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PETA wants Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to go dairy-free

As Nickelodeon prepares to embark on a bold, new direction with the launch of RISE OF THE TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES, the animal rights organization, PETA, is asking for the network to re-introduce the heroes in a half shell as vegan - with the brothers preferring to dine on dairy-free pizza.

The request for the turtle's radical change in diet comes by way of a letter penned to Nickelodeon by Lauren Thomasson, Project Coordinator, Animals in Films and Television and Celebrity Campaigns at PETA. In the request, Ms. Thomasson notes that "people (including Nickelodeon's young viewers, their siblings, and their parents) are going vegan at higher rates than ever." She also states that pizza joints are following suit, especially in the Turtles' New York City home, which boasts vegan pizzas from Two Boots, &pizza, Screamer's Pizzeria, 00 + Co., Paulie Gee's, Bodega Pizza, and more. 

You can read Lauren's pitch to Nickelodeon in-full below:

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.

Sincerely,

Lauren Thomasson

PETA

Heh, remember that time when PETA set their sights on Nintendo, in protest of Mario wearing his iconic Tanooki suit? Or, when they campaigned for Ben & Jerry to start making their ice cream by using human breast milk rather than cows? "The breast is best," PETA said, though apparently no one was truly listening.

If the recent casting of VAMPIRE DIARIES actress Kat Graham is any indication, RISE OF THE TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES is poised to be making Turtles history its own way, by featuring the franchise's first black April O'Neil.

On a more practical note, I think it would behoove PETA to recall just how long it takes to produce an episode of RISE OF THE TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES. With the show set to premiere later this year, I doubt that Nickelodeon has the time or resources to edit their existing episodes to include PETA's suggested change in menu. Granted, it's not impossible for the TMNT to make the switch to dairy-free down the line, though I'd say the likelihood of that happening is slim to none.

What do you think of PETA's idea for the turtles to go dairy-free? Would the change act as a positive influence on young and impressionable viewers? Or, is this yet another go-nowhere plea from the organization who once asked NBC to run a saucy ad of scantily clad women embracing vegetables during the 2009 Super Bowl? You decide. 

Source: Joblo

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