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ApathyMonger said on September 26th, 2009 at 9:01 am

Heh.

Your context link doesn’t seem to be working though.

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From the wikipedia article:

Packham courted controversy in September 2009 when, during an interview with the UK TV guide Radio Times he suggested that the Giant Panda was too expensive to save, and that it should be left to become extinct so that funds could be redistributed to protecting other, less expensive animals and habitats.

Packham commented that “It’s time to give up on the cute and cuddly (giant panda) because we just can’t afford it and we need to think of a much bigger picture,” Packham argued the money should be invested in the conservation of environments with a diverse range of flora and fauna, such as rainforests. “Giant pandas cost too much to protect and should be allowed to become extinct. He made a similar comment in 2008: “I’d eat the last panda if I could have the money we’ve spent on panda conservation back on the table for me to do more sensible things with”.

Packham later added “I really upturned the apple cart with what I said and I’m sorry I upset people. But I am glad it has raised a debate and that was always my intention. I don’t hate pandas, I love cuddly animals. I love all animals.”

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The sad thing is, I pretty much entirely agree with him. There’s a thing known as “triage” people, and it sucks but sometimes it’s necessary y’know?

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FeepingCreature said on September 26th, 2009 at 10:24 am

Why do we save animals, if not because they’re either necessary or cute and cuddly?

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Biodiversity, leading to robust ecosystems, leading in turn to possible alternative resources and scientific potential.

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*puts biologist hat on*

Taking care of animals higher up the food chain generally requires that the rest of the food chain and the ecology that supports the entire thing be protected and problems facing it be dealt with as well – Packham’s statement is based in some sort of ignorant “panda solipsism”, in which the Panda exists unconnected to anything other than itself, and is dependant on nothing but itself, and so the panda can just die out, rather than the panda dying out AS A RESULT OF massive ecological damage that affects things far beyond the panda itself.

In reality animals like tigers and Pandas and jaguars and elephants act as both photogenic mascots for ecological conservation AND ARE ALSO useful indicators of wider reaching ecological damage which any worthwhile conservation movement or organisation has to deal with anyway.

TL;DR version: We are in a suicide pact with the Panda.

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Not that I agree with him or anything, but it definitely makes them harder to save when the mommy panda’s are turning their babies into Kung-Pow Panda every ten minutes…

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MarvinAndroid said on September 26th, 2009 at 12:25 pm

And next… Aqualung!

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And I for one hail our new musical panda overlords.

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GoatToucher said on September 26th, 2009 at 2:01 pm

How many cocks to the bowl, I wonder.

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Pandas are DOOOMED said on September 26th, 2009 at 2:20 pm

“Not that I agree with him or anything, but it definitely makes them harder to save when the mommy panda’s are all the panda equivalent of crazy cat lady shut-ins.”

Fixed.
Pandas don’t want to survive, or they’d breed more.

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lance lunchmeat said on September 26th, 2009 at 3:18 pm

I’m glad he brought up the subject of eating the last pandas, because I’ve been suggesting it for years.

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I know I wouldn’t want them to go extinct before I’ve at least eaten one panda sandwich.

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If pandas were tasty, they wouldnt be endangered. Thats why the pig is in no danger of dying out; They taste like bacon! If there was a McPanda quarter pounder, you know damn well that panda numbers wouldnt have been allowed to get as low as they are.

In all seriousness, I actually take his point. The Giant Panda gets conservation money thrown at it, whereas other species that are more vital to their ecosystem dont get those kinds of resources spent on them. The Giant Panda isnt a predator or prey animal, I’m sure another way would be found of keeping bamboo under control if they died out.

The main reason it gets as much money spent on it as it does is that its the symbol for the WWF. The reason its the symbol for the WWF is that its markings make it look like it has big eyes and its overgrown teeth force its mouth into a permenant expression that is similar to a smile, and humans find big eyes and smiles cute.

In any case, what hes really doing is making a controversial statement to get people talking about conservation. Good on him. (in the interests of full disclosure, I’m slightly biased as he used to present the really wild show when I was a kid, so I cut him, terry nutkins and michaela strachen some slack).

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Somberbrero said on September 26th, 2009 at 4:55 pm

I think he has some valid points, but this could have been phrased a lot better. Is he trying to invite a youthinasia comparison?

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I do wonder sometimes if we’re trying to save an animal that would go extinct without us when I think about Giant Pandas

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lance lunchmeat said on September 26th, 2009 at 5:24 pm

All those global warming commercials that show polar bears suffering on small ice flows, all I can think is “Fewer predators for those cute seals!”

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All those global warming commercials that show polar bears suffering on small ice flows, all I can think is “Fewer predators for those cute seals!”

Or, for those of us who live in the real world, “More seal pelts for human poachers!”

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“It’s not only pandas that need worry, however. Asked which animal he would not mind becoming extinct, he replied: “Human beings. No question. That’s the only one.”

False sacrificial sentiment? If so: douchebag.

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Here’s the deal with pandas:

1)They eat only one thing.

2)They don’t like to fuck each other very often.

That sounds like a species that is not destined to continue regardless of whether human beings mess with their habitat. Maybe if they learned not to be so picky and could get in the mood more than once a year I’d feel like helping them save their species.

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lance lunchmeat said on September 26th, 2009 at 9:28 pm

Maybe if their sex was especially amusing, like those gigantic endangered turtles….

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I also agree with the “Better animals to focus on than pandas” idea.

Frogs, for example. And bees. Aside from chasing down Daleks, where are the bees going? If they all go away, who is going to have sex with flowers?

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I also think he’s got more of a point with the whole “we only give a fuck about pandas because they look nice” thing than a lot of people’d like to admit.

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If pandas were tasty, they wouldnt be endangered. Thats why the pig is in no danger of dying out; They taste like bacon! If there was a McPanda quarter pounder, you know damn well that panda numbers wouldnt have been allowed to get as low as they are.

More libertarian bullshit. Dodos were fun to hunt, but they still went extinct in a free market. No one tries to raise elephants or rhinos for ivory when its more cost efficient to poach them.

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Sounds like a guest writer on Fuck You, Penguin. (It’s a hilarious site, though, and I know it’s not as serious as he seems to be, however.)

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Libertarian bullshit, or a joke? I leave it as an exercise for the reader. (Hint: Zenrage guessed, and he chose… poorly)

Seriously, did anyone else think I was *actually* blaming the panda for not tasting good? Because thats really stupid…

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Fuck the haters. Pandas will still be rocking their charismatic megafauna lifestyle, living on the high grade bamboo and watching the porn filmed on conservationists’ dime, when the last endangered cancer-curing mollusk and ecologically important foot-long millipede have long since passed from this earth.

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All those global warming commercials that show polar bears suffering on small ice flows, all I can think is “Fewer predators for those cute seals!”

I read somewhere about someone who spent a lot of effort rescuing some baby seal, cheering as it headed into the ocean…only to watch a killer whale snap it up 3 seconds later.

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@William George: Oh, great. Now I have an image of Captain Jack hitting up the pandas…

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