In a post uploaded to Instagram, Channel 4 put up a picture of Countdown with the words “u asswipe” and the caption “when your friends say they’re doing Veganuary”.
The post from Sunday night has since been deleted, but the organisers of Veganuary are urging the broadcaster to apologise.
Veganuary has grown in popularity over the past few years, with 165,000 people signing up for the challenge to try a vegan diet for the month of January.
A Veganuary spokesperson said in a statement to HuffPost UK: “As with other social justice movements, the rise of veganism has seen a backlash from parts of our society, some being poorly judged attempts at humour, others which would classify as hate crime.
“All of which are unacceptable. Veganuary is a charity that strives for a better world for animals, a healthier life for people, and to protect our environment for everyone.
“It’s up to an individual to decide whether vegan is for them or not. But to be attacked by an organisation claiming to ‘champion unheard voices…and stand up for diversity’ is completely counter-intuitive, but also against the law under the Equality Act 2010. We’re calling on Channel 4 to apologise and update its internal procedures to ensure this never happens again.”
Although Channel 4 has deleted the image, vegans have taken to commenting on other Instagram posts uploaded by the broadcaster to share their disgust.
Others hit out at the broadcaster on Twitter:
HuffPost UK has contacted Channel 4 for comment.