With temperatures rising, we once again hear the ice cream truck’s familiar jingle coming down the block as customers stand in line to beat the heat with a frozen treat. But despite its benign image, the dairy industry has a dark side, and Baskin Robbins heir John Robbins rejected his multi-billion dollar inheritance to speak out against food and drink giants — including his own family’s business.
As a young man in his 20s, John Robbins switched to a plant-based diet after learning how dairy products harm the human body. He has since authored several books on nutrition and is considered a leader in the sustainable living movement.
When John Robbins saw his father’s partner and his uncle Burt Baskin die prematurely from a heart attack, he first considered the connection between dairy consumption and heart disease (his father remained in denial).
Though family traditions mean a lot, it is important to speak up when you know something isn’t right. John Robbins walked away from billions of dollars to do just that. It doesn’t mean he didn’t respect his father — on the contrary, he showed great concern for his father’s health and the health of others. His willingness to stand up for his beliefs at any cost should set an example for us all.
And there’s always Italian ice.
Image source: Russian Wikipedia