Column: From Cowichan to Virginia: having a big voice

Sometimes I wonder if we’re just shouting into the void.

With the advent of the internet, we get more immediate feedback now from things we publish in the newspaper than ever before.

This is both good and bad, of course. The internet is a very reactive, but not necessarily thoughtful, place.

Nevertheless, sometimes I wonder if we’re just shouting into the void. The internet is vast, after all, and we occupy but a tiny dot, not even a corner, of it.

And then I’ll hear from someone who lives nowhere near the Cowichan Valley about one of our stories or letters or columns, and I’m amazed all over again just how far and wide our content can now travel and how many people it can reach.

This happened last month a couple of times. One gentleman from New Zealand wrote a letter to the paper in response to several letters he had seen in our publication about proportional representation as a form of government. He, as someone from a country that uses proportional representation, wanted to tell people about how well it can work.

But even cooler was hearing from Marsha Todd, who wrote a letter to us that the Citizen then published in response to a column about dog breeds, and pit bulls in particular, written by our own Robert Barron.

Todd’s letter has apparently travelled far beyond the Cowichan Valley — all the way to PETA’s head office in Norfolk, Virginia, in fact. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is an international animal rights organization, and Todd was shocked to get a thank you card from them in response to her letter.

It said:

Dear Marsha,

Thank you for your moving editorial, “You can’t totally take the breed out of the dog”.

We agree with you, and are grateful for your powerful voice of reason and compassion!

With Admiration,

Teresa Chagrin and the PETA Staff

Todd also said PETA was considering forwarding the letter to the governors of every state in the U.S. to promote legislation to ban the breed, and possibly using it in their ongoing campaign for mandatory spaying, and neutering of pit bulls (the organization offers free spaying and neutering). Wow!

That’s a big footprint. Indeed, PETA is correct about the ability of a single person, or news organization, to have a powerful voice.

It’s a reminder to try to use it as wisely as we can.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

New ACT team will help Cowichan residents struggling with mental health issues

The Cowichan Valley ACT team will be one of six new teams being created across the province.

Duncan man at large after massive Alberta drug bust

Eight people are facing 33 charges in what police have dubbed Project Incumbent

Bob Day making another run for mayor of Lake Cowichan

Day has served 10 years as town councillor

Ross Forrest eyes the mayor’s chair in Lake Cowichan again

Forrest served 10 years as mayor before losing the last election

Prescribed burn for the Cowichan Garry Oak Preserve

Between Sept. 27 and Oct. 9, if and when site and weather conditions become favourable.

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

Vancouver Island Tour de Rock riders roll into Parksville Qualicum Beach

Saturday’s schedule includes Port Alberni, Ucluelet and Tofino, followed by Nanaimo on Sunday

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

$250K reward offered as investigation continues into Sea to Sky Gondola vandalism

Police also asking for specific footage of Sea to Sky highway around time of incident

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Trudeau ‘disappointed’ by RCMP treatment of Sikh officers over mask issue

World Sikh Organization of Canada said taking Sikh officers off the front lines constitutes discrimination

Liberals reach deal with NDP on COVID-19 aid bill, likely averting election

NDP and the Liberals have reached an agreement on COVID-19 sick-leave

Money laundering inquiry delayed over of B.C. election: commissioner

Austin Cullen says the hearings will start again on Oct. 26

Most Read