One year ago today, I introduced myself to the wonderful world of blogging under the name Live Rural NL. Over the past year I have scribed nearly 200 posts and have shared with you my rural life from heritage, cuisine, politics to vacations. I extend a big thank you for all my loyal readers for continuing to show interest in the potluck of articles I post daily as time permits.
The journey over the past 365 days was a learning experience as I became much more aware of the significant aspects of rural culture that surrounded my daily life. For instance:
- the tradition of soup Saturday with my grandmother, my love for fisherman’s brewis, figgy duff and Sunday’s Dinner.
- the significance of my grandfather’s folklore, his incredible riddles, quotes and jokes – sadly only the memories remain with his passing on June 6, 2010.
- I continued to realize how much I value the water and the importance of the fishery to our rural economy.
- I took a strong stance against Ellen DeGeneres’ views on the Canadian seal hunt, lobbied Governments for Broadband Internet access and asked for decision-making at a more localized level.
- I realized the nuisance a Moose can be on our roadways, but how delicious they are in a pot of stew.
- I learned how to traditionally hook rugs, paint using acrylics and also improve my photography skills.
- I spent time with family, playing games, telling stories, enjoying laughter.
- Locally, I visited most places on the Great Northern Peninsula, being a tourist at home. |This past weekend, I’ve re-visited again Conche, Englee, Roddickton- Bide-Arm, Main Brook, St. Anthony, L’Anse aux Meadows and Quirpon to tour with a friend. I’ve returned to St. Pierre-Miquelon-Langlade, Grand Bank, Marystown, Burin, Brigus, Cupids, the Irish Loop, St, Johns, Port Home Simpson, Mary’s Harbour, Lodge Bay, Battle Harbour and the Labrador Straits. Evident from the nearly 50,000 kms I have placed on my car in the past year.
- Nationally, I visited Toronto, Montreal, Halifax and Winnipeg
- Internationally, Mom and I visited France, England, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland last November to experience the Newfoundland-Ireland connection. I also travelled to Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Cuba.
- I joined Couch Surfing
- I met up with old friends and made new friendships
- I realized the importance of community and how everyone has a role to play and that we should do our best to contribute.
- I plan to visit Raleigh, Cook’s Harbour and Cape Onion this summer season. As well as return to many other places. As well, I would love to spend a weekend in Fogo, Ramea and St. Brendan’s. There must be something about island culture.
- Culture evolves and does not remain stagnant
- We have some of the best cultural assets in the world!
- There is immense opportunities on the Great Northern Peninsula, for those young and old alike.
- Include the community in the decision-making process. Local people have valuable ideas and contributions.
- The Great Northern Peninsula is an experience
- Live Rural NL!
To reiterate lines of my first post, “I have changed many times as a person as I progress through my twenties, but I realize that with the right attitude and efforts we can accomplish the unthinkable. Today my friends, I just want to share with you what it means for me to continue to Live Rural Newfoundland.”
Christopher C. Mitchelmore
Dear Ellen Degeneres –
I am deeply disappointed that you have chosen to become the latest celebrity to advocate against the Canadian Seal Hunt, joining forces with PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). You have joined a growing list of mis-informed celebrity predecessors, including Beatle Paul McCartney and Playmate, Pamela Anderson. We only need to remember then Premier Danny Williams taking on Paul McCartney and Heather Mills-McCartney on Larry King Live. Danny Williams not only illustrated how un-educated Paul and now former wife was on the matter of the seal hunt, he also embarrassed them in terms of knowing their Canadian geography. Mr. Williams invited them to come to Newfoundland & Labrador to see for himself. Paul remarked along the lines that he was already there when really he was in Prince Edward Island, another province.
PETA is an organizations that uses images of baby seals and presents mis-information to create a cash infusion. Their website states: “PETA is drawing global attention to the annual slaughter of tens of thousands of baby harp seals”.
This statement is false! Myth: The Canadian government allows sealers to harvest white coat seals.
Reality: The harvesting of harp seal pups (white coats) and hooded seal pups (blueblack) is illegal in Canada and has been since 1987. The seals that are harvested are self-reliant, independent animals. (Source: http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fm-gp/seal-phoque/index-eng.htm)
Ellen your website states: Seal hunting is one of the most atrocious and inhumane acts against animals allowed by any government.
The Canadian Department of Fisheries and Ocean’s manages the seal hunt, which is sustainable. One only has to look at the harp seal population growth. In the 1970’s there were less than 2 million seals, now in 2011 there is more than 9 million harp seals. The government allocates an annual harvest quota that is supported by scientific research. The Seal Hunt is HUMANE, STRICTLY REGULATED and ENFORCED. How is harvesting seals any more atrocious and inhumane than the fish that is caught, cows, chicken, pigs, moose and other animals that are killed for human consumption? What about cattle that are ranched and grown strictly for human consumption? They have no chance for anything but ending up as some form of beef, maybe a burger – unlike seals, who are self-reliant, independent and able to fend for themselves.
The seal hunt has been around in Newfoundland and Labrador for centuries. Without the seal meat, oil and skin for clothing many people of the rural communities would be burdened with economic hardships and other woes. The sealskin boot has provided the warmth and protection from the elements of surviving in a difficult winter climate. The seal skin is water-resistant, protecting the feet from getting damp when cutting firewood to heat one’s home. Seal skin provided necessary protection that may have saved human lives.
My father was a fisherman, his father and his father before him. They have all harvested seals to aid them in providing for their families. My father had prepared seal skin to be made into boots. I still proudly wear them, as winters in Northern Newfoundland tend to be very stormy. I walk knee-deep in snow, many days throughout winter to reach my car. I understand the deep-rooted tradition and the necessity of the seal hunt to ensure life in rural regions could continue. How dare you make such uninformed comments that continue to negatively impact the fishers in rural regions.
I ask that you do further research on this matter and re-consider your stance on the seal hunt. I invite you to come to Rural Newfoundland and Labrador to experience for yourself first-hand the seal hunt. You should use your celebrity status to do good instead of blatant abuse.
Live Rural NL –