Vegans are urging Channel 4 to apologise after the broadcaster uploaded a now-deleted post mocking people who take part in Veganuary.
Channel 4 mocks Veganuary participants on Instagram calling them ‘a**wipes’
In a post uploaded to Instagram on Sunday night (January 21st), major UK news broadcaster Channel 4 shared a meme of Countdown with the words “u asswipe” and the caption “when your friends say they’re doing Veganuary”.
With over 165,000 people taking part in Veganuary this year, it’s unsurprising that the post was met with criticism from the vegan community, particularly as the broadcaster claims to ‘champion unheard voices, inspires change and stands up for diversity’.
Co-founder of Veganuary Matthew Glover, the vegan charity which encourages and supports people adopting vegan diet in January, spoke out about the Instagram post.
Glover said: “Apparently, Channel 4 – the broadcaster that supposedly champions unheard voices, inspires change and stands up for diversity – thinks it’s cool to insult the 165k people who are doing Veganuary.”
“People take part in Veganuary for loads of reasons – to improve their health, to protect animals, or to help the environment. All pretty good things, in our book, and we’re surprised Channel 4 disagrees.
“Many people are vegan because of sincerely held beliefs about not causing cruelty – something that’s a protected characteristic under the 2010 Equality Act.
The Instagram post, shared on the Channel 4 account on Sunday night has since been deleted thanks to the backlash received, but the organisers of Veganuary are urging the broadcaster to apologise.
Discussing the controversy, a spokesperson for Veganuary said: “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 a 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.”
Vegans are rightly angry at the insensitive joke, and have been taking to social media to voice their concerns over the broadcasters choice to openly mock the large number of people taking part in the vegan charity’s initiative this January.
Sad to see @Channel4 post this on their @instagram
This is offensive and discriminatory.
Many people choose #Vegan for health reasons as well as moral and religious purposes.
Ch4 claim to support minorities and diversity but this is a huge fail.#Veganuary pic.twitter.com/xpc3lzcs5P
— Jon Donnis 💙🇨🇾🇬🇷🇬🇧 (@JonDonnis) January 21, 2018