A leading animal-rights group has offered the town of Hamburg, N.Y., $15,000 in veggie burgers if it officially changes its name to “Veggieburg.”

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, wrote a letter this week to Patrick Hoak, the supervisor at Hamburg’s Town Hall, proposing the idea.

Will ‘I love Hamburg’ become ‘I love ‘Veggieburg’?

The letter stated that the name of Hamburg, which touts itself as the birthplace of the Hamburger, “conjures up visions of unhealthy patties of ground-up dead cows.”

“We’re asking Hamburg, whose motto is ‘the town that friendship built,’ to change its name to something with positive connotations – Veggieburg! Every year, millions of hamburger-eaters are sickened by killers like heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes and other ailments – and more and more American kids who are fed hamburgers, pepperoni pizza, and hot dogs are waddling into obesity.”

In the letter, PETA also contends that “millions of cows are raised on factory farms and jam-packed, muck-filled feedlots and cruelly slaughtered by hurried and harried slaughterhouse workers who hack body parts off an alarmingly high number of fully conscious animals.”

The animal-rights group, which claims “750,000 members and supports” offered the town the meatless veggie burgers for its public school district if it would simply change its name.

“Animal-free veggie burgers are friendly to humans and animals – they’re high in protein and low in fat, and contain zero cholesterol or animal suffering,” the letter said.

“I hope they get a little chuckle about it, and then I hope they think about it,” Joe Haptas, a campaign coordinator for PETA, told the Buffalo News. “Our offer is serious as a heart attack.”

According to a report in the paper, Hamburg’s supervisor was not too impressed with the offer.

“With all due respect, I think [the hamburger is] a delicacy in our community,” Hoak said.

“In western New York and in the town of Hamburg, we’re proud of our name and proud of our heritage,” Hoak told the Buffalo News. “We’re not going to easily give up that name.”

Hamburg, a suburb of Buffalo with a population of 56,000, has claimed to be the birthplace of the hamburger for over 100 years. The town hosts an annual Burgerfest where thousands of visitors celebrate the uniquely American food.

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