Don’t miss this month’s new look Dairy Farmer. Take a look at the digital edition today.
Unless you are a social media addict, the clever Veganuary campaign may have passed you by entirely, and possibly therein lies the rub.
In essence, it kicked off in January to promote vegan principles to the wider population and is looking to sign up 100,000 as a result.
What it boils down to is a battle for the heart and minds of the consuming public and, although it launched at the start of the year, in reality it follows on from last autumn’s poster campaign proclaiming the cruelty of livestock farming.
Of course, everyone is entitled to their values and beliefs, but to ensure the image of agriculture is not being maligned, the industry has a major battle on for that middle ground.
Coming out fighting is Dr Jude Capper, who advises exploiting the same social media in a fight for balance, and #Februdairy has been launched as an industry platform.
As she says, it is not to attack the ethics of vegans, but to address the vast majority of people out there who want to be reassured about what producers do on their farms each day.
But perhaps our strongest card is the nutritional aspect of dairy, which was the very point picked up by Dr Michael Mosley in the Times last week, in which he said people taking up a non-dairy diet need to be careful about getting sufficient vital elements such as calcium, iodine, and vitamins D and B12.
As he succinctly puts it, ‘if you are neither lactose intolerant nor a vegan, there is an incredible downside to avoiding dairy products’.
But we must not dismiss the new attack as a shortterm beginning of year skirmish, as their website openly states ‘Veganuary is a charity inspiring people to try vegan for January and throughout the rest of the year’.
It is an ongoing battle, and we need to be on the front foot!