Home » Video » The Only Carnivore that Ever Gave Up Meat and Became a Vegetarian

The Only Carnivore that Ever Gave Up Meat and Became a Vegetarian

RT’s documentary on efforts in China to save the Giant Panda.

“We must follow the laws of nature…”
–employee at the Panda Breeding and Research Center, Chengdu, China

One of the things that fascinated me most about this is that pandas apparently are the only species ever to have evolved from a carnivore into a vegetarian. According to an article here, “Pandas are vegetarians because they lost the meat-eating gene.” You can kind of see why the Chinese are so keen on saving the species from extinction. A thoroughly unique animal!

3 thoughts on “The Only Carnivore that Ever Gave Up Meat and Became a Vegetarian

  1. The fate of the Panda in the natural wild makes for an interesting allegory.
    Here we have a mammal that once ate flesh and thrived, but at some time in their history their prey gradually died out, so over millennia the animal tried to adapt by eating vegetable matter instead.
    It’s a good example of Epigenetics that was only partly successful, which means it retained it’s bear characteristics outwardly, but lost all the aggressive hunting skills & advantages of a high protein/calorie diet. That is, a bamboo diet made them lethargic and less combative & resourceful, which in turn made it a poor ‘reproducer’ of offspring.
    In fact, its a ‘living fossil’ that would have died out eventually had not the dense bamboo forests later excluded other more successful animals from predating them.
    In other words, they survived by an evolutionary, freakish whisker of chance.

  2. I’m gonna be spoiler,i can’t stand pandas,they maybe cute but i much prefer the Noble big cats,which are sufferring due to China’s lack of action on ileagle trade,also there is the ileagle ivory trade putting elephants and rhinos in danger,also another thing that bugs me is China’s obsession with shark fin soup that is destroying the shark,a creature that has been around for millions of years,and who knows what damage would be done to the biosphere if lost to the earth’s seas and oceans.I am certainly more biased towards the survival of the big cats because i think humans would lose something spiritually, e.g.,a lion is a symbol of courage,strength and nobility, it is no wonder that the English warrior king Richard I was called the lionheart ,or king Leonidas of the Spartan Greeks whose name means born of lion ,both these great men drew strength from the symbol the lion represented,and to add a religious element the spirit of God/Christ was represented by the lion “Aslan”, in CS Lewis The Lion the witch and the wardrobe,’ah yes my bias is obvious, but more in importantly China must Do More to save All creatures not just the panda…

  3. P.S. ileagle hunting from the west and we need to deall with that with harsh penalties and ostracise those cowards who hunt drugged lions , but i must say China’s preoccupation with animated teddy bears seems quite odd and useless if we are to preserve the creators gifts for future generations..

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