We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.

Quick! Hot dogs! Not-dogs! Possibly real dogs! Right now at the Rayburn House Office Building!

Next week, the American Meat Institute will hold its annual Capitol Hill Hot Dog Lunch in celebration of National Hot Dog Month (declared, suspiciously, by the Hot Dog & Sausage Council). Today, not one to let a free dog go unpunished, PETA has set up its own grills—-and do-gooder Playboy Playmates—-to serve up some veggie dogs right next door.

Here’s our annual run-down of the two events:


Dogs: Invite-only.

Not-Dogs: Open to the public.


Dogs: In a feat of phallic imagery, “The crowd is expected to consume more than 4,000 hot dogs, which if laid end to end, would be three times taller than the Washington Monument,” promises an AMI press release.

Not-Dogs: “Several hundred—-at least 600 [not-dogs],” guesstimates PETA campaigner Ashley Byrne.

Star Power:

Dogs: MLB golden oldies, including Hall of Famer Robin Roberts, four-time All-Star Bob Boone, and Al Bumbry, who, according to a press release, “primarily played the outfield, but was sometimes called to start as third-baseman or designated hitter.”

Not-Dogs: “Lettuce ladiesLauren Anderson and Cassandra Callahan, attractive women who will hang out wearing bikinis made out of lettuce. Total bummer: The lettuce isn’t real. “PETA has dressed people in real lettuce before, but it tends to wilt in the heat,” says Byrne. No word on the ladies’ other assets. P.S., PETA: Whither the Broccoli Boys?

Stock Quote:

Dogs: “The Hot Dog Lunch is one of the most popular annual events on Capitol Hill, a testament to America’s unending enthusiasm for the hot dog.” —-J. Patrick Boyle, American Meat Institute President and CEO.

Not-Dogs: “People are always thrilled, because the veggie dogs are absolutely delicious and everyone knows they’re better.” —-Byrne

Photo courtesy LordKhan

CORRECTION, 7/16: Due to an error by reporter Amanda Hess, the date of the American Meat Institute’s event was originally incorrect.