We’re aware that by publishing this blatant publicity grab that The Takeout is complicit in perpetuating PETA’s well-meaning if insufferable crusade. In our defense, this also gives us an opportunity to say to PETA’s card-carrying members: Go suck on a delicious smoked baby back rib, you fun-sapping killjoys.
Here’s their latest faux-campaign: This morning, Lauren Thomasson—Project Coordinator, Animals In Film And Television And Celebrity Campaigns for PETA—penned a letter to Nickelodeon president Cyma Zarghami. Nickelodeon is planning an animated reboot of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series, called Rise Of The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, set to debut in September 2018.
In the letter, Thomasson urged Nickelodeon that the pizzas served to Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo, and Raphael be vegan: “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.”
Listen, PETA, quit yucking on our childhood yum. First off: Vegan pizza is fucking gross. Second: It’s four cartoon turtles fighting petty crimes and trained by a rat sensei in the sewer. Third: Have you thought about how writers would have to shoehorn the dialogue into the narrative? It would feel totally unnatural! “Yo Leonardo, pass me some of that tubular soy protein and tapioca flour ‘cheese’ pizza, dude?”
With all due respect, PETA, please snack on some factory farm-processed ham and chill the fuck out.
Here’s the letter, which we begrudgingly print in full:
January 31, 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.