Nanny State

Who Will Dog the Dogmakers?

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delicious cancer BBQ

So apparently a bunch of vegans—with absolutely no ulterior motives at all—recently discovered that hot dogs give you gut cancer and decided that the only responsible thing to do was to file a class action lawsuit at the height of hot dog season against the owners of Nathan's, Oscar Mayer, Sara Lee, and Hebrew National.

The publicity for the suit compares hot dogs to cigarettes, demanding similar labeling requirements in order to save Americans from their ignorance of the mustard-coated menace!

The group is called The Cancer Project, and while I'm sure the folks over there are genuinely anti-cancer—they probably wear bracelets and everything!—the group's (short) history suggests that the primary concern is animal rights activism.

Susan Thatcher of Irvine, California, playing the role of Man on the Street in the Los Angeles Times yesterday, had this to say:

"Vegans complaining about hot dogs is like the Amish complaining about gas prices."

While it's pretty uncontroversial that folks existing on high hot dog diets are generally less healthy, scapegoating hot dogs in particular isn't well supported: 

An American Institute for Cancer Research report cited in the lawsuit notes that one 50-gram serving of processed meat—about the amount in one hot dog—consumed daily increases the risk of colorectal cancer 21% on average….

But a 2004 analysis by Harvard University researchers of pooled data from 14 studies in North America and Europe did not find a similar link between various red and processed meats and cancer. But they did find that higher consumption of poultry and fish may be associated with a lower risk of colorectal cancer.

Coming from the other end of time, space, and the political spectrum, the ad above was published by the American Meat Institute in 1947.

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  1. I don’t want cancer, so instead I will eat vegans. Problem solved.

  2. This reminds me of an episode of Family Guy for some reason.

  3. Does anyone else recall when it was the alleged conservatives who lived in moral fear that someone, somewhere might be having a good time?

    Or did I dream that?

  4. Tobias (as Mrs. Featherbottom): Okay, who’d like a banger in the mouth? Oh, right. I forgot. Here in the States, you call it a sausage in the mouth.

    Michael: We just call it a sausage.

  5. They failed to make the Hydrogen Hydroxide link. A properly cooked hot dog contains a lot of that deadly liquid.

  6. An American Institute for Cancer Research report cited in the lawsuit notes that one 50-gram serving of processed meat-about the amount in one hot dog-consumed daily increases the risk of colorectal cancer 21% on average….

    You know, in products liability law one of the issues you have to consider is foreseeable misuse. Even here in Chicago, where we’re serious about our hot dogs, I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect anybody to eat a hot dog a day.

  7. I think Xeones coined the term Pureaucrats, Muddy. It’s a bipartisan movement.

  8. I think Xeones coined the term Pureaucrats, Muddy. It’s a bipartisan movement.

    Good word. I think I’ll use it.

  9. a hot dog a day, keeps the vegans away

  10. “Vegans complaining about hot dogs is like the Amish complaining about gas prices.”

    Well, if the complaining Amish guy wanted to convince people that the horse-and-buggy was superior to a car, I think he might reasonably do that.

  11. gosh, and people wonder why I am such an instantaneous asshole to vegans. Could it be because so very few of them are as respectful about “personal choice” as they claim?

  12. Once when I was a kid, my mom was out of town and my dad fed my sister and I hot dogs. When my mom got home, she saw the remaining hot dogs in the fridge and freaked out, literally throwing the hot dogs across the kitchen. True story.

    HOT DOGS ARE PURE EVIL

  13. American Meat Institute

    I have no idea why, but that has to be one of the coolest institutes in the US. Where do you work? The Meat Institute. It should be next door to the BBQ institute.

    After a short stint living in Amarillo and seeing byproduct trucks. I say no thank you to hot dogs.

  14. Joey Chestnut is doomed.

  15. So apparently a bunch of vegans-with absolutely no ulterior motives at all-recently discovered that hot dogs give you gut cancer and decided that the only responsible thing to do was to file a class action lawsui

    I haven’t read all the links and articles, but could some of our more lawyerly members help a brother out with this one? They’re vegans. While I have no doubt that they’re suffering some sort of nutritional imbalance causing them to act outside of acceptable social mores, wouldn’t all of the vegans involved in the suit have to show some harm from eating hot dogs? And if they’ve been eating hot dogs, wouldn’t that suggest that they’re not vegans?

    And that’s another thing I wanna get down on. That’s one thing that Europe does better than us. Europe always had higher culinary standards than the U.S., until the last decade or so, when the U.S. really shook off it’s provincial shackles and got with really good food. Quality food. Prepared well, with thought and attention to detail. But Europe just shuts the fuck up and enjoys it. We have to turn it into a fucking political movement like a bunch of Puritains eager to show everyone else in the village just how pious we are with our food choices. Food miles, free-range, organic, hand-picked by Al Gore.

