Whenever I eat hot dogs I feel like I’m doing the meat industry a favor.

I imagine the inventor of the hot dog must have been sitting around the dumpster of his meat processing plant one day, watching all of the waste before him and wondering if things couldn’t change somehow. We’ll call him Joe.

Joe turned to his assistant and asked “What else can we do with all these hair, snout, anus, and hoof fragments, Frank?” Then a lightbulb went off and he jumped off his bench in excitment. “Let’s grind up everything in this dumpster and squeeze the puree into tubes two-fingers wide! We’ll grill them like ground beef and I bet they’ll taste pretty similar!”

Frank looked up at him from the bench. “That’s disgusting, Joe. You’re insane. In fact, I just threw up in my mouth a little. So thanks for that.”

Undaunted, Joe then reached the length of an entire arm into the dumpster and pulled it out to reveal a flap of discarded pork skin dangling from his elbow. “Look at this anus! This is a perfectly good anus, Frank! The newborn Baby Jesus himself could not have had an anus so perfect. Are you going to tell me that this anus is unsaleable? This dangling asshole is discarded profit!”

Joe wordlessly shook his head in disgust and walked back to his office inside the plant. Frank was crushed a few minutes later in a bizarre dumpster-dropping accident. While mourning the loss of his best friend, Frank decided to give the crazy idea a try and he whipped up a batch of hot dogs. They tasted wonderful, he called them “Franks,” and the rest is history.

Despite their varied components, hot dogs still taste like hot dogs, year after year, week after week, pig after pig or cow after cow. I guess I really don’t care what they put in them, as long as they taste like hot dogs.

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