In one episode of the Discovery Channel’s How It’s Made—which is so disgusting that one has to wonder if producers of the show made it as a parody—the mystery of hot dogs is finally revealed … sort of.
From grinding up meat “trimmings” from pigs, chickens, and cows to pumping out brown sludge that’s eventually formed into a phallic-shaped monstrosity, every stage of production leaves watchers wondering how in the world hot dogs are legal to sell—let alone classified as “food.”
Hot dogs are made of “mechanically separated meat,” defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as “a paste-like and batter-like meat product produced by forcing bones with attached edible meat under high pressure through a sieve or similar device.”
When they chow down on a hot dog, consumers also get much more than they bargained for—including glass, plastic, metal, bone, rodents, and other miscellaneous objects. It’s no surprise that the World Health Organization now classifies hot dogs and other processed meats as carcinogenic—in the same category as cigarettes and asbestos.
It takes a liquid smoke bath, a salt-water treatment, and many other flavorings to make consumers forget that they’re eating runny flesh trimmings that—let’s be honest—resemble an alarming case of diarrhea.
Perhaps the most genuine reaction to learning how hot dogs are made came from the legendary Snoop Dogg, who, after watching footage of hot dog production, exclaimed, “Every time I see a motherf*cker at a barbecue with a plate with a hot dog on it, I’m knockin’ that sh*t out his hands.”
Before animals’ body parts are pulverized into paste, they live short, miserable lives.
Mother pigs—who account for almost 6 million of the pigs in the U.S.—spend most of their lives in individual gestation crates that are so small that they can’t even turn around. In nature, after piglets are born, their mothers clean them and make a nest. But on factory farms, mother pigs are locked inside farrowing crates, which are barely wide enough for them to lie down and nurse their babies. The crates also prevent them from performing any other natural maternal behavior.
Chickens raised for their flesh—called “broilers” by the chicken industry—spend their entire lives in filthy sheds with tens of thousands of other birds, and the intense crowding and confinement lead to injuries and outbreaks of disease.
When still very young, many cows are branded, dehorned, and castrated—all without painkillers. Then cows raised for beef are sent to massive, filthy outdoor feedlots, where they’re fattened for slaughter.
Save animals by leaving this repulsive food off your plate.
You can help animals—including pigs, cows, and others whose body parts might end up in hot dogs—every day by choosing to go vegan. To help you get started, here’s a coupon for $2 off any Field Roast product!