Search engine Yahoo on Monday said it has named the cow its Personality of the Year in India. The animal generated a great deal of online buzz in 2015, with thousands of discussions centred around its life and death. Both the consumption and conservation of the cow were popular search topics on Yahoo, the company stated.

“It started with the Maharashtra government announcing a ban on sale of beef in the state – a move that led to massive debates online and offline, spiralling into the ‘beef controversy’”, Yahoo said in a statement, according to Outlook India. The cow became of particular interest at the end of September, when a man was lynched in Dadri after a mob believed rumours that he had stored beef in his house. The animal's popularity was also fuelled by members of the Indian intelligentsia decrying the proscriptions against beef and beef-eating. It later became a large part of the intolerance debate that followed, which shook the Parliament, and became a key feature of public discourse in the country.

Yahoo India releases a set of trends as part of its Year In Review feature at the end of every December. The declaration was based on users’ daily search habits, as well as a selection what is often read, searched for and shared on Yahoo.