Hot Dog

I am not repulsed by what is inside the crisp skin of a hot dog. It always sounds like a good option to me. I will always want a hot dog, especially a dirty water one on the street in New York City, when its painfully cold outside, possibly right after we have finished ice skating, our breath coming out in big white clouds.

In addition to the delicious NY hot dogs, I love it when vendors sell sausages outside of nightclubs in Los Angeles, late night/early morning, fried with onions and peppers until the skins are blistered, served up with a heavy portion of grease spilled onto a stale-ish white bun. These are more of a sausage variety, the insides revealing chewy knots of fat and cartilage, as opposed to the uniform pink of a regular frank. The smell is intoxicating and good to soak up the booze and whatever else you might have enjoyed during your night out on the town. Its best to eat away the damage that bars and clubs and rock shows can do, at least I always have, the faster the food the better. Its disgusting in the brute sunlit reality of 9am, but I choose that dry mouth regret over an un-braced for hangover.

Generally, I am of the belief that hot dogs are made of the mess on the kill floor, the butcher’s aftermath, whatever can be swept and salvaged and formed into tubes. The mass of protein which is likely – blood, brains, nerves, glands, eyelids and eyeballs, teeth, gums, jowls, jaws, bones, marrow, organs, skin, jowls, fat, hair, a good bit of fear and terror and confusion in there too, all the chemicals and drugs they’ve been fed, as well as undigested grain and fecal matter – everything nose to tail – smashed up and spiced and heavily salted and packed into tight, toothsome skins, possibly intestines but maybe an edible beef extract injected plastic-like skin that spurts a tiny, satistfying spray of brine when bitten into, mimicking an itsy bitsy blood spatter. We are predators after all.

Yes they say hot dogs are 100% beef, which I do not doubt, but what makes up the 100% may not be the percentage of the beast you would choose to consume. 100% means all of it. Are you ready for all of it? All the truth? All the misery? All the offal? all the awful?

I say if you are going to eat the animal, eat the whole thing. Honor the life you have taken and don’t waste a bit. Make no assumption that you are humane by eating only the sanctioned portions of muscle neatly surrounding the bone, such as in an expertly seared, pepper crusted t-bone steak, and don’t think that you’ll be getting this when you come over to my house to eat. None of my heat sources will get hot enough to sear meat properly, and I refuse to light the propane grill outside. It’s always scared me and I have never used it with the simple ease or homey comfort that barbecuing is supposed to represent. My meat is always grey and tough and we should have hot dogs instead. That would be the better option.

If you think it’s inhumane, you are right. Yes, wake up and smell the blood. We who eat animals have no right to call ourselves humane. We eat, we kill, there is blood on our hands and in our mouths, meat is murder, it really is, and its real, and its ok and it’s pretty good. Admit it and pass the mustard.

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6 Comments. Add To The Mix…

  1. Ugh. I love you Margaret, and your blog. Not my favorite post. Animals are sentient and it’s just fucked to make light of torture.

  2. andy cohen is an ass for making programs that are insipid and part of the problem — after all, i have been part of a program that i HATE, i have NO LOVE for the homophobia, racism, chauvinism, sexism, ignorance, intolerance, waste, inertia, greed, egos, vanity, horrible rhythm of such selfish and cheap enterprises. i missed the show margaret as i’m not with the program. i do NOT have interest in anything reality as it’s contrived and leaves the notion of documentary lilting in that celluloid closet with other spaces of denial, disease, detritus, and filth posing as wisdom as it leaves me considering the united states as a nice place to visit but no longer my home. when ignorant people produce homophobic TV and want a queer person to work with them, can one only wonder how incredibly retarded they are — even having to work with bigoted faggots (the worst excuse for anything relative to equality). thanks, i don’t like hot dogs as they remind me of new york gas and the culpability of ugliness around the world for which plenty of people in that city are GUILTY. but, thanks for the apology margaret — it offers clarity when people speak of something being complicated but they do not open up with dialogue to explain the complications, they merely continue to exploit like plenty of administrators at KCRW radio. i’m sorry that this production exists as i would not consciously seek to produce something so pathetically stupid as this homophobic and racist group of people in my life.

  3. We’re omnivores… a far cry from “predators”. The evolutionary advantage of omnivores is that we can digest both plants and animals. So, if one is scarce, then the other may be consumed.

    We’ve come a long ways, evolutionarily, technologically, and, for some, ethically.

    Meat is:
    1) Not healthy. It’s very strongly correlated with cancer, hypertension, disease, high cholesterol and numerous other diseases and maladies.
    2) A poor/inefficient use of resources and wreaks havoc on the environment. The amount of land used to feed one omnivore could feed 22-40 vegans. Livestock based methane is a detrimental greenhouse gas. The antibiotics used in commercial cattle effect the flora of water sources and the immune system of consumers, leaving us all more susceptible to serious illnesses like MRSA.
    3) Inhumane. Pigs have a cognitive ability equitable to that of an average 2-4 year old child. Cows and birds feel pain (we know this through comparative anatomy, brain scans, etc.). Even lobsters have primitive pain receptors.

    I could go on, but I’ll wrap this up: I was with you ’til the end. It IS incredibly incongruent, not to mention hypocritical for someone to enjoy a bacon cheese burger, then turn their noses up at hot dogs. And it is incredibly wasteful to kill animals, plunk out a few key pieces, then scrap the rest. However, it is NOT “ok”.

    It’s typical to our society to be blasé about things. And, wow, what a perfect illustration. “Meat is murder” but it’s “okay”. Murder… no big deal. It’s, apparently, some kind of trend to offer up these meat-glorification rants. The answer is not to eat all of it, but rather, to eat none of it. Otherwise conscientious meat eaters like to throw their shoulders up and say “Oh well” or make light of the pain that they’re promoting, or even denigrate vegetarians… but it’s only because in their heart of hearts, they know we’re right. ‘Thou doeth protest too much’ and it’s all a poor attempt to assauge their own well buried guilt.

  4. Margaret, your writing is, and has always been, fresh to def. Girl I thank the gods and goddesses for you for being here and perking up my every day. Love you! See ya 10/5 in Cleveland!!

  5. “Meat is murder, it really is, and its real, and its ok and it’s pretty good.”

    This is both wildly insensitive and makes you sound a little like a sociopath. You’re one of my heroes, but I can’t tolerate speciesism and cruelty to animal others. Have you watched slaughterhouse and factory farm videos before? Do you know exactly how inhumane “inhumane” is?

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