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#Februdairy is Scary


February is here again! A month full of chocolates for Valentines Day, examples of African American accomplishments for Black History Month, and of course, stealing babies away from their mothers in time for promoting Februdairy! What?!

The Dairy Industry is at it again, with yet another pathetic attempt to remain relevant as more and more people make the healthier and more ethical choice of switching to plant milk. However, instead of the well known “Got Milk?” they went with an even lazier word play, that also seems to be a ripoff of Veganuary: “Februdairy”. “Whose idea was this?” you might ask: none other than Dr. Jude Capper. This “Livestock Sustainability Consultant” kicked off this spectacle with quite a revealing tweet. It reads as follows “Let’s make #Februdairy happen this year. 28 days, 28 positive #dairy posts. From cute calves and #cheese on crumpets, to belligerent bulls and juicy #beef #burgers – who’s in? #SmxConf18” You know your campaign is off to a great start when you put your own cognitive dissonance in the spotlight, and call a creature “cute” and “juicy” in the same sentence.

Capper is also the Dairy Industry’s “Woman of the Year,” because nothing shows caring about women like raping them and milking them for money. A study by the International Journal of Cancer found that countries with a higher rate of dairy and meat consumption also coincided with an increase of colon and, you guessed it: breast cancers. Capper is a breast cancer survivor. The irony is that she is using her recovery from breast cancer to sell a product that will get many women into the same life-threatening mess that she was in. “Woman of the Year” indeed.

Now that we’ve had a look at who represents this failing campaign, let’s look at the campaign itself. Articles about Februdairy are plentiful, but after reading about three or four, I began to see a strange pattern. Each article appears to be a copy of the previous one. It’s as if the Industry is copying and pasting all over the pro-agriculture blogs, without thinking anyone would notice.

All conspiracy theories aside, it is also rather strange how the dairy farmers have reacted to opposition to their campaign. When animal activists question the morality and ask “Why is it morally justifiable to take a baby away from her mother, to obtain a drink that slowly kills humans?” they respond with, “Calves aren’t babies and cows aren’t moms,” as if that justifies the action. This is indeed preferable to denying the industry practice altogether, or blocking us and calling us “Militant Vegans” once they’ve thoroughly silenced the truth that is going to permanently hurt their profits.

There are, however, farmers that are more honest than others. One prime example of the dairy industry’s pride and joy is a man named Martin Kyle. He posted a picture of one of his male calves, no more than a few weeks old. He commented, “Hold on to ya horses ’cause I’m about to tap this one on the head so its mum sees and starts to produce the good shit.” The next photo shows a small puddle of blood followed by “I”ll leave this bait here for you fish too. That was after I mashed its brains to make porridge.” As profoundly heartless and gutless as this action was, killing bull calves is systemically condoned in the dairy Industry. Male calves cannot produce milk, so are of no use to the industry. Generally used for veal, they are slaughtered before they reach 20 weeks of age. If veal prices are low, they are simply killed and discarded.

From needlessly separating families, to creating 1.1 billion pounds of waste daily in the U.S., to being behind many leading causes of death such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, this campaign seems to be for everything that an average human would be against. However, there is a silver lining, straight out of the industry’s mouth.

Before the campaign started, Capper had 5 rules for engaging activists. The two most important (and least followed) are “You need five positive messages about farming to counter one negative one,” and “Don’t block people. If you block people online they think you are ‘rattled’ or have something to hide.” Unlike Jude Capper, who’s already blocked at least 10-50 ‘militant vegans,’ we have nothing to hide, and the truth stands firmly on our side. If we all create five posts (under the #Februdairy) highlighting the horrible truths about the industry, and join a local animal activist group, then Dr. Jude Capper’s recent words may become reality. “If consumers don’t (continue to) buy our products—milk, cream, butter, cheese, etc.—we will not have a dairy industry in five to 10 years.” Let’s make it come true!