Macmillan Cancer Support has been at the centre of a Twitter storm after it launched a campaign encouraging people to go without meat through March.

Members of the food and meat industry, including the Association of Independent Meat Suppliers (AIMS), labelled the campaign as ‘totally disgusting’ and called for the movement to be axed completely.

In a separate tweet, AIMS said: “The farming community is a big supporter of cancer charities but maybe they’ll now think twice and perhaps just support a local hospice or more worthy charities.”

Macmillan said its latest sponsorship drive is a ‘great way for people to challenge themselves’ and that ‘every meat-free moment matters.’

The organisation defended the campaign in a tweet by saying: “We don’t want to disrupt anyone’s livelihood or alienate the farming community. This event isn’t intended to change eating habits permanently and is limited to one month.

“We have to cater for the diverse supporters we have which is why we have a range of fundraising campaigns. The funds raised by the event will help us continue to offer physical, emotional and financial support to people living with cancer.”