The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT) should go vegan and switch to dairy-free pizza, an animal rights group has urged.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) believe the crime fighting foursome could inspire fans watching their new series to “try it themselves” by making their trademark snack vegan.
Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello and Michelangelo will return to our TV screens for the Rise of the TMNT, a Nickelodeon reboot set to air in September.
“Modern kids are embracing vegan food, so why shouldn’t modern Ninja Turtles?” said Lisa Lange, senior vice-president at PETA.
“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.”
Factbox | British Vegans
The pro-vegan group said they “believe that the turtles would be willing to help save other animals’ lives” in a letter to Cyma Zarghami, the president of Nickelodeon.
“Compassionate eating is the direction that TMNT fans, their siblings, and their parents are taking,” they add.
The return of the TMNT to New York City’s sewers, as they “encounter new allies and villains and discover a magical world they never knew existed”, was announced last year.
“We’re excited for the new series to take the characters in a different direction with more humor, a younger and lighter feel and all-new dimensions to explore,” said Ms Zarghami.
PETA says the dairy industry is “cruel” on cows and reduces their quality of life, also arguing cow’s milk is unhealthy for humans.
Veganism in on the rise in the UK, with the number of vegans growing by more than 360 per cent over the past decade, according to a 2016 poll by Ipso MORI.
“More people than ever are now acting upon the health and environmental benefits of veganism,” said Jasmijn de Boo, chief executive officer of The Vegan Society, “and finding out what really goes on in the meat and dairy industries and deciding they do not want to contribute to the pain and suffering of animals.”
There has also been a huge increase in the number of people participating in Veganuary, a month-long New Year pledge to go vegan.
“Veganism is one of the most effective choices a person can make to reduce the suffering of animals, help the planet and improve personal health,” say the registered charity.
An increasing number of celebrities who have gone vegan or tried a plant-based diet – including singer Miley Cyrus, actor Liam Hemsworth, Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton, pop star Ariana Grande and Beyoncé – have also helped promote the movement.
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