Weddings, animal welfare, conservation policy and…marriage

A special thank you is in order to the people who keep the welfare of nonhuman animals in their hearts on their wedding day.

Victoria couple, Laylí and Niño, with their family on their wedding day

Laylí and Niño and family on their wedding day. Photo by Shane Deringer.

This Autumn in BC is an important moment in time. The BC government is consulting on the future of the commercial and recreational hunt for grizzly bears in the interior of BC and in the Great Bear Rainforest. We’re leveraging our body of research and expertise as best we can. And we’re waiting to see how this moment develops.

While we wait, this is an important moment to thank the hundreds of donors and thousands of supporters that have supported our campaign to Save the Great Bears. With the help of Denman Island Chocolate, we have helped move the needle to solve the existing conservation policy failures here on the coast of BC.

Since we began acquiring commercial trophy hunting tenures over a decade ago, we have saved many bears. But it’s easy to forget that some people aren’t even aware that there are commercial tenures that allow hunters to enter First Nation Territories and protected conservancies to kill animals, like Grizzly Bears, for their paws and heads and horns.

There is widespread agreement that the commercial and recreational hunting of animals, like grizzly bears, must stop. But sometimes the passion and energy that humans have to bring science and sound policy and compassion to these issues is missed.

We see you.

This summer, families and couples were thinking about more than themselves on their wedding day.

Erin and Andrew were married this summer in Washington and honoured Raincoast Conservation Foundation by listing us on their wedding registry. “We have enough stuff,” they wrote. “If you want to honour us with a wedding gift, donate to Raincoast.”

And here on Vancouver Island, we were honoured by a Victoria couple, Laylí and Niño. A chocolate bar at every table is not a common wedding favour. And conservation is not a common wedding motif. But Layli and Niño put a conservation twist on their special day by asking their guests to also support grizzly bear conservation.

“We had already lined-up a solar powered Tesla as our wedding vehicle and our venue, [the Parkside Hotel] has an award winning sustainable design,” said groom Niño Samson. “We also wanted our guests to contribute to the environmental theme and the idea of being able to eat chocolate and help save grizzly bears was the ideal fit,” said bride-to-be Laylí Antinuk.

The guests were all provided with a Denman Island Chocolate Grizzly Bar, and proceeds went to support our campaign.

Daniel Terry, founder of Denman Island Chocolate, couldn’t be happier. “It’s fantastic to see people getting creative about how they can help. The Grizzly Bar is about sharing my passion for stopping the trophy hunting of these iconic bears and it’s fantastic that has resonated with so many people. I just didn’t anticipate our chocolate bar would play a part in a ‘grizzly wedding’ and I’m so inspired and moved that it is.”

We’re also inspired. So thank you. Let’s hope the BC Government sees its way through this consultation to the best public and conservation policy.

Victoria couple, Laylí and Niño, leading up to their wedding.

Find Laylí online at Instagram and Twitter.

You can support our research and protect the coast by becoming a donor.

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