You know what season this is? It's hot dog season. Winter's over, baseball's spring training has begun, and people are wearing shorts again. Here in New York, it is time for hot dogs.

Or at least that's what we were thinking, before this billboard went up on the Eisenhower expressway in Chicago, and we immediately regretted every hot dog we've ever eaten or even thought about eating and swore to never eat another hot dog ever again. The signage is part of an ad campaign paid for by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, and it is meant to make you clench your butt cheeks. (And, I guess, to point out how processed meats influence colorectal cancer rates.)

The National Hot Dog & Sausage Council has fired back against the ads, which exist in varying states throughout a number of cities by now (Miami's version warns, simply, that "Hot dogs can take you out of the game"). The Council says that PCRM is a "pseudo-medical animal rights group" and says that the ad campaign is nothing more than "an effort to advance their goal to create a vegan society."

"Hot dogs are part of a healthy, balanced diet," the president of the American Meat Institute tells the Chicago Tribune, but I won't believe it until I see it on a billboard.

[Tribune / FM News]