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September 2003

There are many ways to promote a cause, but Karin Robertson's tactic is somewhat peculiar, even by today's standards. According to the Associated Press, the 23-year-old Indiana woman, an animal rights activist, has officially changed her name to GoVeg.com. Her message is simple: Eat more vegetables and you too can lose your mind.

No, I'm kidding. Please don't send me any hate mail. I have nothing against vegetarians. In fact, I admire them. Many of them care deeply how an animal feels, whereas people like me notice how an animal feels only when it's going down our throats. "Mmmm. Feels crunchy! May I have some more?"

GoVeg.com, who has even given up her last name, is obviously passionate about animals. She works for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and, much to her bosses' surprise, decided to share a name with one of PETA's web sites, a move that will surely earn her a prestigious award at the group's annual dinner: "Butt-Kisser of the Year."

But before you dismiss this as just another publicity stunt by a PETA member, you should consider how seriously GoVeg.com is taking her new name. She doesn't want her friends to shorten it to Go, Veg or even Dot. Nope, she wants them to say "GoVeg.com" every single time. When they're not surfing the Net, they'll be suffering the Nut. And they'd better not try to click the mouse ? he's been set free.

GoVeg.com says she changed her name mainly to spark discussions about vegetarianism and animal rights with people who see her new driver's license. "Every time I go to the bank, the tellers will report back about vegetarian food they've tried," she told the AP. Poor tellers. Don't they have enough green stuff to report on?

Teller 1: "Oh no, here comes GoVeg.com again to ask us what veggies we had. If this continues, I might have to change my name to GoToAnotherBank.com."

Teller 2: "Yes, it's getting to be quite a pain. Every morning we have to give a report to GoVeg.com and every afternoon we have to give another report to the darn butcher."

GoVeg.com (approaching counter): "Hi there! Try any good vegetarian dishes lately?"

Teller 1: "Yes, I had onion rings with a horseradish dip. And don't you worry, Miss. GoVeg.com ? I didn't hurt any horses!"

GoVeg.com is having fun with her name now, but is she really going to spend her entire life with it? Forgive me, but I can't help feeling sorry for the man who has to scream "GoVeg.com!" in the throes of passion.

And what about her children? What will their birth certificates say? Mother: GoVeg.com. Father: GoFlyAKite.com. The children's names, of course, would have a decidedly vegetarian flavor: GoNuts.com and GoBananas.com.

Such names may seem harmless, but wait till the big corporations get a whiff of this. They've already put their names on public buildings ? and soon they'll be setting their "sites" on public figures. Imagine how strange that would be: At Wimbledon, we'll have to cheer for GoNike.com; in the White House, we'll have to listen to GoExxon.com; and on TV, we'll have to watch "The Tonight Show with GoViagra.com."

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