Magazine article Vegetarian Times

One-on-One with Jane Goodall

Magazine article Vegetarian Times

One-on-One with Jane Goodall

Article excerpt

Nearly 50 years after she first joined legendary anthropologist Louis Leakey to study chimps in Africa, Jane Goodall, PhD, remains a force of nature herself. As leader of the international Jane Goodall Institute (janegoodall.org)- which she founded in 1977 to protect primates and their habitats- she travels the world teaching about the interconnectedness of all life and how we can help overcome ecological crises. Her 17th book, Hope for Animals and Their World, offers a renewed optimism about animals, humans, and our future together. VT caught up with Goodall, 75, a longtime vegetarian, at her family home in Bournemouth, England.

Q In the book's foreword, coauthor Thane Maynard writes, "I really have no idea why Jane and I are so disproportionately buoyant in such a time of loss." Where does your hope come from?

A Because of my endless traveling and the people I meet, I get told the good stories as well as the bad. One person I met, Don Merton in New Zealand, saved a bird called the black robin from extinction when [in 1976] only seven birds were left- there are about 600 or something now. I've seen with my own eyes that if you give nature a chance, she can bloom, even though we've destroyed a whole ecosystem, basically.

Q You write about "symbols of hope" you've collected- a leaf, a feather, tree bark. What symbols can we find in our own backyards?

A A symbol of hope could be a little plant coming up through concrete. You can treasure a child who's survived cancer. There are all kinds of symbols.

Q What changes can we make in our own lives to perpetuate the arc of hope you write about? …

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