100 Quotes by Jane Goodall

Jane Goodall, a pioneering scientist and primatologist, redefined our understanding of animal behavior and human-animal relationships. With an unyielding passion for chimpanzees, she ventured into the forests of Gombe, Tanzania, observing these creatures with an empathetic and patient eye, attributing them individual personalities and emotions previously reserved for humans. Her revolutionary work challenged the prevailing scientific notion of the time that separated humans from other animals based on intelligence and emotion. Goodall's meticulous observations, like witnessing tool usage among chimps, shattered this boundary and unveiled our shared evolutionary story. Beyond her scientific contributions, she ignited a global conservation movement, advocating for the protection of chimpanzees and their habitats. Jane Goodall's life illuminates the interconnectedness of all life forms, reminding us that our responsibility extends beyond our own species to safeguard the entire tapestry of existence.

Jane Goodall Quotes


What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.

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Every individual matters. Every individual has a role to play. Every individual makes a difference.

You aren't going to save the world on your own. But you might inspire a generation of kids to save it for all of us. You would be amazed at what inspired children can do.

Let us develop respect for all living things. Let us try to replace violence and intolerance with understanding and compassion. And love.

Empathy is really important.. Only when our clever brain and our human heart work together in harmony can we achieve our full potential.

Chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutan shave been living for hundreds of thousands of years in their forest, living fantastic lives, never overpopulating, never destroying the forest. I would say that they have been in a way more successful than us as far as being in harmony with the environment.

Only if we understand, can we care. Only if we care, we will help. Only if we help, we shall be saved.

If you really want something, and really work hard, and take advantage of opportunities, and never give up, you will find a way.. Follow your Dreams.

For those who have experienced the joy of being alone with nature there is really little need for me to say much more; for those who have not, no words of mine can ever describe the powerful, almost mystical knowledge of beauty and eternity that come, suddenly, and all unexpected.

To me, cruelty is the worst of human sins. Once we accept that a living creature has feelings and suffers pain, then by knowingly and deliberately inflicting suffering on that creature, we are guilty, whether it be human or animal.

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The least I can do is speak out for those who cannot speak for themselves.

Above all we must realize that each of us makes a difference with our life. Each of us impacts the world around us every single day. We have a choice to use the gift of our life to make the world a better place - or not to bother

Your life matters. You can't live through a day without making an impact on the world. And what's most important is to think about the impact of your actions on the world around you.

The greatest danger to our future is apathy.

Each one of us matters, has a role to play, and makes a difference. Each one of us must take responsibility for our own lives, and above all, show respect and love for living things around us, especially each other.

Change happens by listening and then starting a dialogue with the people who are doing something you don't believe is right.

If we kill off the wild, then we are killing a part of our souls.

Here we are, the most clever species ever to have lived. So how is it we can destroy the only planet we have?

Farm animals are far more aware and intelligent than we ever imagined and, despite having been bred as domestic slaves, they are individual beings in their own right. As such, they deserve our respect. And our help. Who will plead for them if we are silent? Thousands of people who say they ‘love’ animals sit down once or twice a day to enjoy the flesh of creatures who have been treated so with little respect and kindness just to make more meat.

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I had a wonderful teacher about animal behavior - my dog Rusty. He taught me that animals have personalities, minds, and feelings.

We are beginning to learn that each animal has a life and a place and a role in this world. If we place compassion and care in the middle of all our dealings with the animal world and honor and respect their lives, our attitudes will change.

If only we can overcome cruelty, to human and animal, with love and compassion we shall stand at the threshold of a new era in human moral and spiritual evolution - and realize, at last, our most unique quality: humanity.

However much you know giraffes, to see one in the wild for the first time feels prehistoric.

Having respect for animals makes us better humans.

There would be very little point in my exhausting myself and other conservationists themselves in trying to protect animals and habitats if we weren't at the same time raising young people to be better stewards.

We are unique. Chimpanzees are unique. Dogs are unique. But we humans are just not as different as we used to think.

My mission is to create a world where we can live in harmony with nature.

Every individual matters and has a role to play in this life on Earth.

Young people, when informed and empowered, when they realize that what they do truly makes a difference, can indeed change the world.

We have the choice to use the gift of our life to make the world a better place--or not to bother

It is these undeniable qualities of human love and compassion and self-sacrifice that give me hope for the future. We are, indeed, often cruel and evil. Nobody can deny this. We gang up on each one another, we torture each other, with words as well as deeds, we fight, we kill. But we are also capable of the most noble, generous, and heroic behavior.

It would be absolutely useless for any of us to work to save wildlife without working to educate the next generation of conservationists.

The most important thing is to actually think about what you do. To become aware and actually think about the effect of what you do on the environment and on society. That's key, and that underlies everything else.

