Confessions of a recovering vegetarian

Published 3:29 pm Thursday, July 29, 2010

As a child, I stood for a few things: God, dogs, ponies and gymnastics. There wasn’t much I was against. Sure, I didn’t like it when people yelled, cursed and hit cute critters, but, other than that, I was pretty easy-going. I was as care-free as any child should be. There was one thing, however, that really got me going: Spam. My parents can attest to this.

At this point, I’m sure you’re calling me an ungrateful little snot. True, maybe, but bare with me.

Fast forward 20 years and my strong opinions against the canned meat began to wane. A recovering vegetarian, I was more open to the idea of meat, though I never had any burning desire to dedicate any meal or snack to Spam. To be honest, the thought of it still made me shudder. So when I learned in June I would be transferring from the Herald’s sister paper in Fergus Falls to work in Austin — SPAMTOWN, USA — I couldn’t help but laugh at the irony of the situation.

Email newsletter signup

How did my parents take it?

My mom laughed. She laughed a lot…into the phone. It was high-pitched. Her laughter was followed by my father’s laughter. They laughed together for days, I’m convinced. In fact, they’re probably laughing right now while sitting on the deck at their home in Duluth. Good for them.

As for me, I laugh about it every now and then. But instead of sticking to the opinions of my younger self, I have decided to embrace all that Spam stands for. I’m not sure yet what that is, but I’m willing to learn. I even recently decided to get involved in the community’s Spam Town celebrations. During the annual Spam Town Freedom Fest, I took part in the 5-mile Hog Jog and attended the festival’s activities at Bandshell Park with a friend who happened to be in town. Together, we marveled at the community’s pride in all-things Spam. It was nice. I even started to feel like I was a part of the Spam Town community. Who knows, maybe one of these days I’ll get up the courage to try Spam for myself. We’ll see what my parents think about that.