Veganism and the practice of abstaining from the use of animal products is an entirely valid philosophy to live your life by – but just because you choose to do it doesn’t mean the world need to follow suit.
Try telling that to Lauren Thomasson and the animal rights campaign organisation People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) though.
In a twist that precisely no one saw coming, PETA has launched a campaign called for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to go vegan.
The heroes in a half shell are set for a comeback later this year as part of a new series being launced over on Nickelodeon.
Ahead of that, however, PETA are calling on the team behind the new series to make the Turtles go dairy free for the new series.
The official PETA statement on the subject reads as follows:
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.
The campaign has, perhaps understandably, drawn some scepticism. For one thing, it’s likely that work on the series has already wrapped with plans for the show to air in the Spring.
So what was this? Just a publicity stunt? Surely there are more pressing concerns than the fictional diets of a series of animated characters?
The stunt comes just days after another vegan went viral after tattooing the word above her right eyebrow. These are strange times.
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Loaded staff writer Jack Beresford has produced content for Lad Bible, Axonn Media and a variety of online sports and news media outlets.