We're the ones who can make a difference. If we lead lives where we consciously leave the lightest possible ecological footprints, if we buy the things that are ethical for us to buy and don't buy the things that are not, we can change the world overnight.

We could change the world tomorrow if all the millions of people around the world acted the way they believe.

When I look back over my life it's almost as if there was a plan laid out for me - from the little girl who was so passionate about animals who longed to go to Africa and whose family couldn't afford to put her through college. Everyone laughed at my dreams. I was supposed to be a secretary in Bournemouth.

Chimpanzees, more than any other living creature, have helped us to understand that there is no sharp line between humans and the rest of the animal kingdom. It's a very blurry line, and it's getting more blurry all the time.

I became intensely aware of the being-ness of trees. The feel of rough sun-warmed bark of an ancient forest giant, or the cool, smooth skin of a young and eager sapling, gave me a strange, intuitive sense of the sap as it was sucked up by unseen roots and drawn up to the very tips of the branches, high overhead.

Thousands of people who say they "love" animals sit down once or twice a day to enjoy the flesh of creatures who have been utterly deprived of everything that could make their lives worth living and who endured the awful suffering and the terror of the abattoirs.

It's up to us to save the world for tomorrow: it's up to you and me.

The voice of the natural world would be, "Could you please give us space and leave us alone to get along with our own lives and our own ways, because we actually know much better how to do it then when you start interfering."

I think I'd like to be remembered as someone who really helped people to have a little humility and realize that we are part of the animal kingdom not separated from it.

Farm animals feel pleasure and sadness, excitement and resentment, depression, fear, and pain. They are far more aware and intelligent than we ever imagined...they are individuals in their own right.

To reconnect with nature is key if we want to save the planet.

You're thinking about putting scientists into small cages and doing research on them. I wish it could happen sometimes.

I have found that to love and be loved is the most empowering and exhilarating of all human emotions.

It's easy to become hopeless. So people must have hope: the human brain, the resilience of nature, the energy of young people and the sort of inspiration that you see from so many hundreds of people who tackle tasks that are impossible and never give up and succeed.

The tree I had in the garden as a child, my beech tree, I used to climb up there and spend hours. I took my homework up there, my books, I went up there if I was sad, and it just felt very good to be up there among the green leaves and the birds and the sky.

I do not want to discuss evolution in such depth, however, only touch on it from my own perspective: from the moment when I stood on the Serengeti plains holding the fossilized bones of ancient creatures in my hands to the moment when, staring into the eyes of a chimpanzee, I saw a thinking, reasoning personality looking back. You may not believe in evolution, and that is all right. How we humans came to be the way we are is far less important than how we should act now to get out of the mess we have made for ourselves.

One thing I had learned from watching chimpanzees with their infants is that having a child should be fun.

Anyone who tries to improve the lives of animals invariably comes in for criticism from those who believe such efforts are misplaced in a world of suffering humanity.

We have to create more and more vegetarians, and help people to understand that it is not only the suffering of the animals (which is what made me vegetarian) but also the incredible harm to the environment, the tremendous amount of greenhouse gas created by the whole vast machinery of intensive animal farming.

Here we are, arguably the most intelligent being that's ever walked planet Earth, with this extraordinary brain ... and yet we're destroying the only home we have.

People say to me so often, 'Jane how can you be so peaceful when everywhere around you people want books signed, people are asking these questions and yet you seem peaceful,' and I always answer that it is the peace of the forest that I carry inside.

Cumulatively small decisions, choices, actions, make a very big difference.

I don't have any idea of who or what God is. But I do believe in some great spiritual power. I feel it particularly when I’m out in nature. It’s just something that's bigger and stronger than what I am or what anybody is. I feel it. And it's enough for me.

I don't care two hoots about civilization. I want to wander in the wild.

I've got different ideas of complete happiness. But one is being by myself out in a forest, completely happy. Another is walking with a dog in some nice place. And three is sitting around preferably a fire, but not necessarily, and drinking red wine with friends and telling stories.

We started off with physical evolution and got our form. Then we somehow developed language, which meant cultural evolution could race so we could change our behavior really quickly instead of over hundreds and hundreds of years. And then comes moral evolution, which means we're not frightfully far along with people. And maybe we end up with a spiritual evolution, which is this connectedness with the rest of the life forms on the planet.

My mother always taught us that if people don't agree with you, the important thing is to listen to them. But if you've listened to them carefully and you still think that you're right, then you must have the courage of your convictions.

One individual cannot possible make a difference, alone. It is individual efforts, collectively, that makes a noticeable difference - all the difference in the world!

My mission is to create a world where we can live in harmony with nature. And can I do that alone? No. So there is a whole army of youth that can do it. So I suppose my mission is to reach as many of those young people as I can through my own efforts.

