Chris Packham, a British wildlife expert, incited a firestorm in an interview with RadioTimes where he opined that perhaps we should allow Pandas to become extinct.
Packham’s assertion that the Panda as a species “has gone down an evolutionary cul-de-sac of its own accord” is flawed logic. It is not the fault of Pandas that their habitat has been eaten up by development.
Packham is not very fond of the human race either and has been quoted as saying that he wouldn’t mind seeing us extinct. However, he does present a question worth examining. Should we intervene to preserve a species that is incapable of sustaining life? (Panda can no longer procreate without the aid of artificial insemination.)
Further, if one agrees with Mr. Packham, what are the consequences for other endangered species? This is turning Darwin’s theory on its ear. It’s supposed to be survival of the fittest not survival of the cutest.
Of course, being an animal communicator my reaction was: Has anyone asked the Pandas what they want? What lessons are Pandas here to teach us? I decided to go to the source and get their side of the story.
Pet Chatter: What do Pandas think about their living situation and inability to procreate?
Panda: “We are the Panda and we say to you that our lives in the now are not what they should be. We were meant to live a more nomadic life, moving from one forest to another. We were once a great species who roamed many hundreds of miles. We lived in peace but did not hesitate to protect our own when it was necessary. Today we are so fat and inert that we are incapable of protecting even ourselves. It is sad to see our kind in this sorry state. The Panda that you know today bears little resemblance to our ancestors.”
“We were never meant to stay cramped in a small space. We need variety. Our lives are lived in limitation. We were once a noble species, vibrant and healthy. Because of our confinement we have deteriorated to nothing more than parasites. Without our hosts we could not survive. This is not the life our species was meant to live.
“What you call depression is rank among our members. It is difficult to find joy in our days, which are devoid of the pleasures and basic needs of our ancestors. We feel that ancestral thread and mourn the state our species has devolved to.”
“Is it any wonder that we have no enthusiasm for mating? How can we in good conscience sentence our young to this bland, boring, existence? It surely is existence and not living. You would not wish this on your enemy, yet you force us to exist this way. Please give us back our dignity. Let us live or die on our own terms. Surely that is a mercy that you can afford to us? If we cease to exist then that is as it was meant to be. Our spirits will be free to come back in other forms or not as we choose. You would be showing us a great kindness to end this madness.”
“If you do not stop forcing babies upon our females the day will come when there are no more beings willing to take the form of Panda and it won’t matter what tricks you use, we will no longer bear life.”
“We do not blame humans for the state we have come to, but we beseech you to consider our feelings and respect our wishes. Please.”
“Give us our freedom. We have become weak and dull. We are an embarrassment to our species. It would be a kindness to let us simply fade away.”
Pet Chatter: If it is so bad why do souls continue to incarnate as Pandas?
Panda: “Like all our incarnations we choose them for the experience. Some of us choose Panda because we have lived very exciting lives, perhaps too exciting in some cases, and this time we want something a bit calmer. It’s for the contrasting experience, you see. How can we appreciate being a whale, for instance, if we have never known the experience of being trapped in such a limited, puny existence? We do not choose to incarnate as Panda a second time. Once has been enough, although we suppose it is possible that one day a being might. By and large we find this unfathomable. That is why our species has declined. There are fewer and fewer who are willing to come and experience Panda life. One can only eat so much bamboo before one begins to choke on it. Life is to be savored and there is precious little savoring going on among Pandas.
Should you allow us to become extinct? Absolutely. What is the point in promulgating a species that is so forlorn and undeserving of the space they occupy? We were once a great nation but those days are long past. Allow us the dignity to close the chapter on this failed line. There are many other life opportunities for our beings to occupy. We will not weep when Panda is no longer a choice. Instead we believe it is the merciful thing to do. Our time has come and gone, it is just you humans who cannot accept that fact and allow us the dignity of passing into oblivion or the history books.
I must admit that I was stunned by this message. It was not at all what I expected. But after reflecting upon the big picture, I concluded that the simple fact is that Panda did not evolve to adapt to their new environment. It really doesn’t matter why the environment changed when all is said and done. It simply is different and clinging to the past closes off the future. The natural order of this progression leads to extinction. Panda has made the ultimate sacrifice to share this lesson with humans.