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Ethical Eating

PETA Wants Washington Redskins to Change Mascot to a Potato

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has been behind some strange campaigns. It's asked for grouper to be renamed "sea puppies," and it's claimed that Carlos Danger Weiners (sic) cause erectile dysfunction.

But this time, PETA has taken a stand that Clean Plate Charlie thinks makes perfect sense (did we really write that)?

Recently sportscaster Bob Costas stated that the Washington Redskins name is an "insult" and a "slur." During his halftime report at last weekend's Redskins/Cowboys game (ironic much?), Costas said that although he doesn't think there's any ill will toward Native Americans on behalf of the Redskins organization, "Ask yourself what the equivalent would be if directed toward African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians, or members of any other ethnic group. When considered that way, 'Redskins' can't possibly honor a heritage or a noble character trait, nor could it possibly be considered a neutral term. It's an insult, a slur no matter how benign the present-day intent. It's fair to say that for a long time now, and certainly in 2013, no offense has been intended but if you take a step back, isn't it clear to see how offense might legitimately be taken?"

But what if "Redskins" really was about potatoes and not people, after all?

That's why PETA is proposing the Redskins keep the name... just change the mascot to that of a potato. On its website, it makes a really good case for the ballplayers to sport a spud:

When you hear the word "redskin," what do you immediately think of? Potatoes, of course! And who could be offended by a harmless redskin potato -- except, maybe, for the Yukon Gold lobby (and if Alaska had a football team, rest assured that we'd be the first to suggest the Yukon Gold Diggers as a franchise name).

The redskin potato would be a noble mascot for a variety of reasons. Potatoes are also native Americans, having been cultivated in Peru for millennia. A tasty, versatile, animal- and environmentally friendly vegan staple, potatoes are now the most popular vegetable in the U.S. They are loaded with nutrients, including iron, potassium, vitamin C, fiber, and even protein, and red potatoes in particular are high in antioxidants. (Take that, Cheeseheads.)

And guess what? We've already got the perfect name for a Redskins fan who stays home watching the game -- a Couch Potato!

Follow Laine Doss on Twitter @LaineDoss and Facebook.



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Laine Doss is the food and spirits editor for Miami New Times, covering the restaurant and bar scene in South Florida. She has been featured on Cooking Channel’s Eat Street and Food Network’s Great Food Truck Race. Doss won an Alternative Weekly award for her feature on what it’s like to wait tables. In a previous life, she appeared off-Broadway and shook many a cocktail as a bartender at venues in South Florida and New York City. When she’s not writing, you can find Doss running some marathon then celebrating at the nearest watering hole.
Contact: Laine Doss

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