(AXcess News) Washington – Two women wearing chili-pepper string bikinis handed out veggie dogs at the Capitol on Wednesday, for National Hot Dog Month.

Model Vida Guerra, who has appeared in Playboy and other men’s magazines, spiced things up at PETA’s National Veggie Dog Day. This year’s theme was “spice up your life” by going vegetarian. The annual event was created to answer to the meat industry’s National Hot Dog Month.

Despite a light rain, a long line of people stretched around a Rayburn House Office Building courtyard to get a free veggie dog from Guerra. Wearing high heels with a sign attached to her bikini that said, “go veg! PETA,” she gave out 600 veggie dogs.

Lauren Stroyeck, PETA campaigner, said veggie dog day helps brings awareness to the suffering lifestyle of pigs. PETA began this event to combat the American Meat Institute’s hot dog lunch, which started in the mid-1970s.

“Free vegetarian chili dogs are a fun and delicious way to let people know that we can pig out on hotdogs without causing actual pigs to suffer,” Stroyeck said. “Abuse is inherently un-American, and it’s important to encourage even congressmen to protect the environment by going vegetarian.”

Stroyeck said vegetarians on average weigh 10 pounds less than meat eaters. A vegetarian diet also decreases the rate of cancer, stroke and heart disease, which is linked to cholesterol and fat in meat.

Guerra, who has been a vegetarian for one year, volunteered her time. With a modeling career that began in 2002, she said she now has a good platform to speak against animal cruelty and regularly helps spread PETA’s message.

“I feel really healthy, and it works on so many different levels, including the condition of my skin,” Guerra said.

Ariam Ferro, 35, a Labor Department employee form Temple Hills, Md., waited for 10 minutes to meet the model and have his very first veggie dog. After taking his first bite, he said it was OK, but he prefers a regular hot dog.

“Being a vegetarian isn’t for everyone, but they’re doing a good job of promoting the issues,” Ferro said. “Vida was who I really came to see, but I’m glad I was able to try something new, and it was free.”

Source: Scripps Howard Foundation Wire