Friday, March 15, 2013

Panda Club

During recess at school, Anna participates in something called Panda Club. It's something one of her friends came up with. The gist is this, according to Anna: Pandas are endangered because people are cutting down the forests. Panda Club helps the pandas. At the beginning of recess, they have a meeting and each kid comes up with ideas to help out the pandas. I asked Anna what one of her ideas was.

"Plant more trees," she said.

Liam was sitting with us when we were talking about this. He chimed in, "But then they'll keep cutting down the trees."

"But then we'll plant more trees," Anna said.

"But even those trees you growed," Liam said, "they'll cut down."

At which point Anna started ignoring Liam.

One of her friends had the idea that they could stop the people from cutting down the trees. I asked how they go about doing that.

"We tell them that we'll hurt them if they don't stop."

Yeah. I know. If that ain't some militant FBI-probe-inducing stuff right there, huh? I hope the FBI isn't reading this, because then they might have to issue a grand jury summons to Mrs. Jones' first grade class.

I asked Anna, in a one-on-one conversation, if she thought it was OK to actually hurt people who wanted to cut down the forest. She said she didn't think so. I told her that people have done things like slashing tires and doing other things to stop people from destroying habitats. She thought that sounded better. I agreed, but then asked her to think about the people who work for those companies that cut down forests and how the money they make from that job might feed their children. On the other hand, they could just get a different job. 

Then I explained how we try to see the world in black and white, but sometimes it's actually grey.

You know what they weren't doing in Panda Club though? They weren't capturing pandas and imprisoning them in zoos in order to preserve their species. That's just ridiculous. Stopping the habitat destruction makes way more sense, right? 

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