As human beings, we can encompass a vague feeling of what the universe is, and all in this funny little brain here - so there has to be something more than just brain, it has to be something to do with spirit as well.

Today it is generally accepted that although the earliest humans probably ate some meat, it was unlikely to have played a major role in their diet. Plants would have been a much more important source of food.

People don't believe that their actions really and truly are going to make a difference. But kids get it. They know. And they get all excited about the difference they're making.

Someday we shall look back on this dark era of agriculture and shake our heads. How could we have ever believed that it was a good idea to grow our food with poisons?

Lasting change is a series of compromises. And compromise is all right, as long your values don't change.

We have turned away from the natural world. Instead, it's all about money and power.

Become as knowledgeable as possible.

I like some animals more than some people, some people more than some animals.

What makes us human, I think, is an ability to ask questions, a consequence of our sophisticated spoken language.

It's been proven by quite a few studies that plants are good for our psychological development. If you green an area, the rate of crime goes down. Torture victims begin to recover when they spend time outside in a garden with flowers. So we need them, in some deep psychological sense, which I don't suppose anybody really understands yet.

If you look through all the different cultures. Right from the earliest, earliest days with the animistic religions, we have sought to have some kind of explanation for our life, for our being, that is outside of our humanity.

Science demands objective factual evidence - proof; spiritual experience is subjective and leads to faith.

The only possible way to get somebody to change is to reach into their hearts.

We have so far to go to realize our human potential for compassion, altruism, and love.

It's not that humans and non-humans are identical... but the lack of understanding that led to the slave trade is the same lack of understanding many people have about animals today. When slaves were brought over from Africa, many people believed they were not humans, that they didn't have feelings. Many people believe that primates and other animals don't have feelings, too, but they do.

Animals are as deserving of a place on this planet as we are, and the difference between us is that humans have a voice they can use to help the animal cause, and it is up to all of us to use it to make a positive difference!

I've always felt you don't have to be completely detached, emotionally uninvolved to make precise observations. There's nothing wrong with feeling great empathy for your subjects.

It's not a pretty picture, but there are reasons for hope.

We can't leave people in abject poverty, so we need to raise the standard of living for 80% of the world's people, while bringing it down considerably for the 20% who are destroying our natural resources.

The more we learn of the true nature of non-human animals, especially those with complex brains and corresponding complex social behavior, the more ethical concerns are raised regarding their use in the service of man - whether this be in entertainment, as "pets," for food, in research laboratories, or any of the other uses to which we subject them.

I'm always pushing for human responsibility. Given that chimpanzees and many other animals are sentient and sapient, then we should treat them with respect.

Chimps are far too much human to be my favorite animal.

We seem to have lost the wisdom of the indigenous people, which dictated that in any major decision, the first consideration was 'How will this decision we're making today affect our people in the future? These days, decisions are made based on the bottom line.

Children can change the world.

Cultural speciation had been crippling to human moral and spiritual growth. It had hindered freedom of thought, limited our thinking, imprisoned us in the cultures into which we had been born. These cultural mind prisons. Cultural speciation was clearly a barrier to world peace. So long as we continued to attach more importance to our own narrow group membership than to the ‘global village’ we would propagate prejudice and ignorance.

We are always talking about how we can get more environmental and humanitarian education. It is about listening to the voice of young people - how they feel, and what would be most meaningful for them.

That's what keeps me going. Everywhere I go there are young people with shining eyes wanting to tell me, "Dr. Jane, we're going to make the world a better place."

Especially females and the younger ones like to be with somebody who is wise.

I wouldn't even like to begin to define God - I have absolutely no idea. But what I feel, and what touches me, is a great spiritual power, which I don't even want to name. If I had to, I would say God, because I don't know any other.

I still think we are smart enough to not destroy planet Earth, our only home.

The least I can do is speak out for the hundreds of chimpanzees who, right now, sit hunched, miserable and without hope, staring out with dead eyes from their metal prisons. They cannot speak for themselves.

Words can enhance experience, but they can also take so much away. We see an insect and at once we abstract certain characteristics and classify it - a fly. And in that very cognitive exercise, part of the wonder is gone. Once we have labeled the things around us we do not bother to look at them so carefully. Words are part of our rational selves, and to abandon them for a while is to give freer reign to our intuitive selves.

You may not believe in evolution, and that is all right. How we humans came to be the way we are is far less important than how we should act now to get out of the mess we have made for ourselves.

Be assured that our individual actions, collectively, make a huge difference.

Especially now when views are becoming more polarized, we must work to understand each other across political, religious and national boundaries.

Lasting change is a series of compromises.

You cannot share your life with a dog, as I had done in Bournemouth, or a cat, and not know perfectly well that animals have personalities and minds and feelings.

