It’s a wedding trend set to make animal lovers the world over clench their jaws: the use of exotic pets as part of the big day.
When planning a wedding, many couples want to be as bold and creative as possible to make a statement and create a memorable event. The use of exotic pets has become one of the recent wedding trends, often involving high-end weddings because the transportation of exotic animals, such as elephants, can cost thousands of dollars. Yes, imagine transporting an elephant to your wedding!
One must question if this is really necessary, plus it is cruel for the animals concerned who have to be transported from their homes to the wedding location, and are then treated as a spectacle during the event, only to be carried off back to their habitats. This can place the animals under severe stress.
It’s as though couples choosing this idea are hoping to gain attention and accolades, giving their guests a 'wow' factor. It really has nothing to do with the animal - the people just want to use the animal for the thrill of bringing a piece of the wild into an urban setting. Sadly, the animals’ well-being is rarely factored into the equation.
It’s not just wild animals that feature at weddings, however. Is having smaller animals, such as doves or butterflies, a bad thing? This is much more common and has been occurring for years. There are websites out there that offer you the chance to purchase butterflies from them, for later release at your wedding. The butterflies are usually released from envelopes or boxes.
But is this practice humane? According to PETA, it’s definitely not. The site mentions how doves that are used for release are often bred specifically for this purpose, and sometimes cannot survive on their own after they are set free. The memory of the splendid doves flying away might be sweet for guests, but no one cares to think what happens to the doves afterwards. The same goes for butterflies. If they are not released in their natural environment, they can suffer from inability to find food or adapt to the different climate.
*Image courtesy Flickr Creative Commons