A vegetarian hot dog is a hot dog produced completely from non-meat products.
Vegetarian hot dogs are sometimes eaten by non-vegetarians because they are lower in fat, calories, and contain no cholesterol, and little to no saturated fat, compared to hot dogs from animal meats. Therefore they are preferred by people following a low calorie, low fat or low cholesterol diet. Unlike traditional home-made meat sausages, the casing is not made of intestine, but of plant based ingredients. Vegetarian hot dogs are usually based on some sort of soy protein. Some contain egg whites, which would make them unacceptable to lacto-vegetarians and vegans. There are also vegetarian hot dogs made from tofu.
The history of the vegetarian hot dog is not clear, but Worthington Foods' Veja-Link meatless wieners claim to have been the world's first vegetarian hot dogs in 1949. On June 19, 2000, the Chicago White Sox made baseball history when they began selling vegetarian hot dogs during games at Comiskey Park. In recent years, a number of other manufacturers have entered the vegetarian hot dog market. Cedar Lake Foods, which makes Deli Franks, Jumbo Franks, and Breakfast Sausage, is just one of many companies that now offer vegetarian hot dogs.