Something’s on my mind. A while back I talked about it and my solution to it. I didn’t quite know if there was something wrong with the butterflies that are used in domes and frames that you see everywhere. It didn’t feel good and a Dutch TV show now figured out it isn’t good. The bufferflies are bred to be killed and turned into home decoration.
Home decor stores are filled with them. And in the TV show a store owner ironically said that it is so popular because people “appreciate nature”. I appreciate in another way; by drawing nature.
That is my ode to nature.
The thing that sticks with you during the show is that it is easy to figure out. You never find butterflies in the wild that just died and look perfectly in tact. If you find one, it has damaged wings, there are ants all over it and if you lift it it breaks. It is hard enough finding a feather in good shape to take home, let alone something as fragile as a butterfly. So you can easily conclude that they are either kept very well protected or just quickly killed. The conclusion is that the butterflies are folded into paper, squished to death and then shipped to the middle man. The people that are selling the final art say that they asked how the butterflies are bred and are happy with a mere:”Don’t worry, it’s sutainable.” And then they stop thinking because there’s money to make. There’s no denying it is a trend. When the reporters ask a couple more questions the middlemen get nervous. Eventually they end up with a breeder. The breeder just fills the demands, even though he’d rather see the butterfly fly. He gets 0.10 eurocents per butterfly. (Here the artwork starts at 50 euros.) Let’s be honest. If we’re honest we all know that this was not going to end well.
So yes, they are bred for decoration and die slowly.
You can view the episode here, but it’s in Dutch of course. You can say that the life of a butterfly is not so important. I mean hundreds of tiny flies die when you drive your car, especially in summer. So what is thousands of butteflies in a hype (that’s just in The Netherlands) But my worry is the effect that it has on how we act on trends and the consequences it has when we accept our gullibility. I once saw a girl in the London underground with a fox tail on her bag; very Game-of-Thrones-y. I said she looked very cool but that the tail was a bit wrong. She defended that it was thrifted. Which I appreciate, but you must think about the consequences. People copy each other and there’s always a tradesman somewhere who smells the business and starts to sell fox tails. And that;s when people just think it’s okay because it’s everywhere. Don’t let dead animals become a trend. We use them enough as it is. We don’t need them to look pretty in our houses. Keep asking questions and keep thinking about things like this.
We tend to think that if it is for sale it must be okay. The truth is the other way around. Sometimes fakefur is more expensive than skinning animals alive for the fur trim on our children’s coats. I’m sure it’s okay! Last time at a fair I had a conversation with a person from a company that sold all kinds of taxidermy. He had a bobcat on his booth. A species that is protected by law. This guy there told me that he could only buy it from a state -that is known for it’s corruption- when he had the right papers. If you feel good about that, dream on. Even if this one lynx died in a zoo, you should be worried about a trend you might set, and a trade you might create.
If I may leave you with one more thought; think about peacock feathers or feather in general. You find them in children’s craft kits, on earrings, pens and clothing. Know this; there is always someone who will make a business out of it who has little to lose or will profit immensely from it. You have a responsebility to have a conscience. Others don’t always have one.
A dead animal is not pretty as home decor!
P.S. Don’t forget my tutorial and the free downloadable butterflies: https://lovemyrte.com/blue-morpho-free-downloadable-drawing-and-tutorial/