Letter: No appetite for hot dog eating contest

Graphic by Lori Deaton

Given the number of hungry people in Asheville, let alone in North Carolina and the world, I found the article in the July 19 Mountain Xpress that seemed to support the Four Feet to Hell hot dog eating contest sponsored by DSSOLVR brewery and The Chop Shop Butchery abhorrently deplorable [“What’s New in Food: The Village Food Truck Park Opens in Fletcher”]. Such gluttony amid a community and a world suffering from hunger is disgraceful.

Yes, I know that the $5 ticket price paid by those who want to be entertained by the needless and egregiously excessiveness of such an eating contest will go to MANNA FoodBank. I appreciate that. But perhaps we should ask those willing to pay $5 just to be entertained to alternatively consider giving those $5 to feed the hungry simply out of care and kindness for their fellow human beings who endure impoverishment, not always of their own doing. We are quickly becoming a culture that is entertaining itself to death.

When the last bird falls from the sky, when the last beast collapses to the ground, when the last eagle soars alone over the crumbling mountains, when the last green thing withers and dies, when the last clean river dries up, when the last wolf howls unheard beneath the lonely moon and when the last breath of fresh air is taken, only then will humans understand that money, fame and power cannot nourish the soul, the spirit, the body or the mind, nor can it be eaten.

— Donald P. Cameron


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10 thoughts on “Letter: No appetite for hot dog eating contest

  1. Soothsayer

    Guess no one of means that is willing to spend $5 is allowed to have fun or be entertained in our community these days. If you do not have an appetite for a hot dog contest then simply do not attend and keep your opinions well to yourself. Allow those whom do wish to attend to do so at their leisure without casting stones of superiority. Could not imagine living in such a sad bubble to where anything considered fun by most is cast as dastardly or excessive.

  2. Peter Robbins

    “A hot dog just doesn’t taste right without a ball game in front of it.” – Charlie

  3. indy499

    You sound like a whole lot of fun Donald. Is this in your top million concerns? If so, why?


    Thanks for your thoughts about our third annual Four Feet to Hell: Hot Dog Eating Contest. The event was a super success! We had tons of fun and we raised enough money for Manna Foodbank to make over 2000 meals! Big thanks to everyone who came out and donated to a cause to help hungry folks in the community, which makes way more of an impact than complaining on the internet.

    Hot dog, oh no, hot dog
    Hot dog, hot dog, hot diggety dog
    Now we got ears, it’s time for cheers
    Hot dog, hot dog, the problem’s solved
    Hot dog, hot dog, hot diggety dog
    Grab my boots and a sandwich
    Let’s start a parade
    Get the coconut drum kit
    For Daisy to play
    Hot dog, hot dog, hot diggety dog
    We’re taking off, we’re dancing now
    Hot dog, leapfrog and holy cow
    Hot dog, hot dog, hot diggety dog

  5. arrivedbefore2020

    What a head-scratcher. I, for one, can’t make heads or tails of what the thought process was for neither Donald nor Mountain Xpress. A couple thoughts:
    A) I second indy499. Don, you sound like you’d be a joy to hang around.
    B) Of all the actions you could possibly take from your high horse, you took the time to pen an op-ed about A CHARITY EVENT in town that didn’t align with your ethics?!
    D) MountainXpress… what percent of op-eds get through? Why print this? This feels like maybe y’all found it funny? Maybe?
    D) Back to you, Don. I hope you don’t mind me calling you, Don, dear neighbor. Anyway, from my perspective you went off the rails in paragraph three. You lost the thread. Is it an altered quote we readers are meant to know? Is it satire? It reads like satire. Is it a plea for help?

    I hope you’re well and it was just a swing that missed the ball. Moving forward, I hope you choose to muster your penchant for writing to support some of the great initiatives in town vs. doing whatever that was supposed to do.

  6. Peter Robbins

    This whole controversy could be decided empirically, you know. Donald could host his own contest where people paid an entry fee to eat imaginary hot dogs as fast they can. Untethered from reality, the contestants would have one hand free for virtue signaling — another competitive pastime popular with locals. Whichever format raised the most money would be the wiener.

  7. think critically

    Great letter, Donald. Thank you for speaking out against this ridiculous display of gluttony. The needless suffering of the animals slaughtered to make the hot dogs as well as the environmental destruction caused by animal agriculture are two more reasons this event is shameful.

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