    Jesus! Shut the fuck up, eat your food and clear your plate when you’re done. And I don’t wanna see you for the rest of the evening.

  16. Jesus! Shut the fuck up, eat your food and clear your plate when you’re done. And I don’t wanna see you for the rest of the evening.

    Daddy?

  17. “Meat – You’re Right In Liking It”

    I know I’m right in liking it. But lately I’ve been acting on those desires….

  18. God I hate hippies.

  19. If we aren’t suppose to eat animals, then why do they taste like meat?

  20. Joey Chestnut is doomed.

    Haha, awesome. Kobayashi too.

  21. FSM save us from the Dragons of Purity.

  22. This should be another argument for eating more brats.

  23. I remember in the 80s when the antismoking nuts started making noise. A counterargument was, “Well, if you’re going to pass all of these laws against smoking, why not do it against junk food?” Of course, they laughed. That would never happen!

  24. “Warren | July 24, 2009, 1:46pm | #
    If we aren’t suppose to eat animals, then why do they taste like meat?”

    Better, I think, is:
    “if God didn’t want us to eat animals, he wouldn’t have made them out of meat.”

  25. I will quote Maddox:
    For every animal you don’t eat, I will eat three.

  26. Since the class of plaintiffs has to be composed of people who have suffered harm from eating hot dogs, and

    Since vegans don’t eat hot dogs,

    I’m not sure how they have standing to bring this suit.

  27. or Dennis Leary:
    ” I tried eating vegetarian. I felt like a wimp going into a restaurant. “What do you want to eat sir? Broccoli?” Broccoli’s a side dish, folks. Always was, always will be, OK! When they ask me what I want, I say: What do you think I want? This is America. I want a bowl of raw red meat right now. “

  28. RC, see my long-winded post above… hopefully someone in wingtips will respond.

  29. I’m kinda hoping PETA expands this effort in order to protect their carnivorous friends.

  30. I’ll give you my weiner when you pry it from my cold, dead hands.

  31. Where’s a copy of the complaint? That would address the issue of standing.

  32. RC & Paul

    Maybe they’re worried about second-hand mustard.

    😉

  33. The carcinogen in processed meat is sodium nitrite, added to turn it a more pleasing color.

    Somewhere I read that nitrites are carcinogenic because that are oxidizers, but if you take a vitamin E (a fat-soluble antioxidant) and a vitamin C (a water-soluble antioxidant) before any and all hotdog-eating contests, you should be fine.

    But, who wants to bet that if the vegans understood that it is an added chemical and not meat itself that is carcinogenic, then they would suddenly stop giving a shit about people with colon cancer?

  34. I’d like to give some vegans my weiner.

  35. Mmmmmmm, Nathan’s.

  36. Standing only applies when you’re trying to reduce or restrict government. When it gives them the opportunity to control yet another aspect of American life, suddenly that doesn’t seem to be as important.

  37. More importantly, how come I can’t get a decent hot dog on Long Island? Sabrettes? Are you kidding me?

  38. I don’t have a problem with people being vegans, I have a problem with people trying to control how I live my life. Don’t want to eat meat and dairy? Cool. Want to pass laws to keep me from eating meat? Fuck you to death.

    Oh, what is that you say? They aren’t trying to pass a law? Tell that to smokers in the 1960s when the anti-smoking nags started cranking up the volume.

  39. Like I said before, daring to have disbelief and failing to genuflect at the “fuck the police” church that’s cropped up around here gets you branded a heretic.

    This is what happens you try to outleft the Left: you wind up airheads just like them.

  40. Wrong thread!

    Uhh…yo, fuck vegans.

  41. Mmmmmmm, Nathan’s.

    I was thinking the same thing. Very flavorful hot dogs. Mmmmmm.

  42. There’s a local butcher that makes their own 1/4 pound all-beef natural casing dogs. They are amazing and preservative free.

  43. TAO 1:

    Like I said before, daring to have disbelief and failing to genuflect at the “fuck the police” church that’s cropped up around here gets you branded a heretic.

    This is what happens you try to outleft the Left: you wind up airheads just like them.

    TAO 2:

    Uhh…yo, fuck vegans.

    Irony? You decide.

  44. At least the vegan weenies haven’t yet mandated renaming hot dogs as Eeeevil Meat-Slurry Tubes of Ass Cancer?.

  45. A friend of mine’s father had a house in Sea Gate. The original Nathan’s was about a quarter mile just outside the gates, so we’d get fucked up and then go to Nathan’s at 11PM and get chili dogs. Yummy.

