~ Shame on you Jewel Box of Forest Park ~

Dear Jewel Box of Forest Park,
Shame on You.
As a wedding photographer, I have worked in your building many times-  always appreciative of its atmosphere and immaculate grounds.   I’ve especially loved your koi and goldfish lily pond out front, it is the cherry on top of your beautiful space.   
You know, the same pond you drained for winter last weekend without removing the fish first, leaving them flopping on the concrete bottom made of mud and slop until they suffocated to death.

They were seen over and over by horrified weddings guests attending Saturday’s wedding at your venue.  
I am thankful the wedding photographer of the bride and groom had a bigger brain and heart than you.

In between family photos, she was able to toss some of those still alive into the lowest part of the pond where a small pool of inches of water remained and continued her job as a wedding photographer.   She returned after her long day of shooting at 9:30pm, with a cooler and a storage tub and began saving any fish that were still alive.

She took them home and housed them in her bathtub until she found time to re-home some of the larger koi and get a tank for the smaller golds.  

Let me stop shaking my head long enough to get this next part out clearly:
You. Are. A. Conservatory. 
I nearly choked on those words when I saw them scrawled across your website. 
Really?  A Conservatory?
I mean really ? This was your only option?  Drain the pond and let the fish flop around and gasp for air until they die?  In front of wedding guests?  

The lack of compassion is dumbfounding.

I am raising 3 children.  I teach them everyday the importance of compassion and kindness to other living things.  To make a good impact in this world.   People, plants, and animals included.  Then I send them into a world filled with people who just don’t give a shit.  Just like you.

And let me stop this next argument before it happens...
“But they’re just fish!”
And you are right.  They are just fish. I’m not upset that the fish are dead.   If you think this article is about the fish dying you are missing my point completely.   
I am not “that girl.”  I am not a member of PETA, I am not a vegetarian, and while it’s not for me, I see nothing wrong with legal and controlled hunting and fishing.  
I’m just part of the normal population of folks that will tell you what you did was wrong and it was mean.  I’m disappointed in your lack of respect for other living things. 
Treating others on this planet as if they are irrelevant is one of the biggest mistakes our society makes everyday.
Lack of compassion in this world will destroy us, we can only make the world a better place if we know the part we play in it. 

To the wedding photographer, Alecia Hoyt, who saved the fish, keep fighting the good fight sister.  
Shame on you Jewel Box of Forest Park, shame on you.

In closing I do want to add that I have placed 2 phone calls to the Jewel Box leaving messages for an explanation and my calls were not returned.

8 of the 23 fish she saved survived.  Here they are in their new home.

If what I say resonates with you, it is merely because we are both branches of the same tree.
W.B. Yeats

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