Monday

Zen 1064: You know what? Fuck pandas. They are the vegans of the animal world and a gift to creationists.

Pandas are bloody annoying. Normally, I'm in awe of majestic Nature and particularly in awe of the elegance of evolution, a principle of breathtaking simplicity that nonetheless describes the complexity of every living thing that ever was and ever will be.

Yeah, yeah, cute. Now do everyone a favour and die the fuck out.
Well, every living thing with the possible exception of pandas. I suspect only an intelligent designer could come up with something as flawed and utterly pointless as a panda. It's the Ford Edsel of creation. The fly in evolution's otherwise perfect ointment. It openly and brazenly defies Darwin.

The defects of the panda are well rehearsed. It can only mate on one-and-a-half days a year, and then only if it's within range of a receptive mate, which is itself a slightly rarer occurrence than someone with taste and decorum winning the National Lottery. (Seriously, when you're relying on a handjob from a Chinese guy in a lab coat to save your species, wouldn't dignity be telling you it was time to throw in the towel for the good of you both?)

It's slow and lazy. So lazy, in fact, that when confronted with one of the very few predators that can harm it, it will only attempt to escape if there is a downhill slope and it can frankly be arsed to fall down it. And the camouflage. What the hell? I live in a forest. It's very green. Sometimes its brown. Therefore I will adopt a coat that will conceal me only if hiding on a pedestrian crossing or in footage shot before the advent of colour.

But perhaps the most wilfully ridiculous thing about Ailuropoda melanoleuca is its diet. It eats bamboo. Nutritionally speaking, bamboo is in the same category as Samuel Johnson's cucumber, namely, it should be "well sliced, and dressed with pepper and vinegar, and then thrown out, as good for nothing." The stupid animal has to eat tonnes of the stuff to even approach the amount of calorific intake a creature of its size needs to absorb.

And here's the kicker. The panda has roughly the same dentition as other bears, which means it could be chowing down on juicy flesh, or rummaging through the bins for leftover doughnuts and chicken wings. In other words, it could be eating well and as Nature intended, but it chooses not to. I know what you're thinking. It's a fucking vegan. So frankly, the sooner it shuffles off into oblivion and lets the fundraisers get on with saving proper animals like tigers and elephants and blue whales, the better*.




* No, polar bears do not need saving. They are about as endangered as you are.

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