Inspired by the success of Veganuary — the vegan community's online campaign to make January the month to try veganism — dairy farmers in the UK decided to revive interest in cow's milk and other products with a social media initiative of their own.
Febudairy is a concept coined and promoted by livestock farmers who are looking to increase interest in all things cow. The hashtag made the rounds online in 2017 but with little traction.
This year, two farmers posted about the theme, asking people to share "positive dairy" photos and posts.
"Let's make #Februdairy happen this year. 28 days, 28 positive #dairy posts," Dr Jude Capper, a livestock sustainability consultant from Oxfordshire wrote on Twitter. "From cute calves and #cheese on crumpets, to belligerent bulls and juicy #beef #burgers - who's in?"
The tweet echoes sentiments mentioned in a blog by Emily Norton, the co-founder of Norton's Dairy in Norfolk. According to the February 2017 article, the farmer had suggested that the month be used to celebrate "the wonder of cows, the undoubted warmth and emotional connection being around these amazing creatures".
"February is the month of St Valentine after all, so a little cow love can go a long way for us all.
"Amazing creatures producing an amazing product that brings so much benefit to all. #Febudairy is a chance for everyone to be grateful for our special relationship with cows," she had written.
The dairy industry has been facing a severe challenge from vegan alternatives and has invested in marketing campaigns to counter them. However, #Febudairy does not seem to be one of the successful attempts. Since the tag has already received severe criticism on Twitter and Facebook, with vegans promising to counter the initiative with a month-long expose into the animal practices associated with dairy farming.
"You pathetic #febudairy hypocrites. How dare you say you live for your cows? You make THEM live for YOU," one person wrote on Twitter. "You earn your living by exploiting them, you send them to be killed when they are not profitable any more. Will you please volunteer to be slaughtered when you are "spent"?" Another vegan promoter wrote.
"Can't wait for #febudairy so I can post wonderful pictures all over all your posts," another person on Facebook wrote alongside an image of bloody calf carcases.