors — caramel swirls galore, fudge chunks into next week, and flavor names that give you a giggle in the ice cream aisle. That creative spirit is in our co-founders’ DNA, and it lives on in everything we do. Like fighting for our values. And sometimes we’ve gotten really creative for what we believe in. Like these 10 times:
Item number 1
World’s Largest Baked Alaska Fights Alaskan Drilling, 2005
Back in 2005, the US Congress was poised to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska for oil drilling. We were not on board. So we dug into our pints of Fossil Fuel ice cream and made the world’s largest Baked Alaska dessert, brought it to the front lawn of the US Capitol, and served it up to fellow protestors.
Item number 2
A Herd Of Cow Clones Take Over the US Capital, 2007
In 2007, the US Food and Drug Administration decided that it was okay to sell and consume meat and dairy products from cloned animals. Even though at the time such clones were likely years away, we were not on board with the decision. So we launched a “Truth or Clone-sequences” demonstration, sending a herd of cow-costumed protestors to Washington, DC to make their voices herd (er, heard).
Item number 3
Pints Get A Makeover For Marriage Equality, 2009-2015
Our pints like to celebrate equality, too! Over the years we’ve changed the names of a number of flavors in support of marriage equality. In 2009 we changed Chubby Hubby to Hubby Hubby when our home state of Vermont became the fifth US state to recognize same-sex marriages (and the first state to do so by enacting a statute without being required to do so by a court decision). In 2012 we supported marriage equality in the UK with Apple-y Ever After, and in 2013 with I Dough, I Dough in Australia and Engage-Mint Party in Ireland. I Dough, I Dough made another appearance in the US in 2015 when the Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality.
Item number 4
World’s Largest Cowbell Ensemble Supports The WaterWheel Foundation, 2012
2012 marked the 15th anniversary of Phish Food, our chocolate-and-marshmallow ode to one of our favorite bands ever, Phish. To celebrate, we assembled the world’s largest ever cowbell ensemble — over 1,600 Phish fans, all banging on cowbells in Burlington, VT. Best of all, we raised some serious dough for Phish’s WaterWheel Foundation.
Item number 5
Cows Go Underwater To Save The Great Barrier Reef, 2014
When Australia approved a plan to expand the Abbot Point Coal Terminal — dumping 3 million cubic meters of dredge spoil in the Great Barrier Reef marine park in the process, and furthering Australia’s reliance on coal — we were pretty upset. So we rallied our ice cream trucks and launched the Fight For The Reef Scoop Tour to raise awareness and get Australians to take action. We even sent two “cows” underwater to pose with the reef for our wettest photo op ever.
Item number 6
Food Fight Fudge Brownie Fights For GMO Labeling, 2014
We’ve long been advocates for GMO labeling on food products. We believe that you deserve to know what’s in your food — it’s as simple as that! And in 2014, our home state of Vermont became the first state in the US to pass a law requiring the labeling of GMO products. But no sooner was the ink dry on the new law than the legal attacks began. We renamed Chocolate Fudge Brownie to Food Fight Fudge Brownie to join the fight to uphold the law and spread awareness about GMO labeling.
Item number 7
A Tesla Becomes Our Newest, Greenest Scoop Truck, 2015
2015 was an important year in the fight against climate change — world leaders met in Paris to solidify the Paris Climate Accord, a global agreement to tackle emissions and climate change together. And we joined the fight by converting an electric, emissions-free Tesla Model S into a totally green ice cream “truck” and going on tour, signing fans up to be a part of the global climate movement and giving out plenty of free scoops.
Item number 8
We Raid The US Capitol With Ice Cream For Voting Rights, 2016
In early 2016, we raided the US Capitol building, armed with ice cream and a plea to legislators. We handed out pints of Empower Mint ice cream to every member of Congress along with a letter from our co-founders Ben and Jerry, asking them to repair the damage done by the Supreme Court’s disastrous 2013 decision that rendered the Voting Rights Act largely toothless. After all, we find that hard decisions are a little easier with a scoop of ice cream.
Item number 9
Co-Founders Ben and Jerry Get Arrested For Democracy, 2016
Arrested?! Yup, it’s true. Following a long line of activists throughout history who have put their bodies on the line for what they believe in, our co-founders were arrested in 2016 as part of the Democracy Awakening protests at the US Capitol. Their message? That dough belongs in ice cream and not in politics, and that voting should be accessible to everyone. “The history of our country is that nothing happens,” said Ben, “until people start putting their bodies on the line and risk getting arrested.”
Item number 10
An Unbreakable Rainbow For LGBTQ Rights, 2018
A few years earlier, a rainbow installation in Zbawiciela Square in Warsaw, Poland had been vandalized so many times that it was finally removed. It was a sad moment for the LGBTQ community, and we wanted to help. So in 2018, we installed a light-and-water hologram rainbow in the same place for Pride month. Just as big as the original, it was an unbreakable symbol of hope and solidarity with the Polish LGBTQ community.