I’ve been spouting this theory for awhile now, and because it is an unpopular theory that I dared not express at the lunch table, my mother has had to hear it a thousand times. I just got some validation.
Panda bears are the Poster Children of the Endangered Species movement. It mostly bothers me because the fact that pandas are endangered is not, in my opinion, really the fault of Man. Pandas eat only one kind of food, bamboo. An incredibly inefficient diet, so they have to eat a ton of it. And they are just bad at reproducing.
I realize that they are much better at reproducing in their natural habitat, and their natural habitat is disappearing. But they do not seem to have any ability to adapt. So my theory is that if there is a modern species that nature had selected for extinction, it is the panda.
This article does not exactly mirror that theory, but it certainly has a common sentiment. Not that I had ever remotely considered the panda in any argument regarding intelligent design. It closes with:
Humanity’s experience with pandas has shown us that saving the species is not going to be easy — or cheap. In fact, eminent conservationist Chris Packham has called panda conservation “possibly one of the grossest wastes of conservation money in the last half century.” He said he “would eat the last panda” if it meant he could transfer all the money thrown at pandas to other, “more sensible” species (like insects, rodents, and plants) or to entire habitats.
So why is the Panda bear the Poster Child for the movement? Let’s say it all together:
Because they are cute!