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Jul
08

Know When to Let Go

The latest news I’ve chosen to fixate upon deals primarily with the death of that most useless of animals, the panda.  Pandas, which are in fact closer to raccoons than proper bears, are the mascot for the World Wildlife Fund and many other organizations which have as their mission the preservation of species too dumb to live.  This panda was of the red variety, and the relation to raccoons is much more pronounced in this species than the charmingly obese Chinese pandas with which we are so familiar.

The newly dead panda was - scarcely a month ago - newly born, making its death all the more tragic to fluff-brained enviro-tards.  It is as if the skeletal hand of Death reached out to pet the cute widdle fing and stole its very breath.  More likely, the stupid mother or father panda rolled over on it in the night and asphyxiated the unlucky fellow. 

I look at the situation of pandas from this perspective: they don’t have sex very often, and they die at an astonishing rate in captivity.  The average mortality of cubs born in captivity is around 50%.  Humanity, blundering along as we do with the best intentions, is probably doing more to wipe the damn things out by our conservation efforts.  There is only so much you can do with an animal that simply doesn’t have much interest in breeding.  If it’s too lazy to mate more than once a year, I say let it die! 

Red Panda, Dead Panda

We have this problem in our culture.  We’re unable to let go of things like Pandas, and eagles, and vaguely familiar celebrities.  We can’t fathom a world without fat pseudo-bears, majestic flying carrion-birds, and Betty White.  But nature comes for us all, friend.  How many species have come into being only to retreat into the mist of utter nothingness?  Millions!  Each day we lose more and more, and there is not, despite the protestations of liberals and environmentalists, a goddam thing to be done about it.  Betty is around 90, folks.  Get ready for that one.

The sooner we as humans remember that life – precious though it may be – is fleeting then the sooner we shall stop raking ourselves across the coals every time a cute little animal keels over.  The hubris we display in thinking that we can do anything so grand as “save the whales” (or the pandas or the stoat or any number of probably delicious and useful animals) is the breathtaking thing.  Taken as we are with our superior intellects and “duty to the earth,” we don’t even realize how grandiose our proposals sound.

Yes, yes, I know somewhere out there is a frog that pisses a cure for cancer, and deep in the recesses of some primeval jungle there may be a bird that craps the best treatment for wrinkles.  I’m not against conservation so much as against waste in pursuit of futile goals.  Preserve what deserves to be preserved.  But for Heaven’s sake let’s not be afraid to use animals as a resource to improve our quality of life. 

On the flip side, let’s not allow our foolish sentiments to blind us to the reality of human suffering.  Since DDT was banned, no anti-malarial measures have ever compared.  Mosquitoes adapted to everything else and malaria remains a tremendous problem in Africa.  Why did we ban this substance that, among other things, saved the Allied efforts in World War II by cleansing the port of Naples and keeping it from quarantine?  Oh, because some dumbass wrote a book about how there would be no more birdies because their eggshells were weaker.  So to hypothetically save some squawking avian, millions of humans actually suffer.

Millions of dollars have been spent on Pandas, those chubby, cheery bamboo chewing hucksters.  To what end?  Could not those millions have been spent in some nobler pursuit?  Perhaps a rural broadband network.  I would artifically inseminate dozens of pandas by hand if it meant we could get fast internet in B.F.E.

8 comments

  1. Champagne Socialist says:

    You said: “But for Heaven’s sake let’s not be afraid to use animals as a resource to improve our quality of life.” This is a contradiction to your sarcastic implication about the proverbial cancer-healing frog or the wrinkle-healing crap from some distant, hypothetical bird.

    Additionally, for example, eating steroid-infused chicken in morbidly obese excess is hardly “improving our quality of life”. That’s just one example of argumentation I would have to basically the entire premise of your post. In my opinion, you’re confusing “quality of life” with “Western ideals of consuming everything well beyond our needs without having an open mind toward alternate means”. The DDT issue is one to develop much, much further. Sacrificing human life (as in recordable deaths) is in obvious antithetical existence to the purpose of saving animals from unnecessary, human-induced extinction. But, for every DDT example, there are innumerable examples of humans “wasting” the natural resources that exist and nature around them for selfish, excessive reasons. The desire to have a balanced approach to preserving nature and limiting our own waste doesn’t automatically make someone a “fluff-brained enviro-tard”; it makes us reasonable stewards of the created world around us.

