Billboard Warns Processed Meat Lovers: Hot Dogs Are Bad For Your Butt

Baseball’s Opening Day is upon us, the weather is warming up enough so that the smell of grilled meats is already wafting on the air, and yet a billboard in Chicago decides it’s a great time for a wiener buzzkill, warning, “Hot Dogs Cause Butt Cancer.” Sigh, health experts. Big ol’ sigh to you for ruining everything with your serious health messages.

The Chicago Tribune says the billboard, placed along the Eisenhower Expressway, is part of a campaign by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. Signs in other cities read: “Hot dogs can wreck your health” and “Hot dogs can take you out of the game.”

Chicago gets the butt cancer treatment because “Illinois men have among the nation’s highest colorectal cancer rates.”

Of course, the National Hot Dog & Sausage Council is bristling over this backhanded attack, calling the PCRM a “pseudo-medical animal rights group” and says the sign is just a publicity stunt to attack “hot dog safety in an effort to advance their goal to create a vegan society.”

“Hot dogs are part of a healthy, balanced diet,” said American Meat Institute President J. Patrick Boyle. “They come in a variety of nutrition and taste formulas and they are an excellent source of protein, vitamins and minerals. This group’s claims are on a collision course with the facts.”

Maybe just don’t eat two at a time on one bun. You know, cut back a little.

Eisenhower billboard: Frank talk about hot dogs, cancer []


Edit Your Comment

  1. JennQPublic says:

    It works. I’m swearing off hot dogs, as of this moment. I don’t want butt cancer. :-/

    • Clyde Barrow says:

      lol,,,about 20 years ago and “group” of folks out of NY were trying to gain momentum on the idea that toilet water caused rectal cancer. That idea died quietly as this one should also.

  2. mingtae says:

    “Hot dogs are part of a healthy, balanced diet,”

    Key word, as always, is “balanced” meaning fruits and vegetables (relish does not really count).

  3. Cat says:

    Hot dogs are bad for your butt. You’re supposed to put them in the OTHER end.

  4. D007H says:

    The last hot dog I had was at a discount movie theater and it tasted like an old Slim Jim. When I got home, it was a pain in the butt…The lesson being, never buy discount hotdogs.

  5. Cat says:

    The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) is a non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C., which promotes a vegan diet, preventive medicine, alternatives to animal research, and encourages what it describes as “higher standards of ethics and effectiveness in research.”[1] Its primary activities include outreach and education about nutrition and compassionate choices to healthcare professionals and the public; ending the use of animals in medical school curricula; and advocating for legislative changes on the local and national levels.

    PCRM was founded in 1985 by Neal D. Barnard of the George Washington University Medical School.[1]

    Relationship with PETA

    People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and the foundation that manages it‚Äîthe Foundation to Support Animal Protection, also known as the PETA Foundation‚Äîdonated over $850,000 to PCRM between 1988 and 2000, and Barnard sat on the Foundation’s board until 2005. Barnard also writes a medical column for Animal Times, PETA’s magazine.[8] PCRM has responded to criticism about this from groups it says are funded by the meat, dairy, or chemical industries by stating it has no corporate affiliation with any animal protection group, and that PETA’s contribution to PCRM was small.[17]

    • Agent Hooter Enjoys Enhanced Patdowns says:

      Thank you. I mean that with sincerity. That’s really altogether enough for me.

    • Zowzers says:

      I was going to ask for a citation on their claim of hotdogs actually being the cause of colorectal cancer rather then just a contributor, but I think you’ve nailed them better by just ousting who they really are and what their real agenda is.


      • AtlantaCPA says:

        Actually the cancer link is real (though perhaps overstated by the ad):

        Though by them being the group to announce it publicly they probably have the message overshadowed by their own controversial links.

        • Zowzers says:

          The link is an increase in the chance of forming cancer, rather then red meat being the Cause of the cancer.

          there are those that eat no meat yet still get colorectal cancer, just as there are those that eat a lot or red meat and never get cancer. Hence, it is a contributor rather then a cause of said cancer.

          • OutPastPluto says:

            It might also be only a marker for the real cause… like not eating enough cruciferous vegetables.

            Ignoring the Sausage and loading up on the Broccoli might be far more relevant.

    • Cat says:

      Ironically, the link I posted doesn’t work because I put a colon at the end.