  46. “if God didn’t want us to eat animals, he wouldn’t have made them out of meat.”

    There’s room for all of God’s creature, right next to the mashed potatoes.

    Remember kids: vegetables aren’t food. Vegetables are what food eats. Therefore, vegans are food. Eat up.

  47. “I don’t want cancer, so instead I will eat vegans. Problem solved.”

    Well, not exactly.

    You won’t get cancer but you will die of food poisoning.

  48. HOT DOGS ARE PURE EVIL

    You’re damn right. In elementary school, my best friend emerged from a Port-A Potty (we were at a track meet or something) and said: “It smells like hot dogs in there.” I didn’t let her forget that line for many years. And I definitely didn’t eat the hot dogs at her house.

    Also, Epi, the throwing-hot dogs-across-the-kitchen story was a breakthrough moment in your therapy, right?

  49. I should put up a picture of my “I’d Eat A Vegetarian Before I Became One” T-shirt.

    I have a great sister-in-law.

  50. Frackin’ Vegans. We oughta deport all their pseudopods back to Vega, where they belong!

    Kevin

  51. My wife was a vegetarian when she met me.

    She’s no longer a vegetarian. One of my greatest accomplishments.

    I aim low.

  52. My wife was a Catholic when she met me. She’s now a vegetarian.

    I’m so confused.

  53. Re: Nathan’s, Sabrette’s

    Technically, Brooklyn is on Long Island.

    Kevin

    (Brooklyn-born, Lawn Island-raised)

  54. Here’s the open letter to The Cancer Project that ends up my post over at my blog:

    To Whom It May Concern:

    Thanks to your actions today, I fully intend to have hot dogs for dinner tonight, and for lunch tomorrow, and possibly for dinner again tomorrow night. You’re a bunch of idiots who are just trying to find a new way to ram your ideology down people’s throats.

    As I have no interest in actually taking the time to insert a picture into this letter, please imagine my right hand with my middle finger raised in salute of your idiocy.

    Please have a hot dog and a smile and shut the hell up!

    Sincerely,
    Tom Knighton

  55. I haven’t read all the links and articles, but could some of our more lawyerly members help a brother out with this one? They’re vegans. While I have no doubt that they’re suffering some sort of nutritional imbalance causing them to act outside of acceptable social mores, wouldn’t all of the vegans involved in the suit have to show some harm from eating hot dogs? And if they’ve been eating hot dogs, wouldn’t that suggest that they’re not vegans?

    Okay, 1.) I can’t find a copy of the actual complaint and 2.) I’m not wearing wingtips (it’s jeans day here at the office), but my guess is that the plaintiffs are people who actually bought hot dogs and they’re simply being supported (i.e. put up to it) by the vegans–possibly some disgruntled meat-eaters-turned-vegans. Or, alternatively, the vegans went out and ceremoniously bought a package of hot dogs. To be a consumer in a consumer fraud action, you just need to purchase the item in question. Of course, that’ll limit your damages to the cost of the hot dogs, but obviously they’re more concerned about the publicity, and certainly many class actions claim even less (per person, that is) in damages.

  56. “Vegans complaining about hot dogs is like the Amish complaining about gas prices.”

    Nuff said.

  57. “Christopher Walken”, in his award-winning Onion column”

    Priceless.

  58. vegans are people who pure and simple hate food. puritans with hairy pits and obama bumper stickers.

    and i say this as a lifelong vegetarian.

  59. …new way to ram your ideology down people’s throats.

    Literally!

  60. You won’t get cancer but you will die of food poisoning.

    No, malnutrition. Vegans have so little fat that you burn more calories digesting them than you gain from the process.

  61. Cancer ridden hot dogs or tofu dogs? Hmm…

    It’s not even close. Cancer wins. It may kill me (according to the totally unbiased sources of the vegans), but it tastes sooo much better.

  62. More Dennis Leary:

    “…because meat tastes like murder; and murder tastes pretty fuckin’ good!”

  63. As an ex-vegan, I will say that at the time I held hot dogs in a rather high regard for the very fact that the meat inside is a byproduct instead of the reason they are killing the animal. Of course, they are gross and unhealthy, but I’d rather them use all parts of the animal if they are going to kill them instead of disposing of the less desirable parts. All such a lawsuit would do at best would be to leave more wasted animal parts in the trashcan. The cows will still be killed for the better meats, but logic is not always a factor in vegan minds. For the record, I was a vegan simply because I liked the challenge and discipline – not because I thought meat-eaters were evil people.

