And honestly, I'm positive that this makes the very existence of giant pandas unique. In contrast to any other animal in the world, giant pandas exist solely because humans adore them, and want them to reproduce and stay alive. This doesn't demean their beauty or my respect for nature in general, but it merits saying out loud and accepting: these aren't noble, majestic creatures. And then I realized it: they're the Paris Hiltons of the animal kingdom. They exist because we lavish them with wealth, fawn over their appearance, and stare at them endlessly via night-vision cameras.
On giant pandas
August J. Pollack has an excellent piece on giant pandas over at Xoverboard today. It's well worth the read.