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What’s in a Hot Dog?

Eating vegan has plenty of perks: With vegan foods, you don’t hurt animals with your meals, support environmental degradation, or absorb unnecessary animal fats.

But there’s another reason to eat vegan: You save yourself from ingesting some of the surprising ingredients in meat.

A 2011 article in The Local East Village said that hot-dog eaters get much more than they bargain for, including glass, plastic, metal, bone, rodents, and other miscellaneous ingredients, when they chow down on animal flesh. Lost your lunch yet?

It’s pretty gross, and we got to thinking: How do meat hot dogs match up to vegan dogs, not only in nasty ingredients but also in heart-healthy ones?

We matched up Sarah Lee’s Ballpark Hot Dog and a Jumbo Vegan Smart Dog for comparison. The contest was not even close. Check it out for yourself:

Sara Lee’s Ball Park Hot Dog

  • Calories: 180
  • Total Fat: 15 g
  • Saturated Fat: 5 g
  • Protein: 5 g
  • Main Ingredients: mechanically separated turkey, water, pork, corn syrup, beef


Jumbo Vegan Smart Dog

  • Calories: 80
  • Total Fat: 5 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0 g
  • Protein: 15 g
  • Main Ingredients: water, soy protein isolate, wheat, gluten, evaporated cane juice


In case you’re not familiar with the term, “mechanically separated turkey,” as defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is a “paste-like and batter-like meat product produced by forcing bones, with attached edible tissue, through a sive or similar device under high pressure ….”

Tasty, huh? We’ll take the aptly named Smart Dogs any day.

What about you? What’s your favorite brand of veggie dog?

Commenting is closed.
  • sovonna says:

    Is there a vegan hotdog that is gluten free?

  • toddcannon says:

    the problem with these processed vegan/ veggie foods is that they are still processed food and are very high in sodium to make them taste good (notice it’s not listed in the breakdown) for the record, feild roast is by far the best veggie stuff in this category

  • Jenny says:

    I LOVE these hot dogs! I can not even tell that they vegan! I will never go back to eating real hot dogs again!

  • Steve H says:

    I like veggie burgers but the dogs I have tried tasted worse than cardboard.

  • Dennis says:

    I found it quite interesting that the vegan dog had more protein than the the meat franks did. I don’t recall seeing those in stores here though.

  • Rose says:

    I LOVE Not Dogs! I cook them in a tiny bit of Earth Balance in a frying pan and serve them on a toasted bun w/ Trader Joe’s Ketchup, yellow store brand mustard (not French’s as they (Unilever) test on animals) and kraut…YUM!