US senators had a bit of an interesting surprise the other day, when they were sent condoms giving them messages to save endangered species.
The initiative was by the Center for Biological Diversity, who sent 600 “Endangered Species Condoms” in total to Congress in Washington, DC. This was in honor of World Population Day, today July 11, to urge them to protect reproductive rights and family planning programs. For humans, we might add.
In truth, using condoms with endangered species on them maybe confused the message bit. But it does highlight an important issue in an amusing way, nonetheless.
“Wrap with care, save the polar bear” proudly declared one of the condoms. Other slogans include “For the sake of the horned lizard, slow down love wizard” and “Can’t refrain? Remember the whooping crane.”
Ben Sasse, a Republican US senator for Nebraska, took to Twitter to express his surprise at receiving the unusual gift.
While funny, the goal of the project was to encourage senators to acknowledge the rights of women, and not take away vital healthcare.
“Access to reproductive healthcare is a right all women should have,” Leigh Moyer, the Center’s population organizer, said in a statement. “It’s also an essential tool in curbing human population growth so we can save room for the wildlife who share the planet with us.”
She noted that they wanted to draw a connection between human population growth and the “wildlife extinction crisis,” which perhaps explains the use of the condoms. Universal access to contraception, which is a bit of a no-brainer, needed to happen too.
World Population Day, meanwhile, is an annual event run by the United Nations that aims to raise global population issues. There are more than 7.5 billion people on the planet, growing at a rate of about 227,000 people per day. This, in turn, can drive habitat loss. Humans have been widely blamed for causing what appears to be a sixth mass extinction.
Whether this initiative will get that message across, well, we’re not sure. But it’s certainly amusing nonetheless – and it has got a powerful meaning. Just remember, when you’re feeling tender, think about the hellbender.