Teenage Mutant ‘Vegan’ Turtles? PETA Wants Dairy-Free Pizza in TMNT Reboot

Vegan Cheese Would Be a 'Bodacious' Fit for Gen-Z Viewers

For Immediate Release:
January 31, 2018

Contact:
Moira Colley 202-483-7382

Los Angeles – As Nickelodeon prepares to go in a “different direction” with Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, PETA sent a letter this morning asking the network to make that direction a vegan one—with dairy-free pizza for the turtles to chow down on.

In the letter, PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat or abuse in any other way”—points out that people (including Nickelodeon’s young viewers, their siblings, and their parents) are going vegan at higher rates than ever. And 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.

“Modern kids are embracing vegan food, so why shouldn’t modern Ninja Turtles?” asks PETA Senior Vice President Lisa Lange. “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.”

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

PETA’s letter to Nickelodeon follows.

January 31, 2018

Cyma Zarghami

President

Nickelodeon

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

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“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind