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Jane Goodall on the Future, Aging and Conservation

MS: People think of you as the voice of the animal world. What does the animal world, what do chimpanzees, what would they say if they could speak? What is the voice of the natural world?

JG: 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. ” You know, give nature space – it is resilient. Unfortunately we’ve messed it up so much we have to go in and manage very often. We have to, otherwise they would all disappear. Which I don’t think they want to be managed – they might want to be helped from time to time.

MS: Many people think of you as a living legend. What do you think is your legacy and what would you like to be remembered most for?

JG: Well, partly for helping people understand the true nature of animals and to better understand their relationship to the rest of the natural world. And I think my job has become nowadays bringing hope to people. Because I think that’s my job.

MS: What’s your wish for the children of the future, or just in general for the future?

JG: Well, without the children there’s no future. That basically we come to our senses! That we really, truly do start regaining wisdom. If we just regain wisdom, and join our hearts to our heads, then I think in the future we would not be making the decisions that some of these big multinationals are making. We wouldn’t decide to throw pesticides over huge areas of the land knowing it’s actually going to harm not only the pests, but the biodiversity and eventually us. We wouldn’t be building nuclear plants not knowing what to do with the nuclear wastes. If we stopped doing all these things, if we just thought about the future. All these decision affect the future. So my hope for the future is that we learn wisdom again.

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For more information visit the Jane Goodall Institute and Roots & Shoots.

Photo of Jane Goodall (c) Michael Neugebauer

Read more: Behavior & Communication, Environment, Global Healing, Nature, Nature & Wildlife, Pets, Wildlife, , ,

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Marianne Schnall

Marianne Schnall is the founder of, a leading women’s website and nonprofit organization, and the cofounder of, a website promoting earth-friendly living. She is the author of Daring to Be Ourselves: Influential Women Share Insights on Courage, Happiness and Finding Your Own Voice.Through her writings, interviews, and websites, Marianne strives to raise awareness and inspire activism. For more information, visit and


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2:20PM PDT on May 27, 2013

Great interview!!

12:46PM PDT on Sep 25, 2011

You are such a wonderful inspiration, thank you for all that you have done!! Much Love

4:47AM PDT on Sep 18, 2011

Thank you!:))

12:55PM PDT on Sep 16, 2011

What a wonderful person Jane Goodall is.

6:15AM PDT on Sep 13, 2011

I love what she said about what the voice of the natural world would be! It's so true, I have always thought exactly that and I'm so glad that she's saying it :) What an amazing woman - someone whose values we must emulate!

9:07PM PDT on Sep 12, 2011

She is right, there is so much we can do. I hope that one day like she said, for the sake of our future we clean up our acts! Yes I am only one person, you are only one person but together we are many and can make a big difference! About 4 years ago I decided to be vegan and ever since I have learned more / experienced more of life then I ever imagined I could or would! It truly is an amazing feeling and its a small step towards a better future!

5:31AM PDT on Sep 12, 2011

"you get the white coated scientist who has a dog at home who’s part of the family who understands ever word I say – but then he goes and puts on his white coat and does unspeakable things to dogs in the name of science. There’s a real schizophrenia..." So true!

4:03AM PDT on Sep 12, 2011

Thank you for a very interesting article.

11:05PM PDT on Sep 11, 2011

good lessons from jane, thanks!

11:05PM PDT on Sep 11, 2011

good lessons from jane, thanks!

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