Children’s TV show drops anti-meat campaign after outrage from farmers
Blue Peter removes important anti-meat campaign from its screens after complaints
In a decision that has outraged the vegan community, BBC’s Blue Peter has dropped their anti-meat initiative after anger from farmers.
The farmer’s expressed concern that ‘impressionable’ child viewers would refuse to eat meat, and that families would end up buying less, resulting in great losses for their businesses.
Vegan professionals have been especially concerned by the BBC’s decision. Dr Shireen Kassam, founder of Plant Based Health Professionals, and Jimmy Pierson, UK Director of ProVeg sent Vegan Life a joint statement: “It’s bitterly disappointing to see the meat industry thwart such a positive initiative.”
“A meat-free fortnight on a programme as popular and influential as Blue Peter would have been a huge stride forward for children’s health and the future of the planet, but it’s been blocked for industry preservation.”
“It’s so disheartening to see this kind of lobby tactic aimed at Blue Peter, especially given our country’s childhood obesity crisis and the climate emergency.”
“The science is clear, yet initiatives such as the Green Badge Campaign aimed at saving the planet are somehow seen as antagonistic and frivolous. We call upon the farming community to be part of the solution.”
“We work with schools across the country where children and staff are actively eating more plant-based foods and less meat and dairy, a step outlined by the FAO, IPCC, WHO, and EAT Lancet as crucially important for our health and the climate. We urge the BBC to reconsider.”
Dr Shireen Kassam adds: “We should be extremely alarmed by this pattern of behaviour from the meat and dairy industries, in bullying organisations such as the BBC and its Blue Peter programme.”
“We are healthcare professionals providing evidence-based advice, who are struggling to have our message heard. Two years ago, there was a similar situation with the charity Macmillan, which agreed to stop promoting their meat-free initiatives – once again as a direct response from pressure from the meat industry.”
“Like adults, children in the UK are suffering ill health as a direct consequence of the food they eat. One in three children in the UK are living with obesity by age nine and only 18 per cent of children are currently meeting the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables a day in the UK.”
“Moreover, the British Dietetic Association states that a plant-based diet is suitable at every-age and life-stage. These deliberate attempts to mislead the public and to cancel imperative environmental initiatives leaves us highly concerned for the future.”
Jimmy Pierson comments further: “The UN is telling us to cut back on meat and dairy. The BBC’s flagship children’s programme is encouraging sustainable action in young people, educating its audience on climate change, and somehow the farming industry has the power to shut it all down. It’s a sad indictment of who pulls the strings when it comes to the biggest issue facing the planet.”
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