Pandagate: BBC names Tian Tian a Face of the Year
The BBC is in trouble with feminists for choosing a panda named Tian Tian as one of 12 female Faces of the Year. Critics say the pick deprecated female achievement in 2011. The hashtag #pandagate is now trending on twitter, as well as the #realwomenoftheyear tag, meant to counter the Beeb’s list.
Tian Tian, or Sweetie in English, lives at the Edinburgh Zoo. Pandas, an endangered species, are star attractions at zoos all over the world. But they cannot be owned, only loaned from the Chinese government.
Apart from being adorable, however, pandas are pretty much useless. Pandas are relatives of bears who evolved to become vegetarian. However, they are so inefficient at digesting bamboo, their only food source, that they must eat nine hours a day to get the energy they need to survive. The rest of the time, they are probably sleeping. Pandas are also notoriously uninterested in sex for the most part. In short, it’s no accident that they are one of the world’s most endangered animals despite the massive effort exerted to conserve them.
Are pandas so cute they must be saved, or should we just let evolution take its course and let them go extinct?