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Arby’s, the American restaurant that offered Jon Stewart a job and bought the oversized brown hat that Pharrell wore at the 2014 Grammys, is out with a new gimmick called the “Vegetarian Support Hotline.” Just dial 1-855-Meat-HLP, which launched Tuesday to promote the brand’s brown sugar-glazed pepper bacon.

The chain thinks the new menu item, available through July only, sounds so delicious that vegetarians will be “tempted” to eat it. When the number is dialed, there are different prompts depending on whether or not the caller has caved in. An example of the so-called “reassuring” advice that it dishes out: “Now, take a deep breath, and go make a salad.”

But aren’t vegetarians usually health-conscious people? And isn’t bacon so unhealthy in the first place that adding brown sugar would just turn them off bacon (and meat in general) even more? Just a thought…

Also, the Internet may be interested to learn that, while there isn’t a human operator on the line, callers are supposed to be able to leave a message, so happy trolling.

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Write to Olivia B. Waxman at

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