Sunday, January 9, 2011

Fake Pandas for Sale

In one of the most stunning advances in bizarro genetic engineering since 1997’s pot-bellied elephant, northern Colorado farmer Chris Jessen has bred a miniature cow that sorta looks like a panda.

Our latest crime against nature. Possibly just a misdemeanor.

This made news not only locally but also across the country (in the Washington Post and Orange County Register, among others) and as far away as London,1 which leads us to believe that either 2011 has (with this notable exception) started off in a spectacularly boring fashion, or that this weird little cow’s existence is far more momentous than one might suspect.

The birth of Ben, the miniature panda cow, is not Chris Jessen’s first encounter with shrimpy animals. His “hobby farm” is depicted in various brief articles as a sort of haven for wee creatures—not only miniature cows and donkeys but also an animal described by different sources as either a miniature kangaroo or a wallaby, which is, as we understand it, similar to an oversized miniature kangaroo, only smaller.

From what we’ve been able to learn from a casual stroll through the Internet, $0.75 to $1.00 per pound is not an unreasonable price if you’re looking to buy a fully-functional cow. Ben, however, may sell for as much as $30,000. This may seem like a lot, but it is certainly much, much cheaper than the trying to buy an actual panda, so one might consider this a bargain.

For a mere thirty thousand dollars—barely enough to make a down payment on a home in many parts of the country—you can invest it in an animal that kinda resembles a totally different animal. But wait—there’s more! While most bargain-basement cows are bred to produce milk or be delicious, the panda cow is said to “not have much practical use”—beyond, presumably, standing around chewing and crapping all day with flies on its eyeballs.

We’re not about to tell you how to spend your money—if Ben the Imposter Panda is the pet you’ve always been waiting for, knock yourself out. A delegation from China has already visited Jessen’s farm and was reportedly fascinated, so this weird little venture may well pay off. But unless Ben the Imposter Panda tastes exactly like real panda, or proves he can mimic adorably fat panda antics such as pantomiming kung fu or getting stuck in a tree, we’ll just keep saving up until we can afford the real thing, thank you very much.

100% authentic panda. Accept no substitutes.

1. Capital city of Guatemala, according to our Geography Department.


  1. This may be the stupidest thing we've come up with in a long, long time. Who gives a shit if a cow looks like a panda? It's still not cute. A panda's cute because it's fat, it helps other pandas climb trees, and it has funny ears. I don't care if a cow has Hello Kitty all over it, it's still ugly at stupid.

  2. I believe that a cow bedecked with Hello Kitty might with no exaggeration be termed the greatest gift yet bestowed upon humanity by a just and loving God.
    That and a monkey with four asses.

  3. Finally, I can kill a panda without remorse!

  4. A cow bedecked with Hello Kitty would also undoubtedly improve our meat exports to Japan and Korea.