By Samantha Wassel of Between the Monkey Bars
An Iowa mother of three has started a petition to change the lyrics of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse’s popular ending number to something that doesn’t “support animal cruelty” or “encourage toxic eating habits.”
Kayla Verr says she is “fed up” (but, “Oh God, not literally; I would never eat that garbage!”) with “The Hot Dog Dance” and everything it represents.
“Hot dogs are the epitome of animal maltreatment,” says Verr, a diehard vegan. “There are all sorts of ground-up animals in there: cows, pigs, mechanically separated poultry. It’s sick. Downright evil, really.”
“And then you’ve got the disturbing irony of the word itself: Hot DOG. I mean, Goofy’s a canine, for God’s sake. I know he’s not the sharpest Mouseketool in the box, but surely even he realizes what he’s being forced to dance to. Disney is basically promoting cannibalism.”
“I’m starting this petition for all the innocent kids who are being exposed to this atrocity. Obviously my kids don’t watch it—they’re limited to 30 minutes of TV a month, and we only watch Veggietales—but I can’t control how other parents raise their kids.
“No, really, I can’t. I’ve tried.”
Verr is currently facing several harassment suits that were filed in response to a “trick-or-trauma” campaign she ran last month. Basically, she and her kids went door to door with giant trash bags, bullying parents until they agreed to throw away all their animal crackers and Pepperidge Farm Goldfish.
“Animals should not be presented as ‘food’ to impressionable kids. Not in any form,” she says. “It puts out the wrong idea. I just wish more parents appreciated the integrity, morality, and unmatched beauty of vegetables.”
Verr, who sports a 1.5 carrots engagement ring (That’s not a typo. Verr has 1.5 carrots—dried, compressed, and preserved in a small glass sphere—banded to her finger), says she simply wants the lyrics of “The Hot Dog Dance” changed to something more vegan-friendly.
“Of course, I’d rather the show just be cancelled altogether, but I tried that already, and all it got me was an organized toddler riot. That, and a bunch of angry parents throwing tomatoes at my house. We didn’t want to see all those beautiful heirlooms go to waste, so we had spaghetti and tofu balls several nights in a row.”
Verr believes this petition will be much more successful since she’s “simply asking for a few words to be changed.”
“Initially, I proposed it be changed to ‘The Chickpea Dance,’ but I ran into some legal issues,” she says. “Apparently it was too similar to ‘The Chicken Dance.’ Copyright issues aside, once I became aware of the likeness, I immediately ditched that idea. The last thing I want is to make a mockery out of poultry. Chickens have feelings too, you know.”
“So then I was going to go with ‘The Eggplant Dance,’ which has a really nice ring to it. But when I started singing it, I realized it might not be the best idea: Eggplant, eggplant, eggplantity-plant. That’s a lot of ‘eggs.’ I would hope most adults realize that eggplant is a vegetable, but I can see where it might send kids mixed messages. And I don’t want to get too political here, but I will say this: Just because it’s not hatched, doesn’t mean it’s not alive. Kids should be raised to respect all life, including baby chickens.”
“I finally settled on ‘The Lemongrass Tofu Banh Mi Burger Dance.’ Sure, it might be a bit of a mouthful, but so what? I’d rather hear—and see—kids struggling with a mouthful of vegan fare than mindlessly chanting about ‘hot dogs’ just because it rolls off the tongue a little more smoothly.”
“Although I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to say those words without choking a little. Hot dog. Pfft. Hot, indeed. Straight from the fiery pits of hell.”
If you’d like to add your name to Verr’s petition, you can find it at www.saynotohotdogs.com.
About the Author
Samantha Wassel is a Stay-At-Home Mama to the cutest twin toddlers in the history of all Toddlerdom. When she’s not running her borderline-offensive mouth, she’s running masochistically long distances, often with the aforementioned toddlers in tow. She enjoys reading, writing, baking, marathoning, complaining, photographing, playgrounding, and Ghirardelli Midnight Reverie chocolate bars. Her writing has been featured on Scary Mommy, Club Mid, In the Powder Room, Bluntmoms, and Mamalode. Follow her on Facebook and check out her personal blog, Between the Monkey Bars.