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In the wake of chairman's death, PETA asks Oscar Mayer company to "bury the Wienermobile"

July 9, 2009 | 11:27 pm

Wienermobile

Oscar G. Mayer Jr., the man behind the eponymously named bologna, passed away earlier this week at age 95.  Mayer was chairman of the meat products company that bears his name (and the names of his father, Oscar G. Mayer Sr., and grandfather, Oscar F. Mayer, who cofounded the company) and worked there for more than 40 years before retiring in the late 1970s.  And of course, even after his retirement, he continued to be associated with meat products -- and the Wienermobile.

Now, in the wake of the former chairman's death, PETA is asking the company to "bury the Wienermobile along with Mr. Mayer."  In a letter to Oscar Mayer company president Nick Meriggioli, PETA executive vice president Tracy Reiman offers her condolences before saying that "laying someone to rest can be an occasion to examine a life as well as an opportunity to send a positive message.

"The Wienermobile travels around the country and entices children to try Oscar Mayer meats that can set them on the road to developing life-threatening illnesses," Reiman continues, citing a Harvard study linking children's consumption of cured meat products to increased risk of developing leukemia.

Reiman goes on to discuss, in detail, the suffering pigs experience in slaughterhouses, and concludes the letter by suggesting the Oscar Mayer company "perhaps go a step further" by launching a line of vegetarian products.

-- Lindsay Barnett

Photo: Friends and relatives carry the casket of George Molchan, who portrayed Oscar Mayer spokesman "Little Oscar" for over thirty years.  The Wienermobile led the procession to the cemetery where Molchan was buried, and mourners sang "I Wish I Were An Oscar Mayer Weiner" at the service. Credit: John Luke / Associated Press

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