Sep 14, 2005

The Politics of Hot Dogs

Selling gourmet hot dogs in Malaysia continues to be an exciting challenge. Malaysia is a multicultural society a tight-knit society comprised of Chinese, Indians and Malays with a very small percentage of expatriates and foreign visitors.

It is a challenge introducing a food item that many in the region are truly unfamilar with. Day after day many of the locals, like creatures of habit, walk past and find themselves mysteriously drawn, like moths to a flame, to the stalls selling oily noodles and fried rice and at times to the stalls selling what they ambiguously refer to as "Western Food", a hideous localized abomination of Western cuisine concocted by the local Chinese polyglots, complete with dishes that have Chinese pidgin English names such as "Chicken Golden Blue" ie. (chicken cordon bleu). Our mission I suppose is can best be described as one of education at times.

Our halal hot dogs and all of our toppings are of the highest quality and should appeal to everyone. We have big juicy beef hot dogs, for those that don't eat beef we offer big mouthwatering chicken hot dogs and for those that like it spicy, we offer chicken jalapeno hot dogs. Everyone has their favourite and we pride ourselves in having a hot dog for everyone. I still have the occasional "kampongan" (Malaysian Hillbilly) wander in and inquire whether or not we are selling dogs, but overall business has been doing great, however the other night I seem to have faced my nemesis.

Three gentlemen approached the stall to place their orders. The first man ordered a beef "Texas Chili Dog" with extra cheese, the second man informed us that he could not eat beef and so we suggested a chicken "Texas BBQ hot dog" (mustard, homemade hickory-smoked BBQ sauce, dill pickle, chopped onions and jalapenos) . We asked the third man what was his order and he said "Oh, Im sorry I don't eat hot dogs." Sensing what we thought might be his initial apprehension at trying something different we tried in vain to make a sale and implored him to at least try one of our hot dogs. Thats when he said, "I'm really sorry, but Im a vegetarian and so I don't eat meat. If you had any vegetarian hot dogs I would give them a try"

Now I'm sorry to say, but "vegetarian hot dogs" are an abomination and simply out of the question. I won't sell them and I surely wouldn't carry them just to please an extremely small percentage of divisive and exclusionary people who choose to identify themselves as vegetarians.

And so, I stood there perplexed for a moment as they went to go sit at their table. The chicken has never been known to be a particularly sentient species at least not a dead one that has been made into a sausage. I decided I would try once again. "Sir, the chicken is a vegetable!"

The evil divisive vegetarian laughed and sniggered at me, but I was not discouraged despite being victimized by his blatent discrimination, in fact it made me think. What if we had the power to just simply change the definition of words and their meanings to suit our own agenda from time to time. What if I could have a Congressman in lets say... California introduce a bill to Congress declaring that the chicken is no more an animal but rather a vegetable.

Better yet, what if we could just do away with all exclusionary terminology and learn to be more inclusive in our lives. As we strive to become a more progressive and inclusive society why must we have all these taxonomic classifications and divisive nomenclatures for "food". Why can't we rise above and just do away with all these discriminatory labels like "meat" and "vegetables" and simply label everything that is edible as homogeneous "food".

Think of the children.


  1. Anonymous2:54 AM

    you're lame. get over it and sell veggie dogs. they're good and better for you anyway. and chickens are not vegetables, they have little beating hearts and you support killing them just to have a stupid hot dog. just admit it you know hot dogs are made out of various parts of animals, basically swept off the floor and stuffed into a "skin." good luck.

  2. Well if Hindus don't eat meat that does not mean everyone should not eat meat!


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