The Incomparable Jane Goodall On Her Animal Rights Legacy

For those who don’t know who Jane Goodall is, look it up on Google.

Her name is everywhere as not only one of the most courageous women on the planet, but also a fierce advocate for the animals. The woman is in history book, guys! Get to know her.

Anyway, the legendary primatologist recently reflected about her life in an interview with People magazine, recalling that she first started loving animals after her first encounter with a chimpanzee. And in a way, she was “born loving animals.”

“I decided I would have to go to Africa and live with animals and write books about them,” she said, which is exactly what she did. “Eventually I was invited by a school friend and met the famous anthropologist, paleontologist Louis Leakey and he was the one who said would I go study not just any animal but the ones most like us, the chimpanzee.”

But, the 83-year old legend admits, working with monkeys wasn’t her first choice. “I was in love with elephants,” she explained. “It was just that [Leakey] offered me chimps, which fit into what I see as the mission of my life.”

She went on to say that working with chimpanzees allowed her to get scientists to change their attitude about animals quicker, seeing as they are more biologically like humans than any other.

“Scientists were saying, ‘There’s a sharp line dividing us from the other animals. We’re superior, we’re separate,’ ” she said. “But other animals are intelligent. Other animals have feelings and emotions.”

About her program Roots and Shoots, which helps to educate young people about animal and environmental conservation: “Its main message is that every single one of us makes a difference. Everyone has a role to play.” Currently in 98 countries, Jane “wants it go everywhere.”

“It’s so important because it’s showing to people that there is this beautiful wilderness area in China, these amazing animals,” she said. “In China, they are now trying to protect these areas… I’m gradually starting to realize [her career] is bigger than I ever could have dreamed it would be. When you’re brought into this life you’re given certain gifts and you have to use them.”

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