As many people would attest, their wedding day is one of the happiest days of their lives. Affirming your love for another in front of friends and family, dancing into the night, sharing fondPmemories (okay fine, sometimes they are embarrassing) from your former life and let sPnot forget about the! P
WeddingsPcan certainly be a joyous event, butPunfortunately, not all weddings are fun for everyone involved. For instance, one popular wedding ceremony trend is dove releases to celebrate the newly-minted nuptials. White doves, who belong to the same family as pigeons, are seen as symbols of love and peace and represent the bride and groom as they begin their life together in purity. The connection between white doves and love is nothing new:PAphrodite, the goddess of love in Greek mythology, was. It s easy to think: well, what s wrong with releasing doves into the air? The bride and groom are freeing the birds, how could that be a bad thing? What many people don t know is that doves released into the air for weddings, funerals, prayers, and blessings are a custom based on cruelty. P Flickr Bred with No Survival SkillsP According to, there are no pure white doves in the natural world. White doves are from hundreds of years of domestication and breeding.
But once the dovesPare released and fly away into the sky surely they can survive, right? Not so much. White doves, as well as other birds, are sold with no survival skills. White doves are bred specifically for release and because they are flock animals, they have very little chance of surviving on their own when released at weddings, or any event. PIn other words, sending a white dove into the air after they have been kept confined for their entire lives in a cage, is the same as abandoning a family dog in the woods miles away from their home. What s more, the release confuses the doves. Doves are diurnal, meaning they are most active in the daytime, so if the release is at night, the dove are automatically put at a disadvantage. The doves dissipate into the night and come morning, they are on their own. If they don t happen to find a flock of pigeons or other doves to join with, they won t survive. And even if they do find a bird group to join, the doves are still disorientated and will remain an easy target for predators, such as hawks. In 2014, the Vatican released doves as a symbol of peace, only to have a black crow and seagull. PDoves who are released will suffer and die, all in the name of tradition.
AlternativesPto Dove ReleasesP Just like the bride and groom of a wedding, doves also want their happily ever after. These birds, like all animals, want to live in peace, not forced to be a representation of peace. If you want to host a compassionate wedding ceremony, there are many cruelty-free options to choose from that don t include release live animals. Choosing as your wedding venue is not only a wonderful and compassionate idea to celebrate love, you ll also be able to educate your guests about animals, some of which they maybe have never met in person. PThis way, instead of participating in the cruel custom of a dove release, instead you and your guests will be able to enjoy the many animals livingPtheir lives free from harm. Do you have an alternative to a dove release that you incorporated into your wedding day? Be sure to share in the comments! And please, also share this post in your network to help us educate those who don t know the hidden cruelty behind releasing doves at weddings. PIt s important to keep our feathered friends happy! Lead image source: /Pixabay The odds of survival for true doves (white Ringneck Doves) King Pigeons are much worse.
Whether they are being used for a ceremony or misguidedly set free, most of them don t survive long enough to be rescued. When unprotected, their life span, whether in the city, a park or the wild, is hours to days. These King Pigeons youngsters (sold as squab at a live poultry market and set free in Golden Gate Park, beat the terrible odds and were rescued. (One of them, Duke, is still available for adoption along with his mate Nieve. ) And even if they lucky enough to be rescued, they are still at risk. Many are weak, sick, traumatized, injured as well as at risk of being killed in overfull shelters. After watching yet another one of these innocent victims die, I posted this on Craigslist: It says, To the well-intended but misguided people who buy baby King Pigeons (squab) from live poultry markets and set them free – don t! You are just killing them in another (and not very merciful) way. These baby birds have no survival skills and, even if they were to live to adulthood, they still won t. They are DOMESTIC. They are preyed upon by hawks, gulls, ravens, dogs, cats, raccoons, mean people and hit by cars if they don t starve or die from disease. (If you eat squab- beware.
The majority of the baby king pigeons- squab- that live long enough to make it to an animal shelter are sick- from Trichomoniasis, PMV, chlamydophilia and more. ) I was contacted by the shelter again today to try and save one of these poor, sweet creatures but she died within the hour. She was 5 weeks old. If you want to help King Pigeons, do something meaningful. Volunteer at the shelter. Protest live animal sales. Donate. Adopt some and provide them with the decent life they deserve. But please please please don t buy them and set them free in the parks thinking you have helped them. You haven t. You have put them in an even worse predicament than they already were (as bad as that was). Here s a picture of today s victim (found in MacLaren Park a week ago and kept until her inability to breathe got her finder to take her to the animal shelter). Despite our best efforts, she was too sick to be saved. And here are pictures of what happens to many of the others set free. Please- RELEASING BABY KING PIGEONS (AND ANY OTHER DOMESTIC ANIMAL) IS MURDER. Don t do it. Released domestic birds have no survival skills. They are killed by hawks, ravens, gulls, dogs, cats, raccoons, mean people and cars.