People Online Are Applauding This Wedding Photographer’s Views On Live Animal Use During Celebrations
Some things are meant to stay in nature, uncommercialized. However, we humans think that just because it’s aesthetically pleasing, it’s worth doing. For the show! For the views! For the beauty of it all! But there comes a time when we need to take a step back and evaluate things for what they are.
One wedding photographer has done just that. Nicknamed throwthrowthrow713, they posted their opinion and views on using live animals as props on the big day in the r/weddingshaming subreddit, and dozens of people were in agreement with them. One type of creature they focused on more than any other was the butterfly and the tragedies of live confetti.
So we’ll try to look into both sides of this question, as there’ll be those that don’t see anything wrong with having animals present at a wedding, whilst on the other side are those that find it cruel, regardless of good intentions. Let’s dive into it!
More info: Reddit
Everyone wants to make their wedding all the more special, but some of the ways to get that “wow” factor are a little more than questionable
Image credits: Leah Kelley (not the actual photo)
Those that get married often hope that this will be the first and last time they do so, meaning that one day has to be as special as can be. Although the celebration is all about love and the unity of two people, adding a little magic has never hurt anyone (or has it?), especially if it may help improve the chances of a successful matrimony.
However, when the floor gets littered with sleeping or deceased butterflies instead of them taking flight in a majestic manner, one might think twice about their choices, both in partner and décor. A wedding photographer came to the subreddit r/weddingshaming to share their experience with a butterfly release, arguing that no animals should be diminished to mere props for a wedding.
Hundreds of people agreed with the photographer, sharing their own stories and thoughts on the matter, with one person commenting: “Going to go update my contract rules right now. ‘No glitter, no confetti, no fish, no bird releases, no butterfly releases.’” Before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s have a look at the story the photographer shared.
One wedding photographer decided to call out the new trend of “butterfly releases” by sharing a horrific incident that marked one wedding ceremony
Butterflies are a favorite of many, both because of their beauty and symbolism, yet their commercialization has shown to be nothing less than cruel
Image credits: JoelValve (not the actual photo)
The shift from caterpillar to butterfly is a true metaphor for rebirth, making the tiny colorful (or not-so-colorful) creature a favorite of many. “Butterflies show us how we can go within ourselves to dissolve old forms and morph, rebuilding and evolving ourselves,” ecotherapist Anna Cariad-Barrett told MBGmindfulness, noting that they symbolize the importance of surrender and trust “as part of the essential process of growth and renewal.”
Generally, butterflies are thought to represent change and transformation, comfort, hope, and positivity, sometimes even going as far as representing the human soul. While some believed ancestors communicated through butterflies, others took the presence of these creatures as a joyous or hopeful sign.
The spiritual symbolism of any animal is always up for interpretation and will mean different things per person, based on their beliefs and experiences; however, the general consensus leads to the connection of life force, spirit, and transformation. A fragile beauty. Resurrection, faith, and forgiveness—ironic, given the process and prep for butterfly releases.
The seconds-long display often costs butterflies their lives, be it due to cramped shipping boxes or their inability to survive in an unfamiliar habitat
Image credits: Toshiyuki IMAI (not the actual photo)
One incident has been ingrained in memories worldwide. The ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ Season 10 grand finale had viewers shook in the worst way when Asia O’Hara used live butterflies as a prop during her lip-sync battle. O’Hara attempted to release live butterflies from pods inside her breasts and wrists, only for them to fall to the floor, lifeless or struggling to move.
She was later eliminated, issuing an apology on Twitter just minutes after the finale came to an end, writing: “If you are unhappy with me I understand, I’ve been unhappy with myself since that night but I’m going to do my best to make it right. It’s important to know that I would never purposefully hurt any living being and have the utmost respect for animals.”
But this has not seemed to deter people from attempting something similar with butterfly releases. As PETA states, the seconds-long display often costs captive and wild butterflies their lives. “Butterfly breeders mass-produce the animals and ship them like cargo to anyone with a credit card. […] Many are crushed or die from exposure before they even reach their destination,” they said.
The ones who do survive the trip might not be considered the lucky ones. When captive-bred butterflies are left to fend for themselves in an unfamiliar area, they struggle to find food sources and often can’t survive in the new climate. Butterfly Conservation, a non-profit organization based in the UK, has condemned the practice of “live confetti,” as it can also spread diseases and genetic weaknesses among the insects.
“We do not want to spoil anybody’s special day,” the charity said in an article, “but we suspect that the bride and groom often do not realize the implications of their decision. […] We think we should admire these species’ amazing life patterns and not use them for live confetti and Butterfly Conservation takes a very strong stance against this.”
Image credits: throwthrowthrow713
Exotic animals have become the new must-have for couples seeking that “wow” moment to make their wedding unforgettable, yet one must ask: if you really love animals, is a wedding the right place for them? Oftentimes the welfare of the animals goes unconsidered.
Sandra Chile, a photographer from Pittsburg, believes that the impact of having an animal at a wedding should go beyond wedding pictures. “I’ve had couples whose animals are a big part of their life, so they take them to the wedding. Unfortunately, loud noises, lights, an unfamiliar space, and 100+ people around may mean too much stress for the animal. So while including that pet on your wedding day is a priority for you, it is really not optimal for your pet.”
Wedding favors, décor, and even wind-up models of animals may be a better choice. Save the stress and the costs, and prevent a confetti of deceased butterflies to mark your special day. Bad omen? I would say so! Dear readers, leave your thoughts and opinions on this in the comments below, and I shall see you in the next one!