This year’s Veganuary caused more of a buzz than any years prior, with a record 250,000 people pledging to take part. But, with this came a rush of people eager to slate the movement and encourage the following month to be coined Februdairy.
Recent research by The Vegan Society has revealed the number of vegans in the UK in 2018 was quadruple the amount in 2014, jumping from just 150,000 to 600,000 (that’s 1.16% of the population!). It’s very clear that veganism is rapidly on the rise – and Veganuary is a huge contributor to this. The movement urges people to follow a cruelty-free vegan lifestyle for the month of January and it has been widely successful in promoting vegan culture.
On the other hand, Februdairy aims to encourage dairy consumption – placing emphasis on the benefits of drinking cow’s milk and attempting to show the positive side to dairy farming. Last year’s twitter efforts from the pro-dairy community rendered helpless – and this year is quickly seeming to be no different. Vegan groups have used the Februdairy hashtag to their advantage: promoting milk alternatives on Twitter throughout the month, leaving those in favour of the trend lost in the sea of vegan tweets.
Unsurprisingly, with the numbers of people who tried of Veganuary this time around at an all-time high, Februdairy has been destined to fall at the first hurdle. A simple Twitter search for the hashtag reveals a collection of tweets bringing focus to the animal and climate suffering that agriculture brings: rather than any positive aspects of the industry.
Looking through the top, most re-tweeted and liked posts under the Februdairy hashtag, you can see a pattern emerging: people are discouraging rather than encouraging the movement.
Of course, there are many who have tweeted in favour of the Februdairy trend, sharing their own stories and reasons for supporting the dairy industry. Some of these people are from farming backgrounds, while others are merely backing the workers who are a part of this centuries-old business. However, many have pointed out that these depictions are extremely biased and don’t present a true image of the horrors of the industry.
Despite their best efforts, this year’s attempt at making Februdairy as relevant as Veganuary have proven, yet again, that the ever-growing vegan community is not only larger and more powerful, but arguably the most influential of any movement of its nature.
If you have any questions about or are interested in veganism, you can contact Bethany Woodcock from the University of Huddersfield Vegan and Vegetarian Society (UOH VegSoc for short!) at firstname.lastname@example.org
Or you can check out their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/UoHVegSoc/
By Caitlin Thrower