    • poco says:

      Thought so. I’ve been listening to the ridiculous vegan claim that meat causes cancer for years (I have a couple vegan friends). Now that I know that this pseudo-science is linked to two evangelical vegan groups I can doubly ignore it (if that’s a thing).

      • AtlantaCPA says:

        The cancer link is real, but vegan groups tend to overstate it for their own reasons. The lesson should be to look into it on your own and not take their word for it.

        • Zowzers says:

          Correct, but the key in this case is the statement “causes”. That’s the link that has not been established. We know diets high in meats, primarily red, show an increase in the cases of colorectal cancer but we can not directly link red meat as a “cause”.

          At best we can say such diets will increase the odds of a person getting colorectal cancer.

          • AtlantaCPA says:

            Yep, hence why I think they overstate when they say ’cause’. Ultimately it is impossible to ever say ’cause’ no matter how much it increases your risk due to the meaning behind ’cause’ in a scientific sense. Even if in a casual sense we would say something causes something else b/c it increases your risk a huge amount.

            • Zowzers says:

              This is a prime example of an organization confusing correlation & causation as deliberate misinformation to advance a cause. In this case particularly they used it as a scare tactic.

              • BennieHannah says:

                The best scare tactic for our family was my husband’s two brothers both battling cancer — one at 21 and the other at 49. Both lived healthy lifestyles and were very active. The 49-year old brother had rectal cancer and needed a colostomy. Although he’s handled it very well, it’s not something I want my husband to have to go through. I want to give him the best chance at good health and a long life, so I cut meat out of our home diet. He doesn’t miss it at all on a day-to-day basis, and when he goes out for a burger or eats a steak now and again, he enjoys the experience as a rare treat — the same way you’d enjoy splurging on cake and ice cream. People who think they can eat whatever they FEEL like eating, whenever they want to eat it, are no more responsible than those who max out their credit cards because they think they deserve to indulge themselves, and damn the consequences.

                I don’t get too wrapped up in the studies. Cancer is a roulette wheel, but we all know what we should do to decrease our odds– eat more vegetables and whole grains, eat less meat, fat and sugar, exercise regularly, don’t smoke or drink too much, and avoid sun exposure. Those things together stand to substantially improve your quality of life as you age as well. I know my body works best on a primarily vegetarian diet (with some fish). My system is regular and (TMI — the poop doesn’t reek), my energy level is high, and my skin is clear and youthful. My husband and I have avoided a lot of the health issues that everyone seems to expect as a matter of course with age — high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and heart disease. I won’t enjoy a hot dog nearly as much as being active and vital.

      • JennQPublic says:

        Calling hot dogs “meat” seems like a bit of a stretch…

    • Talmonis says:

      Friggin vegans… Go the fuck away. We don’t care. We like meat.

    • humphrmi says:

      Funny, I was just listening to the radio at lunch (I was told that I could listen to the radio at a reasonable volume…) and they were pointing out this fact.

      Also, the similar billboards in Miama and Indianapolis do not use the words “butt cancer”, but rather quotes like “…takes you out of the game…” and “… can wreck your life…”. So the implication here is that PCRM thinks that Chicagoans are too stupid to understand an allusion and have to resort to made up terms like “Butt Cancer”.

      Yeah, that’s going over real well around here.

    • Kuri says:

      Somehow I knew.

  6. rpm773 says:

    Note to the PCRM: I think hot dogs are little too far down the supply chain to demonstrate that a reduction in consumption would mean a reduction the number of animals slaughtered. That byproduct, if not used by the hot dog plant, will just wind up elsewhere.

  7. DerangedHermit says:

    “I’ll have some squid log.”
    “Sorry, we don’t serve that.”
    “Fine, then I’ll have one of your young on a roll.”
    “We don’t serve rolls.”
    “Fine, just give me something crawling with parasites.”

    “At least hot dogs haven’t changed.”

  8. Hoss says:

    Is there a place in this debate to resist both the ineffective message aimed at baseball fans and the meathead institutes balanced diet claims? I don’t eat hotdogs — not because I could get cancer 40 years from now but because eating them has certain immediate effects on weight, blood pressure, cholesterol, etc. Saying they taste good, go great with beer and are easy to eat at ballgames seems like the better pro-dog argument.

    • JennQPublic says:

      They should just go with a “You’re Going to Die Eventually Anyway” ad campaign. It would probably be pretty effective.

      Blaming this ad on the vegans seems like kind of a stretch.

