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How to counter the vegan message is one of the top questions being asked of candidates seeking election for senior roles in the National Farmers Union [NFU], according to industry publication Farmers Weekly.

An article in the outlet says January has been dubbed Veganuary ‘by vegan activists who have taken to social media to promote their meat-free agenda’ – and farmers are looking at ways to override this message.

Open

According to sheep producer and election hopeful Charles Sercombe, farmers need to be ‘more open’ about what they do, while not engaging with activists.

He said: “It is no good taking them on one-to-one.”

Dairy farmer Michael Oakes added that ‘a positive message would help counter vegan arguments’ – and that failure to win the argument would ‘risk losing a whole generation’.

The dairy industry has tried to attack the burgeoning plant milk sector

Februdairy

This conversation follows the industry-wide launch of Februdairy – an initiative which will see dairy farmers attempt to flood social media with positive messages using the hashtag #Februdairy.

While some believe this will be an effective way to boost dairy’s image, others have branded the move ‘desperate’.

One Twitter user wrote: “#Februdairy: a desperate and sad attempt from the dairy industry to try and increase their sales when really more and more people don’t want to consume cow milk with hormones in it, it’s gross.”

Maria Chiorando

Maria is the editor of Plant Based News. As a former magazine editor, newspaper reporter, and features writer, her work has been published by The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and various regional newspapers, as well as Vegan Life magazine and Vegan Trade Journal. She has interviewed a huge range of people, from Prime Ministers to authors, activists, pop stars and actors, and enjoys the varied range of topics writing for PBN allows her to tackle.