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July 19, 2002
For more information contact: lauren Ornelas 530/848-4021


Veggie Advocates Offer Dairy-Free Options on National Ice Cream Day

Davis, Calif.. Veggie activists will fan out across the U.S. this Sunday - National Ice Cream Day - to dispense free samples of ice cream in front of Baskin Robbins and Ben and Jerry's stores. The difference between this ice cream and that sold by Basking Robbins? It's vegan - containing no dairy or animal products. The activists are lobbying the two ice cream giants to add non-dairy, soy- or rice-based options to their menus.

Members of the local veggie group Viva! will be offering samples in front of Baskin Robbins at 236 E Street this Sunday in Davis, July 21 at noon.

The event aims to introduce consumers to vegan ice cream, which is said to be just as creamy and tasty as its dairy and cholesterol-filled alternative. The vegan ice-cream giveaway will take place in San Francisco, Davis, Santa Rosa, Los Angeles, New York City, Austin, Little Rock, and Chicago.

Joining Viva! in its efforts is John Robbins, son and nephew of the original founders of Baskin Robbins. Robbins is also the author of Diet for a New America, The Food Revolution, and other bestsellers about the realities of food production in the United States.

"Vegan ice cream is healthier to eat than dairy-based ice cream, because it contains far less saturated fat and cholesterol," stated Robbins. "It also takes less toll on the environment, because today's factory dairies are major contributors to water and air pollution. And vegan ice cream is far more compassionate to the animals."

"The image of bucolic dairies where happy cows graze on green pastures is now mostly myth," said lauren Ornelas, U.S. director of Viva! "The reality is something far different. These dairies cause unimaginable suffering for cows and their calves while wreaking ecological havoc in our communities."

Viva! investigations of large-scale dairy farms have documented widespread animal cruelty on dairy farms. The mother cows suffer from being constantly impregnated, forced to produce milk far beyond their natural limits, and then separated from their babies. In addition to separation from their mothers, both the male and female calves are kept confined in stalls or huts with little room to move.

Viva!'s National Ice Cream Day events coincide with the launch of the group's national anti-dairy campaign, designed to expose the animal cruelty and environmental degradation inherent in the dairy industry, and to encourage people to adopt a vegan lifestyle.

More information, including a detailed media briefing and undercover video and photos of dairy farms, are available by contacting Viva! at 530/759-8482.


Read John Robbins Statement here