  9. Emerald4me says:

    But (pun intended) there is this great place in Chicago, called Hot Doug’s, and every time I pass through Chicago I just have to eat there, long line or not. Sigh. If I get butt cancer, maybe they can just remove my butt.

  10. milehound says:

    I was instantly reminded of this SuperFans sketch:

  11. crispyduck13 says:

    “They come in a variety of nutrition and taste formulas…”

    Was anyone else totally put off eating hot dogs for a while after reading that sentence??

    • Not Given says:

      My cousin worked at a factory that makes hotdogs. He said he figured they were ground up lips and buttholes, etc. When he saw how it looked like pure fat (pink slime?) he couldn’t eat them anymore.

  12. Branden says:

    a better way to deter people from hotdogs would be to say “hotdogs aren’t meat, hot dogs are lips and sphincters”.

  13. Kuri says:

    Why do I sense PETA’s hand in this…?

  14. brinks says:

    It’s stuff like this that annoys people and makes them think all of us who choose not to eat meat are self-righteous douches. This won’t sway anybody.

  15. momtimestwo says:

    They said in the article that “The billboard‚Äôs blunt language was prompted by a recent survey showing that a surprising number‚Äî39 percent‚Äîof Americans do not know what the colon is.”.

  16. snowbodi says:

    PCRM put a similar billboard in Des Moines, IA (home of the Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival) – “BACON CAUSES RECTAL CANCER.” Iowa’s pork producers were a little upset.

    • frenchman says:

      There is such thing as a bacon festival??!! I guess it’s one of those things you can assume exists, but never think about…

      *starts packing*

  17. jj_hippie says:

    I echo the other posters about the BS butt cancer claim. However, most hot dogs (and processed deli meats, and bacon, and most breakfast sausage, and ham) contain sodium nitrates and nitrites as preservatives, which seem to be closely linked to certain cancers if you eat enough of them. My grandma subsisted on a non-balanced diet of mostly processed and red meats (and fried okra and collard greens) for all of her life until she was diagnosed with and died of pancreatic cancer a few months ago. Everything I’ve read indicates it’s okay to have these things in very small amounts occasionally, but they shouldn’t be something you eat every day.

  18. Sad Sam says:

    I don’t eat meat so I’m not objective on this point. Although there is the BBQ place that I pass every night on the way home from work and every night I think about having a beef BBQ sammie b/c it smells so fricken good.

    Hot dogs, bacon, processed meats, b/c of things like temperature of cooking, smoking, nitrates, etc. are linked with higher colorectal cancer rates.

    See the American Cancer Society for more on this: “Just how much of a concern are these processed meats in terms of cancer risk? A number of studies have suggested that people who eat even a relatively small amount of them over many years can increase the risk of colorectal cancer. In a study our American Cancer Society researchers published in the Journal of the American Medical Association a few years ago, high consumption of processed meat over 10 years was associated with a 50 percent increased risk in cancer of the lower colon and rectum. High consumption was defined as 1 oz. per day, 5-6 times per week for men, and 1 oz. per day, 2-3 days per week for women. (To give you a frame of reference, the typical bun length hot dog is about 2 oz.; 2 slices of cooked bacon are about an ounce).”

  19. Kavatar says:

    It’s true, though. Since I stopped eating hot dogs, I have not once been diagnosed with butt cancer.

  20. nickmark says:

    There are many of us who are Colon Cancer survivors like my self a Stage IV colon cancer survivor who do not appreciate the use of the word Butt Cancer and will be letting this group know about it. Its colon cancer no Butt Cancer. and an occasional Hot Dog is not going to cause it a steady diet of red meat is not good. There are plenty of people with Colon cancer like me who
    never smoked never drank alcohol exercised and ate a reasonably good diet and we still got cancer . Including vegetarians who have gotten colon cancer . In my case genetics played a big role. So stop the nonsense and tell Americans the truth. Red meat is safe to eat when balanced in a proper diet and you exercise. and take care of your self Other wise yes you re open for all types of health issues.

    • Clyde Barrow says:

      Do not appreciate? Are you kidding? lol. The world is one big planet with many millions of different people and it cannot appease your delicate sensibilities. Don’t take it so personal because there are worse things in life.

  21. Princess Beech loves a warm cup of treason every morning says:

    I can’t help wondering if the colorectal cancer issue is because it’s being stuffed in the wrong orifice?

    : Thoughts?

  22. Stickdude says:

    Correlation != Causation

    Correlation != Causation

    Correlation != Causation

    You would think a group of physicians would know better.