Let’s Hope Pandas Go Extinct
Early in September the International Union for Conservation of Nature announced that the Giant Panda is no longer endangered. Marco Lambertini, the World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) Director General said, “For over fifty years, the giant panda has been the globe’s most beloved conservation icon as well as the symbol of WWF. Knowing that the panda is now a step further from extinction is an exciting moment for everyone committed to conserving the world’s wildlife and their habitats.”
Uhhhh, I’m committed to conserving the world’s wildlife and their habitats and I’m not excited at all about this change in the panda’s status. In fact, I’m quite incensed.
God only helps those who help themselves. If you want to survive in this world, you have to take it upon yourself to make moves. Maybe you wanna drive to work every day but because of your situation, you’re forced to take the bus. It’s not ideal but its what you gotta do if you wanna put food on the table and have a roof over your head. There are times I wanna grill steak but steak costs an arm and leg so I settle for something cheaper. I can’t be out here spending money willy-nilly (you know you’re washed when you use “willy-nilly” in a sentence and you’re not even trying to be funny). Life isn’t handing out checks paying my rent and student loans. I have to make sure I’m doing everything in my power to make ends meet and wasting money on a 75-inch flat screen because I couldn’t enjoy the game on a smaller TV is stupid. So with all this in mind, it puzzles me as to why people give a fuck about pandas.
A combination of slick marketing and soft facial features has made the panda the world’s sweetheart. But underneath this cuddly exterior is an ain’t shit bear whose fat, lazy, selfish, unhealthy and easily irritable.
Pandas are the bitches of the bear community. Sure, they’ve have shown to boss up on occasion — or should I say “bear-up” on occasion (you laughed, don’t lie) — but the instances have been few and far between. When pandas do attack, they attack out of irritation rather than aggression. So something minor could set them off and they’d attack. You might think this is preferable to an aggressive animal but it’s not. At least with the aggressive animal you know at all times, don’t fuck around. With the irritable one, that consistency is missing. You can never relax around a panda. You could say something innocuous like, “It is what it is”, and the panda will flip out and try to dismember you all because one time the panda needed a roommate to make rent and after finding a roommate with rent only a couple weeks off, the roommate backs out leaving the panda back to square one; but the panda was determined to make rent so it went out and found another roommate and exhausted from the roommate search confided to the new roommate how the last person backed out knowing he needed to make rent. Well, as luck would have it, day before rent is due the new roommate says they don’t want the place and they’re dipping. Flabbergasted that the new roommate would do this to him given what the roommate search has been like for the panda and knowing the panda needs to make rent, the panda says to the roommate, “How could you do this to me?” And all the roommate can say is, “It is what it is.” Basically what I’m trying to say is: pandas aren’t cuddly.
One of the many cool things about me is: I’m against discrimination. Not a fan. I didn’t think I’d be in the minority with that take but when I look around, I see that I am. Pandas are black and white. Pandas care for their young. Pandas play with their food. And pandas are one of the most beloved creatures on the planet. You know who checks all of those boxes but gets discriminated against? Orcas.
Just like the panda, the orca is black and white. Just like pandas, orcas care for their young. And just like pandas, orcas play with their food. They’re the same beast just a different address.
Creatures underneath the sea are always hated on. Because we know so little about the deep, we fear it. We have no reason to be afraid other than a lack of knowledge yet, instead of educating ourselves and getting rid of our biases, we cling on to them and discriminate at every turn. We label animals. We know how bad labeling children is but that doesn’t stop us from labelling animals. Every time you label a kid “timid” or “smart”, it shapes who they are;. The minute you label an orca a “killer whale”, you make them kill other whales. Had you never labelled them as such, orcas would just be vegans who are super chill — I know, shocking that a vegan could be super chill, but orcas could pull it off. Had we labelled pandas “killer bears”, that conservation money wouldn’t be flowing in. Kids would be scared AF of pandas. Movies would demonize them. They wouldn’t be the logo of the WWF.
Although, now that I think about it, if we labelled them “killer bears” we wouldn’t have needed the conservation money in the first place.
Almost all of a panda’s diet consists of bamboo. Bamboo is loaded with sugar, which causes pandas to be quite fat and unhealthy. Remember, in our bodies lies the orexin system. Orexin is a neuropeptide that control the feelings of sleepiness and hunger. Low levels of activity from the orexin cells means one feels tired and sleepy; making one less physically active. The intake of sugar decreases the activity of orexin cells. You become less active and therefore, fat and unhealthy.
Nothing about bamboo is dope. It hardly contains any protein and any fibers it has, are indigestible. The pandas poor diet causes their children to weigh just 90–130 grams whereas other bear cubs weigh around 300–400 grams. And malnourished children leads to what everybody? That’s right, you guessed it: High mortality rate. Children die all because mommy and daddy decided to shove a bamboo stick down their throats instead of picking up a vegetable.
Pandas don’t have to eat bamboo. They’re digestive systems allow them to consume meat. They can easily get the proteins necessary to grow healthy, wonderful children. They just choose to kill their children instead. Maybe if we labelled them “killer bears” meat would be a staple of their diet. Then their children would weigh more; they wouldn’t be on the endangered list and we wouldn’t have wasted all that money on them.
I’m not happy at all about the panda being off the endangered list. There are so many animals doing their darndest to survive — see the African Wild Dog — yet none of them get the love the easily irritable, fat, soulless, child-killing panda gets. Now that the panda is off the endangered list can we please start helping the animals that actually care about their lives and aren’t total assholes? And when the pandas are back on the endangered list — which, they invariably will be because they have no desire to live — let’s say “Fuck off, you had your chance.” It’s time we treat the panda the way it treats itself; not giving a fuck about it.