  64. I prefer vegans to vegetarians. They’re consistent. Not eating meat while wearing leather/drinking alcohol filtered through bone/what have you is pretty asinine. At least vegans have some ideological purity.

    Also, I’ve yet to meet (meat?) a vegan who advocates veganism for all, just because it is hard to do and requires products that aren’t available everywhere. But I know a ton of militant vegetarians who seem to think that eliminating meat will end world hunger.

  65. I prefer vegans to vegetarians. They’re consistent. Not eating meat while wearing leather/drinking alcohol filtered through bone/what have you is pretty asinine. At least vegans have some ideological purity.

    Not all vegearians are so because of a political underpinning. Some people become vegetarians simply because they believe in the health benefits. They don’t necessarily have any qualms about killing animals for food.

    In the 90’s I knew a lot of vegetarians. It was kind of a ‘thing’ for a while. Now I meet and know a lot of ex-vegetarians.
    Most of the veggies I knew were so for admittedly vague reasons. Probably why they’re ex-vegetarians. Also, I suspect a lot of them were veggies because most of them couldn’t cook. So food for them was kind of a chore… you ate to take in nourishment.

    For those of us with a little talent in the kitchen, we couldn’t imagine life without a fricking perfectly seasoned and grilled steak– medium rare, slightly charred on the outside. That flavor locked in. Or that gorgeous salmon indirectly grilled, marinated in a dijon/garlic sauce with lemon slices along the top, but first covered in crystallized sea salt and ground black pepper.

    Sorry, but your grilled eggplant is no substitute.

  66. But I know a ton of militant vegetarians who seem to think that eliminating meat will end world hunger.

    You forgot global warming. The meat industry and factory farming contributes to Teh Warming.

  67. At least the vegan weenies haven’t yet mandated renaming hot dogs as Eeeevil Meat-Slurry Tubes of Ass Cancer?.

    I wish they would. It would make eating hot dogs just that much more enjoyable.

  68. Sorry, but your grilled eggplant is no substitute.

    Every time some vegan asshole proclaims they have some concoction that is “just as good as meat”, run away as quick as you can. There is good vegetarian cooking, but it’s based on taking the ingredients as they are and not trying to turn them into something they most assuredly are not. A tofurkey is an abomination in the eyes of both God and man, and all responsible should be tried for crimes against humanity.

  69. Paul – although I have no doubt the trend might be downward, I’m sure a lot of is just growing older – here in college, I know more vegetarians then I know what to do with.

  70. For those of us with a little talent in the kitchen, we couldn’t imagine life without a fricking perfectly seasoned and grilled steak– medium rare, slightly charred on the outside. That flavor locked in. Or that gorgeous salmon indirectly grilled, marinated in a dijon/garlic sauce with lemon slices along the top, but first covered in crystallized sea salt and ground black pepper.

    For those of us with a lot of talent in the kitchen, making an equally delicious meal without meat doesn’t really pose a problem. Maybe you should practice?

    Every time some vegan asshole proclaims they have some concoction that is “just as good as meat”, run away as quick as you can. There is good vegetarian cooking, but it’s based on taking the ingredients as they are and not trying to turn them into something they most assuredly are not

    Yes. By the same token, I know some vegetarians and vegans who only eat hummus. This is the vegetarian equivalent to a dude who only eats Cheez-Its.

  71. By the same token, I know some vegetarians and vegans who only eat hummus. This is the vegetarian equivalent to a dude who only eats Cheez-Its.

    Mmm, hummus. Goes good on Cheez-Its, actually.

  72. “But I know a ton of militant vegetarians who seem to think that eliminating meat will end world hunger.”

    Genetically modified food will end world hunger. Oddly a lot of Veggies seem opposed to that too.

  73. “I prefer vegans to vegetarians. They’re consistent. Not eating meat while wearing leather/drinking alcohol filtered through bone/what have you is pretty asinine. At least vegans have some ideological purity.”

    My sister-in-law was vegan and when asked why she wore leather belts and shoes she responded that “as long as they are killing the animal, it shouldn’t be wasted.”

    My response was that as long as they are killing the animal, why not make a tasty stew?

  74. SugarFree | July 24, 2009, 2:16pm | #
    There’s a local butcher that makes their own 1/4 pound all-beef natural casing dogs. They are amazing and preservative free.

    Food scientist Harold McGee: “In the 1970s, the nitrite and nitrate in cured meats fell under the suspicion that they might cause cancer. Later research showed that we get far more of these chemicals from vegetables like celery, spinach and lettuce. Their abundant nitrate comes from the soil and is turned into nitrite by bacteria living in our mouths.

