Press Release to Reporters at Nathan's
The VivaVine: Volume #4, No. 4; Sept./Oct., 1995

The following Press Release was distributed by The VivaVegie Society at the 80th annual Nathan's Famous hot dog eating contest on 4th of July, 1995, at Coney Island.....

It was enclosed in a press packet given to the reporters and stringers who came out for the contest. Ten packets were distributed. "The Village Voice," "CNN," "Headline News," and Channel 7's local "Eyewitness News," all mentioned or featured The VivaVegie Society in subsequent reports.

The VivaVegie Society and Big Apple Vegetarians are two vegetarian organizations in New York City. Together, we publish a newsletter and have regular events to which hundreds of people take part.

We believe that Nathan's long standing annual hot dog eating contest has gone on long enough without a challenge. We've chosen this contest as a forum for criticism of the meat industry in general.


With our "What is a Hot Dog?" flyer we are distributing, we're reminding hot dog eaters what it is they've chosen to put into their bodies. We're reminding hot dog consumers what it is they've chosen to foist upon their children. This flyer reminds us that a hot dog is made up of every odd animal body part which would otherwise be trashed.

"What is a Hot Dog?", however, doesn't cover everything. Not mentioned in the flyer are the hormones, antibiotics and sulfa drugs that today routinely go into the animals before they are slaughtered? It also doesn't mention the animal suffering that is hidden in every bite.

Since Earl Butz, the U.S. Congress has favored gigantic corporations in their quest for hold over the meat industry. But what's the real cost of this to the small, less inhumane family farmers? What's the real cost to the general public?

-- Corporate factory systems have fostered the complete proliferation of bacterias such as Listeria, salmonella and E.Coli. Exposes (such as the one done by CBS's 48 Hours last year: "Is Our Food Fit to Eat?") have shown that violations of USDA regulations are a common occurrence at today's slaughterhouses.

-- In an era of needed conservation, cattle ranching and today's mega hog and chicken factories bring us many hidden costs to society. Both industries are extremely destructive to the environment and require inordinate amounts of natural resources (water, fossil fuels and land) to run.

Hot dogs are the by-product of the highly wasteful, subsidized and NON-law-abiding meat industry. We believe the meat industry should get off the government dole.

So, what is the real cost of the meat industry, to health, the environment, and to our sense of proper stewardship over animals? We're out here today to bring some very important awareness to the issues of meat.

Go vegetarian! --for health -- for the environment -- for the animals

Copyright © 1995. The VivaVegie Society. All rights reserved.
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