Monday, 12 September 2011

Cute pandas vs ugly slugs

‘[B]ecause pandas are so “cute” governments are spending a lot of money per individual to keep them going as opposed to spending that money on far less charismatic creatures, like sea slugs, Nembortha megalocera, for example, whose tentacles contain highly evolved nerve endings and synapses where chemical transmitters and signal transduction are comparable at many levels to the workings of the human brain, with its hundred billion nerve cells. Is being “cute” the criterion for conservation resource allocations? This is just one type of problem in reconciling the human condition with the condition of the planet’s biodiversity.’
Michael Charles Tobias and Jane Gray Morrison
in ‘God’s Own Country: The New Zealand Factor’

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