Could PETA Affect a Very Key Trait of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?

Image copyright Nickelodeon 2018

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have been around for a long while now, since 1984, to be exact.

In their 34 year existence, the Turtles have dealt with alien invaders, sharp ninja warriors, and even the big screen on multiple occasions.

However, they’ve never faced a foe like this.

PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) has issued a letter to Nickelodeon ahead of the network’s reboot series, Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

The letter asked that Nickelodeon change a very important character trait in the new series; by making them vegan and ditching their trademark pizza!

PETA‘s Lauren Thomasson asked Nickelodeon President Cymi Zarghami to consider the change the Turtles to match a change in kids who will be watching the series.

“Modern kids are embracing vegan food, so why shouldn’t modern Ninja Turtles?” Thomasson wrote.

“Vegan pizza is popular, and it’s healthier and far kinder to animals than old-fashioned dairy cheese pizza. PETA thinks that’s something the ‘Heroes in a Half Shell’ would support.

Putting vegan pizza on the Fab Four’s plates is sure to inspire fans to try it themselves, and that would be great news for cows.”

Nickelodeon’s Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will shake things up for our Heroes in a Half Shell, as it’ll reportedly put Raphael in the position of leader whilst Leonardo will become the self-professed ‘coolest’ brother.

Whether or not the Turtles will become vegan remains to be seen, but the series is already changing core tropes associated with the team, so who knows?

John Cena is on board to lend his voice as villainous Dr Baron Draxum, and the series will also feature Omar Miller as Raphael, Ben Schwartz as Leonardo, Brandon Mychal Smith as Michelangelo, Josh Brener as Donatello, Eric Bauza as Splinter, and Kat Graham as April O’Neil.

You can read the full letter from PETA below.

-James, 01/02/2018

Dear Ms. Zarghami,
I’m writing on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and our more than 6.5 million members and supporters worldwide—a bunch of them dyed-in-the-half-shell fans of Mikey, Leo, Raph, and Donnie—to say, “Bodacious!”
That was the reaction around here when word got out about Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. What really got PETA buzzing, though, was the “different direction” that you spelled out for the new series. More laughs? Mystic ninja powers? Gnarly!
But every fan worth his or her nunchucks knows that wherever the show leads the Turtles, they’ll be fueling up with pizza. It’s practically their raison d’être, right? That’s another reason why I’m getting in touch: to ask that their pies and slices be vegan, because compassionate eating is the direction that TMNT fans, their siblings, and their parents are taking.
Check this out: Generation Z already scarfs down 57 percent more tofu and chugs 550 percent more nondairy milk than millennials do. Meanwhile, 70 percent of U.S. college campuses offer daily vegan options—that’s an awesome 42 percent jump from just four years ago—and one in five even have an all-vegan dining station. Twenty-six percent of all consumers say that they’ve cut back on eating meat in the last 12 months, and 58 percent of adults drink nondairy milk.
What’s that mean for reptilian—and human—pizza connoisseurs? More than 40 restaurant chains across the country, including Two Boots, &pizza, and Pizza Studio in the Turtles’ New York City stomping grounds, have taken note and added vegan cheese to their menus, and many of them now offer cruelty-free toppings like mock meats, seasoned tempeh, and tofu.
Putting vegan pizza on the Fab Four’s plates is sure to inspire fans to try it themselves, and that would be great news for cows. The dairy industry isn’t kind to these gentle, intelligent beings—they often spend their lives standing on concrete floors, separated from their babies and tethered to machines until their milk production wanes. Their misery ends at the slaughterhouse.
I’ve got to believe that the Turtles would be willing to help save other animals’ lives.
Thanks for your time and for considering this important issue. I’m looking forward to discussing it with you.
Lauren Thomasson

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