    Nevertheless consumers remain wary of nitrite-cured meats. And United States Department of Agriculture regulations forbid the use of pure nitrate or nitrite in foods labeled “natural” or “organic.”

    So ingenious manufacturers figured out how to replace the pure chemicals with a mix of nitrate-rich vegetable extracts and bacterial cultures that convert the nitrate into nitrite. (Celery-juice powder, for one, is especially rich in nitrate and has little flavor of its own.) As a result, natural and organic hot dogs that once were quite drab are starting to look better.

    According to a review from the American Meat Science Association, recent studies at Iowa State University show that careful formulation and processing can produce vegetable-cured hot dogs and hams that are quite similar to their nitrite-cured models in color and flavor. They are not, however, free of nitrites or nitrates, no matter what the label suggests.

  75. I eat hot dogs and smoke cigars every day. I just love things that shape in my mouth, and I’m perfectly fit & healthy. According to the fast-food funded Center for Consumer Freedom (no ulterior motives at all) the obesity epidemic is a myth! ObesityMyths.com

  76. “But I know a ton of militant vegetarians…”

    Is that one incredibly fat one or a bunch of fairly chubby ones?

    ;P

  77. I like a nice marinated and grilled portobello once in a while. I also like different grains and beans and St. Maries wild rice. But the geico hater in me loves a big slab of raw meat on the grill. If that kills me in the end, I’m cool with it.

  78. In the old country, you can’t get a good hot dog because it is illegal to kill cows (in most states). Restaurants that serve beef get burned down by religious nuts, and meat eaters aren’t allowed to own homes in nice areas. One of the reasons I came to the US was to be able to eat good hot dogs and steaks when I wanted to, rather than as a rare treat. And now these bozos want to stop me from doing that. Why you want to ruin America for me, Cancer Project people?

  79. When you’re trying to expose a group for having “ulterior motives,” Katherine, perhaps you should cite a source other than the notorious “Center for Consumer Freedom,” which runs that anti-PCRM website. Whether you agree with them or not, the PCRM has 5,000 physicians among its members, as well as dieticians and other health professionals. The CCF is a front group for the junk food industry, whose director of research is an obese cigar smoker who majored in music. Absolutely no ulterior motives, indeed! No credibility, either.

  80. When you’re trying to expose a group for having “ulterior motives,”

    Well, it is PETA, and they are a front for a terrorist organization, so why the fuck should we take anything they say seriously?

  81. I prefer vegans to vegetarians. They’re consistent. Not eating meat while wearing leather/drinking alcohol filtered through bone/what have you is pretty asinine. At least vegans have some ideological purity.

    you don’t know much about vegetarianism, do you? it has nothing to do with leather (i don’t use it), it just means only eating (or wearing) things that did not involve killing an animal. an egg ain’t a chicken.

  82. Paranoid much, T?

    As for “ideological purity,” most meat eaters in the U.S. not only avoid dog, whale & horse meat, they’ve forced their hypocritical ideology on others by banning such delicacies, while stuffing themselves with hot dogs and pork rinds. But I suppose the high road to health and humanity has to start somewhere.

  83. When you’re trying to expose a group for having “ulterior motives,” Katherine, perhaps you should cite a source other than the notorious “Center for Consumer Freedom,” which runs that anti-PCRM website. Whether you agree with them or not, the PCRM has 5,000 physicians among its members, as well as dieticians and other health professionals. The CCF is a front group for the junk food industry, whose director of research is an obese cigar smoker who majored in music. Absolutely no ulterior motives, indeed! No credibility, either.

    So, The Cancer Project is full of vegan wankers who want to keep us all from eating meat, right? After all, ain’t a damn thing there disputing what was said. Just some vague numbers of members.

    Guess what twit? No one gives a shit. The Cancer Project is still full of shit and can suck MY wiener!

  84. “Well, not exactly.

    You won’t get cancer but you will die of food poisoning.”

    No, you’ll die of malnutrition. Vegans simply do not contain the nutrients essential for sustaining human life.

  85. No, you’ll die of malnutrition. Vegans simply do not contain the nutrients essential for sustaining human life.

    So you only eat carnivorous animals? A lion steak? Panther pot roast? 😉

  86. Wow…veggie dogs are deeelish (to me)…a lawsuit seems a bit much, but public education about diet is always welcome…why is everyone defending a gross “food” item? The lawsuit is wrong, but hot dogs are not health food either…

  87. T: Probably because we actually like this “gross” food item and these turdnuggets are trying to impede the process.

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