Thursday, May 28, 2009

Michaelle Jean, Governor General and Lady, Rises Above the Anti-Seal Fundraising Industry

Governor General Michaelle Jean was already impressive as a bright, first person of color, to be the Queen's representative in Canada. Ms Jean's humble roots in Haiti has given her an appreciation of diverse cultures and customs. This week Ms Jean has demonstrated a much needed act of rationality, and civility in an act of cultural connection. It has been fuel for media reporting even though she, like billions in the world, ate meat. It really should not be newsworthy at all. However, people who drive the notion of cruelty for one particular animal, have made it appear controversial, loudly enough to take up news space.

Though it was not meant to be a political statement, the Governor General said that people can take from it what they will.

On her view of harvesting seals:
"I think a person in my position knows exactly what's in the air and I'm aware of the context. I'm aware that now if you eat seal or wear something made of sealskin. . .it says that you recognize this activity."
"But this activity is part of the way of life of thousands of people in our country. In the North, in the Arctic, in the East, also in coastal regions," Jean said.

"It is part of their way of life. It is part of their economy."

"It is well-administrated. It is vital for them."

"It is done in a sustainable way. A very respectful way."

Here are some quotes from Jean in response from people who basically say she is uncivilized:
Jean said people are probably too conditioned by modern life and forget where food comes from.

"When I eat beef, I am totally aware that eating beef is also. . .a once-living thing. Vegetarians make a choice in their life."

"I haven't made this choice. When I eat lamb, I know that I am eating a lamb."

"When I eat veal, I know that I am eating a veal. Those, too, are very cute animals."

She points out that seal is an excellent source of vitamins and nutrients and has sustained the Inuit for centuries. (source)

What a breadth of fresh air! A level-headed person so self-assured, respectful, and above the nonsense that many European leaders pander to. Well done Ms Michaelle Jean. It's an honour for Canadians to have such a graceful lady as Governor General.


Table Mountains said...

i like her take on the whole situation and the way she sumed it up,

"take from it what they will."

Charles Cheeseman said...

She's classy.