PETA Pitches Veggie Dog Mascot to Soon-to-Be Cleveland Guardians

For Immediate Release:
August 9, 2021

Tapi Mbundure 202-483-7382


Now that the Cleveland Indians have scored a home run by pledging to change their name to the Cleveland Guardians, PETA sent a letter this afternoon to the team’s general manager, Mike Chernoff, asking him to continue the spirit of inclusivity by adding a vegan hot dog mascot to the Hot Dog Derby tradition. The group has offered to purchase the meat-free mascot’s costume and to treat all the players to veggie dogs, which are already sold at Progressive Field.

“Pigs, cows, and turkeys used for hot dogs value their lives and don’t deserve to become a stadium snack, so let’s go to bat for them,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA hopes the team will introduce a delightful vegan wiener in a win for animals, the environment, and the health of its fans.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

PETA’s letter to Chernoff follows.

August 9, 2021

Mike Chernoff

General Manager

Cleveland Indians

Dear Mr. Chernoff:

I’m writing on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and our more than 6.5 million members and supporters worldwide, including thousands in Ohio and countless sports fans. Now that you’ve scored a home run by switching your team’s name to the Cleveland Guardians, we have a pitch that we hope you’ll embrace as a way to continue that spirit of inclusivity: Will you please add a vegan hot dog mascot to your Hot Dog Derby? If you agree, we’ll gladly buy the Veggie Dog’s costume and veggie dogs (sold in your stadium) for all the players.

I assure you, our request isn’t coming out of left field. In 2019, Progressive Field was ranked among our top 10 vegan-friendly ballparks, and over the last 15 years, the number of vegans in the U.S. has risen by 3,000%. Whether it’s for ethical, environmental, or health-related reasons, 57% of Americans now purchase vegan foods in place of meat and dairy, and vegan food sales have grown 43% in the past two years. Even Nathan’s Famous recently added a vegan dog!

Promoting a vegan hot dog is also a great way to be a guardian of your fans’ health—the World Health Organization reports that processed meats such as hot dogs cause cancer, and innumerable studies show that going vegan reduces the risk of suffering from cancer, heart disease, and strokes. And of course, there’s another reason to consider vegan hot dogs.

Pigs, cows, and other animals commonly used for hot dogs are sentient beings who enjoy life, form strong bonds with others, and experience pain and fear, just like dogs (and baseball players). Yet the millions who are killed in the U.S. every year are raised on filthy factory farms, where they endure extreme crowding and routine mutilations—without any pain relief—before they’re sent on a terrifying journey to the slaughterhouse and violently killed.

We hope you’ll take this opportunity to step up to the plate by giving vegan fans someone to cheer for in your Hot Dog Derby and representation in Tribe Hot Dogs’ community outreach. Thank you for your time and consideration—I look forward to hearing from you. Best of luck this season!

Very truly yours,

Ingrid Newkirk


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