Hawaii native Shane Victorino, who plays center field for the Philadelphia Phillies, has attracted a lot of attention by driving in a bunch of runs in the baseball postseason. Almost as popular in Philadelphia as he is on the island of Maui, he’s an engaging guy who’s always ready with a comment and easily approached by the media.
He recently was asked on a TV sports show to name his favorite dishes. He included Spam musubi – a slice of the canned meat wrapped with seaweed on top of rice — in his response.
Back in June, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals — PETA — had shot an undercover video of workers mistreating pigs at an Iowa farm in Minnesota. The farm is a supplier to Hormel Foods, the maker of Spam.
Following his comment, Victorino received an e-mail from PETA urging him to “abandon the Spam.” The message went on to say, “While Spam might be a popular foodstuff in your native Hawaii, before you take another cholesterol-packed bite, let me tell you about the horrific abuse of animals at the hands of Spam’s pork suppliers.”
Even if the story gains widespread publicity, it’s safe to say it will have absolutely no affect on Spam consumption in Hawaii, where some seven million cans are sold each year — the highest volume in the country.