As a representative of the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, I'm insulted, and as a woman, I'm offended by your paper's choice to cover and photograph a tiny group of half-naked protesters who served a handful of tofu alternatives rather than cover an all-American event where more than a thousand Washingtonians gathered to enjoy thousands of hot dogs [Reliable Source, July 22].

Inside the Rayburn Building on July 21, members of Congress, their families and Capitol Hill staff were celebrating hot dogs and baseball at the annual Hot Dog Lunch. Children were enjoying a special booth designed just for them, where they could sit at kid-sized tables and enjoy hot dogs in the way only kids can. It was the most American and family-oriented of events.

But outside, members of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) were hurling X-rated sound bites at journalists and using women in bikinis to try to entice people to sample their version of a hot dog. Families attending the event were forced to witness this and hear their racy chants.

I found it ironic that a group that claims to be concerned about the exploitation of animals willingly exploits women to achieve its goals. It underscored the fact that sex sells, and unfortunately on that day, your paper bought.

-- Janet M. Riley

The writer is vice president for public affairs at the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council.