I just have this absolute belief that humans are moving away from cruelty and destruction towards a time when we can truly live in harmony with nature. When we understand that there is a spiritual power around us from which we can draw strength. That is where I believe human destiny ultimately is taking us. I just hope we have time.

One cannot watch chimpanzee infants for long without realizing that they have the same emotional need for affection and reassurance as human children.

The problem of the chimps is that they can only sit and look. They can't discuss what they feel. All that feeling is trapped within each one.

Every stage of my life set the scene for the next, and at each point all I had to do was say "yes" and not think too much about the consequences.

Most Africans don't get to see these wild animals at all. Once they see and learn about them, they are much more likely to become involved in protecting the environment.

There are an awful lot of scientists today who believe that before very long we shall have unraveled all the secrets of the universe. There will be no puzzles anymore. To me, it'd be really, really tragic because I think one of the most exciting things is this feeling of mystery, feeling of awe, the feeling of looking at a little live thing and being amazed by it and how it has emerged through these hundreds of years of evolution and there it is and it is perfect and why.

Certainly, if you look at human behavior around the world, you have to admit that we can be very aggressive.

I believe sharing stories and experiences is the best way to teach people to empathize!

There isn't a sharp line dividing humans from the rest of the animal kingdom. All the time, we find animals doing things that, in our arrogance, we thought were just human.

I think the most important thing to do is to be willing to listen, willing to care, and willing to admit mistakes and change your ways for the better!

From my perspective, I absolutely believe in a greater spiritual power, far greater than I am, from which I have derived strength in moments of sadness or fear. That's what I believe, and it was very, very strong in the forest.

It was both fascinating and appalling to learn that chimpanzees were capable of hostile and territorial behavior that was not unlike certain forms of primitive human warfare.

every individual can make a difference ... if we continue to leave decision making to the so-called decision makers, things will never change.

My family has very strong women. My mother never laughed at my dream of Africa, even though everyone else did because we didn't have any money, because Africa was the 'dark continent', and because I was a girl.

We now know that the structure of the DNA in humans and chimpanzees differs by only just over one percent. You could even have a blood transfusion from a chimp, provided you have the same blood group.

You have to really care about what you say. And if you don't, it will never come out quite right, unless you go into acting, in which case you have to act fast before you realize it is something which you do not believe in.

I feel a desperation to make people see what we are doing to the environment, what a mess we are making of our world. At this point, the more people I reach, the more I accomplish. ... I miss Gombe and my wonderful years in the forest But if I were to go back to that, I wouldn't feel I was doing what I should be doing.

If a chimp who has been abused horribly by humans can help a human friend in a time of need, how much more should we help the animals - and other people for that matter - in their time of need?

The hardest part of returning to a truly healthy environment may be changing the current totally unsustainable heavy-meat-eating culture of increasing numbers of people around the world. But we must try. We must make a start, one by one.

I've learned that if you want people to join in any kind of conservation effort, you have to help them to care with their hearts, not just their heads.

If you work hard and be persistent, you will achieve whatever you want to do.

There is a lot of corruption all over the world and not only when it comes to illegal wildlife trade! There are a few ways to ensure this stops: If there are no customers, there will be no trade.

And always I have this feeling--which may not be true at all--that I am being used as a messenger.

My hope for the future is that we learn wisdom again.

There are many animal-welfare groups that sometimes seem to forget that human beings are animals too, that we need to include them in our sphere of compassion.

I get upset when so many people say there are all sorts of problems in Africa and India where they have these big families. They don't realize that 10 children in rural Tanzania will use less natural resources in a year than one middle class American child. People don't think like that.

I believe the only hope for mankind lies in the hands of our young people.

There have been too many events in my life, and in the lives of my friends, which have defied any kind of scientific explanation. Science does not have appropriate tools for the dissection of the spirit.

Women tend to be more intuitive, or to admit to being intuitive, and maybe the hard science approach isn't so attractive. The way that science is taught is very cold. I would never have become a scientist if I had been taught like that.

Being evil is something that only humans are capable of.

The awful thing is we don't respect each other.

To me, trees are living beings and they have their own sort of personalities.

As thy days, so shall thy strength be.

The refugees flee to protect their families from violence; the Europeans, on the other hand, fear for their jobs that they need to feed their families.

I have never had an animal that didn't have a personality, one differing from another.

Every individual can make a difference every day by making conscious choices.

The more we spread the word, the further it will go and more it will change!

Animals have personalities and minds and emotions.

We can learn to suppress our feelings for other reasons.

If you educate women, family size tends to go down.

― Jane Goodall Quotes

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Tal Gur is an author, founder, and impact-driven entrepreneur at heart. After trading his daily grind for a life of his own daring design, he spent a decade pursuing 100 major life goals around the globe. His journey and most recent book, The Art of Fully Living, has led him to found Elevate Society.

 
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