For those of you who have avoided the frustrations and don't know, #Februdairy is a retaliation campaign created by the dairy industry, in an attempt to undo the positive influence Veganuary has each year. They do this by posting picturesque photos of cute cows partnered with misleading descriptions, that focus on animal welfare and the outdated and disproven "health benefits" associated with drinking cows milk and eating dairy products.
The 'power of pictures', a strong story telling method mostly used by the media, has been adopted by the dairy industry to showcase their farms to families looking for 'wholesome foods' from animals that have been cared for. A picture is worth a thousand words, but these words don't tell the thousands of stories the dairy industry want to hide. Instead, they simply cement their want to cling on to the hundreds of thousands of pounds they are now losing during the successful shift towards a vegan world.
To most people, the above header picture will seem cute, but those that have educated themselves about the dairy industry will know this calf has been taken from her mother from birth, has been segregated to a confined pen and is desperately trying to suckle a human hand in search of milk.
Digging deeper into the dark industry, you will find that all calves are stolen away from their mothers from birth, segregated all alone or in a pen of around 5 calves, all calling for their mothers to find them. If they are a girl, they will live out the same lives, being forcibly impregnated, their newborns taken and their milk stolen for human consumption until they are "spent". This means they no longer produce enough milk to continue making the farmer a profit, so are sent to the slaughterhouse, between 4 to 6 years old; still babies themselves!
Male calves are either sold as veal or shot within a day or two as they simply aren't profitable. Viva!, Europe's leading vegan charity, have a great campaign called TRASH revealing to the public that 95,000 male calves are shot in the head each year in the UK alone and are treated as nothing more than the dairy industries trash! If you want to learn more about the industry and how to go dairy-free then visit their new website by clicking here: ScaryDairy
What the dairy industry haven't banked on is the influence the public now has on social media. No longer is it just the news networks that inform the mass members of the public, it is bloggers, public speakers, campaigners, charities and YOU!
Februdairy is trending, but if we take a closer look, a huge proportion of the posts are that of vegan activists also speaking out. Of course it is frustrating to see farmers falsely claiming to care and dairy drinkers giving doses of uneducated nutritional advice, but Februdairy also provides us an entire month to share the real side of this story and to talk to people we probably wouldn't reach with our usual posts!
Make sure you share plenty of useful links like the one above, hashtag #februdairy and even #dairy #milk #cows #farm to reach a new audience that will trigger discussion between each community. Februdairy may be frustrating on the surface but it is ironically becoming another successful vegan campaign!
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