Musings on the t-shirt animal

Published September 23, 2009

Chris Packham has hit headlines for resurfacing an old argument of his, that pandas should be left to die out with dignity. This is bound to ruffle my feathers, because I am one of those people he so resoundedly sneers at, donating £3 a month because the panda is cuddly.

But why shouldn’t I?

In the original argument, Packham introduces his theory, pointing out that the panda lives on the poor nutrition of bamboo, and isn’t exactly “rabbit-like” when it comes to reproduction. But then he says:

An ex-carnivore bamboo muncher unfortunately ends up in the most populated place on earth.

Which puts the blame squarely at the foot of humanity, for encroaching on their habitat in the first place. Why shouldn’t we try and make up for cutting down their forests and poaching them to the point of potential extinction?

In the recent update to his argument, Mr P talks about the fact that our farming system is so messed up, we should be concentrating on that, rather than cuddly bears. Listen to just a single episode of Farming Today, though, and it’s obvious UK farming is in the state it is because there is endless bureaucracy and red tape - in other words, governmental failure. The two are entirely different problems.

I try and avoid political arguments and anything too heavy because I care little for such discussions. I don’t even know if I have a point to this rant. Here are a few final thoughts:

  • Chris Packham also lays into cats and dogs and even humans, so the panda shouldn’t feel entirely picked on.
  • When I sponsored my panda, I spotted at least half a dozen other species that I wanted to fork out for in the future, so it makes sense to me that the WWF have picked a cute animal as their mascot.
  • I can spend my money on what I want.
  • I had to google how to spell bureaucracy.
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