The popular BBC children’s show is awarding green versions of its iconic blue badges to youngsters who show they are environmentally friendly as part of a two-week pledge. And viewers are also encouraged to choose a vegetarian option for a meal a part of the campaign.
Presenter Mwaksy Mudenda said: “Green team have added a supersize pledge.
“Together you can either switch off all lights and devices when leaving a room.
“Swap disposable plastic bottles for reusable ones or choose a meat-free meal.”
The Blue Peter website says children who take part would be “reducing plastic pollution and boosting biodiversity – true climate hero behaviour”.
But urging children to go meat free has sparked an angry backlash from some parents.
Father-of-three Gareth Wyn Jones, who runs a 2,000-acre farm in North Wales, posted a video response on social media.
He said: “I’m very disappointed as a farmer and a father as well.
“They are saying don’t eat meat, which is just a sweeping statement.”
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He continued: “There is so much to food production that the viewers are not being told. In this country we have got grass, and grass can be produced very easily.
“On a lot of the land you cannot grow crops. This land will produce some of the top quality proteins which are beef and lamb.
“It is done in a sustainable, regenerative and very environmentally-friendly way. Why aren’t we telling our children this? My kids know this.
“Why aren’t Blue Peter and CBBC – who have a massive platform with millions of young minds listening – giving them a balanced argument.
“Show them the facts and give them the opportunity to make up their own minds, these kids or not stupid.
“Give them an educated choice instead of just one sweeping statement.
“Things need to change, we need to make sure we’re talking to our children about seasonal food, locally produced food, environmentally friendly food, regenerative agriculture.
“This is what will save our planet, and meat has a part to play in it.”
A BBC spokesman said: “We are not asking Blue Peter viewers to give up meat.
“That will be made clear both on the show and on our website which has been updated to reflect that buying seasonal food or local grass-fed meat can also make a difference to climate change.
“There are also other pledge options to choose from to earn a Green badge such as switching off lights or using reusable water bottles.”