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Go vegan this Fourth of July with a meat-free hot dog or hamburger

Playboy bunnies posed to promote meat-free hot dogs for PETA in 2000
Photo by Getty Images/Getty Images

When one thinks of PETA, he may immediately make the mental jump to fur protestors outside fancy balls, but their mission extends much, much further.

It's no secret that this examiner has enjoyed a hot dog or two in her day, and it's also no secret that she once scoffed when her mom brought out a tofu turkey.

However, everyone evolves, and this Fourth of July it seems noble, right and even tasty to promote some meat-free choices here in NOLA.

PETA explained in a July 2 press release that,

Meat hot dogs come with a slew of unsavory ingredients, including dangerous carcinogens, heart-stopping cholesterol and saturated animal fats, glass shards, rodent parts, and a lot of cruelty.

That's why PETA set out to find the "Top Five Vegan Hot Dogs in America".

And those would be:

  1. The Vegan Hot Dog Cart, Orlando, Fla., for its 100 percent vegan "Holiday dog".
  2. Dirty Frank’s Hot Dog Palace, Columbus, Ohio, for its vegan "Rockaway Beach dog", brimming with cabbage and carrot-mustard slaw.
  3. Pink's, Los Angeles, for its vegan dog named after a vegetarian journalist, the "Patt Morrison Baja Vegan Dog".
  4. Dreamy Weenies, NOLA (see below)
  5. Mustard's Last Stand, Denver and Boulder, Colo., for their "Soy Veggie Dog" boasting mustard, relish, onions, tomatoes, pickles, hot peppers, and sauerkraut.

In the run-up to the Fourth, PETA feted Dreamy Weenies' "Vegan House Special"—complete with chili, Creole mix, shredded dairy-free Daiya cheese, guacamole, and pico de gallo—in the Quarter, at 740 North Rampart Street across from Louis Armstrong Park.

At DW, you can even pick your own dog, from falafel to vegan kielbasa to vegan Italian herb. And while the New Orleans dog stop does offer meaty varieties, they also ensure that vegan customers' tastes and requirements are met. On their website they say,

Out of respect for people’s various dietary needs, Dreamy Weenies uses separate cooking equipment and utensils for the kosher, halal, and vegan hot dogs. At Dreamy Weenies we guarantee you can get all three in one spot, no mixing pots!"

Honorable mention goes to Dogtown in Rochester, N.Y., and DC-3 in Washington, D.C., PETA tells us.

If you can't make it out to Dreamy's this week, by all means be inspired to make your own vegan dog or burger at home. Shop at Rouses or Whole Foods, or check with your local supermarket, for planning your meat-free barbeque.

Fire up the grill, y'all. Happy Fourth!

To see the list of five vegan superstars, click here.

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