PETA and Playboy Playmates Team up for National Hot Dog Day

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What were two Playboy playmates—wearing nothing but strategically-placed lettuce leaves—doing earlier today outside the House of Representatives' Rayburn building?

Besides handing out free veggie dogs with reps from PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), the self-proclaimed "Lettuce Ladies" were on the Hill to counter National Hot Dog Day. Inside Rayburn, the American Meat Institute celebrated the occasion with assorted Major League baseball sluggers and congressmen.

"We’re not exclusive like them. PETA is friends with anyone,” said the organization’s campaign coordinator Mike Brazell (a five-year vegetarian and three-year vegan). He was generous, encouraging lobbyists and families to take “two, three or four” Yves brand veggie dogs, which he claims are the tastiest vegan-friendly frank.

So what’s in the plastic-looking "dog"? Good question. Like the Boca Burger, the alternative meat attempts to taste like beef, not veggies. There's soy protein and wheat gluten for structure, and added spices for "flavor." And while they were somewhat, well, plastic-tasting, the low-fat wieners weren’t half-bad once drenched in ketchup, mustard, and grilled onions (also courtesy of PETA). They were even tastier when Brazell noted their lack of "pig lips," as opposed to the real hot dogs being served inside Rayburn.

The PETA table was well-stocked with 1,000 dogs, but had to close up shop earlier than expected when it started to drizzle. Playmates Lauren Anderson and Laura Guthridge—vegetarians who work with PETA on several events as part of the “Turn Over a New Leaf” campaign—quickly found robes. They didn’t want their lettuce bikini tops to wilt.