    Pendulum swings don’t solve anything. Arguing that we should just be okay with whatever because “hey we’re alive today and having a full stomach feels great” lacks depth and foresight to the great unknown of what health risks may be involved later. And, it also assumes that there is no in between, or even more frightening, it suggest that you think that your opinion on the matter IS the balanced approach when in fact it’s just a rhetorically violent reaction to someone else’s point of view.

    I agree with you that we should look at wiser use of our money, but the reason the money is sent where it is is because people put in the leg work to get that aid and those grants. If you want something like internet in BFE, then stop typing up your complaints and lobby for your own piece of the pie.

    Personally, I’d rather pray for a revolution then expect any sort of balance to come from the government and culture as it exists right now.

  2. NealDewing says:

    I don’t know who you are, but I think I almost like you.
    I also don’t claim to be offering real solutions here, but if I took the time to really formulate a policy it would probably fall under an umbrella of “pro-development, anti-waste, humans first.” One of the things about the modern enviro movement (and please don’t hold my attempt at rhetorical fluorish [tards] against me) that makes me shake my head in disbelief is the shift away from thinking like Norman Baurlog and towards a model of “sustainable farming.” Sustainable farming is great for inflating an individual’s self worth but can’t provide the food necessary to feed 7 billion people. It’s short-sighted and self-centered.
    Regarding waste and Western ideals of consumption: to my knowledge, we’re the first civilization in history for whom obesity is a problem associated with poverty.
    And on and on and on…the key is what you said, being a “reasonable steward:” Rather than shooting bald eagles for sport or on the other extreme regulating natural byproducts of breathing (carbon dioxide) we should use our God-given intellect to utilize nature to the benefit of humanity. Reasonably, we know that carefully considered use of resources is superior to rapacious devouring. Reasonable people can disagree about just what benefits humanity the most, but so long as we keep the law of unintended consequences in mind we can avoid the hubris that characterizes so much of the environmentalist mindset.
    I can assure you that the guy who wrote the post is mostly id. Serious policy discussions with him will likely go nowhere, since he doesn’t feel the need to defend his bilious opinions. But thanks for commenting and raising some valid points.

  3. Champagne Socialist says:

    Champagne Socialist = Joe Cicero. Your favorite non-friend who you met once. haha

    Thanks for dialoguing. I am at work and ran out of useful words in my first post, so I will just say that I liked your comment more than your blog post. haha

  4. NealDewing says:

    ah! I enjoyed writing the post, it’s all for fun you know.

  5. joshmcdowell says:

    i liked the post but just to add some contrast to one of the fleeting comments about DDT. it has been linked or at least suspected that repeated exposure can cause medical problems such as higher rates of cancer, fertility decline, and a slight increase in general ailments (this one is still much more questionable). the point being DDT does have a few more drawbacks than being dangerous to bird eggs. that being said cancer can’t get to you if you die because of a bug bite. so crack open the pesticides and screw the birds.

  6. NealDewing says:

    so crack open the pesticides and screw the birds.

    That’s the spirit!

  7. James Long says:

    Interesting post and comment discussion. I don’t have anything to add or detract from either, my comment is kind of unrelated to the topic at hand as it deals with web design. You should get Rachel to take that image you have in this post (victorian-blog-header.gif ) and turn it into your site’s “favicon” to get rid of Bluehost’s ugly favicon you have here. Here’s some more info about how to do that (share with Rachel):
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Favicon.ico

  8. Twitter Weekly Updates for 2011-01-23 » The Blog of No says:

    [...] that anyone cares but i've written about Pandas on my blog: http://www.racheldewing.com/NealDewing/?p=249 [...]

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