Ben and Jerry's. Just saying the brand name gets your mouth watering, doesn't it? The Vermont-based ice cream chain is known for it's delicious, swirly, chunk filled, calorie laden desserts. For the longest time, you could only get dairy versions of these ice cream treats–but that all changed in April of 2016.

Ben and Jerry's rolled out some awesome dairy-free flavors last year, and are looking to expand the line in the coming months due to its incredible success. But did you notice I said "dairy-free" and not "vegan?"

Well...that's because these treats aren't exactly 100% vegan. Even though these pints are dairy free, there's reason to believe that Ben and Jerry's dairy-free ice cream doesn't exactly subscribe to the vegan lifestyle.

A vegan is usually defined as a person who does not eat or use animal products. In fact, The Vegan Society defines the lifestyle as "a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of and cruelty to animals for food."

Okay, so Ben and Jerry's doesn't include dairy or meat or leather in their ice why is it not 100% vegan? The answer lies in the conglomerate corporation Unilever, of which Ben and Jerry's is a subsidiary.

Vegans take issue with the fact that Unilever is not a completely cruelty-free brand. While Unilever and the brands that they hold sway over don't test completed products on animals, "but occasionally some ingredients [Unilever uses] have been tested to meet government requirements." 

So, while there may not be any dairy in their vegan ice cream, Ben and Jerry's is associated with a corporation that might enact animal cruelty. And for some vegans, that implication can dissuade them from taking part in this creamy treat.

That said, this association might not stop all vegans from buying these new Ben and Jerry's pints. For some, it may be no different than likening the desserts to other institutions in daily life.

Obviously, animal cruelty is no joke, and is a big issue in the hearts and minds of today's generation. But, it is ultimately up to consumer discretion to decide whether or not they can stomach these dairy free pints.

Grocery stores sell meat and dairy products, which, according to the definition of veganism, would be animal cruelty. Should all vegans stop going to grocery stores? To me, as a non-vegan, that sounds like a bit of a stretch. It's all a matter of what you choose to let bother you.