Jane Goodall is a renowned primatologist, and conservationist acknowledged globally for her expertise regarding chimpanzees and her efforts for animal rights. She was one of the few who made ground-breaking discoveries about primate behavior and inspired people globally to conserve the nature around them and its divine energy.
Jane As A Child
Born in London on the 3rd of April 1934, Jane was a curious little girl. Fascinated by her favorite stories of Dr. Dolittle and Tarzan, Jane developed a special fondness for wild animals.
She even later comically claimed that Tarzan had married the wrong “Jane.”
Her father gave her a stuffed chimpanzee that she named “Jubilee.” She carried him everywhere she went, associating it with the hero chimpanzees of her bedtime stories.
She dreamt of traveling to Africa and living in the wild, much like her favorite story, Tarzan.
The Journey Of Jane
Once Goodall finished school and passed her Higher Examinations, she could not afford to go to the university. Instead, she decided to learn secretarial skills.
In 1956, the timeline for Jane Goodall took a drastic turn when her family friend invited her to visit a farm in Kenya. Once Goodall had saved up enough money, she bought tickets to a boat and sailed to the land of her dreams at the age of 23.
While she was in Kenya, Jane met the famous anthropologist and paleontologist, Dr. Louis Leakey. She discussed her love for primates with Leakey. Impressed with her passion, Dr. Leakey hired her as his secretary at the Coryndon Museum in Nairobi.
In 1957, Dr. Leakey sent Jane to the Gombe Stream Reserve in Tanzania.
By 1962, Jane had proved her skills and passion to Dr. Leakey, who made arrangements for Goodall at Cambridge University to receive her Doctorate. She was among the handful of people who completed her Ph.D. without going through an undergraduate program (a bachelor’s degree).
“THERE IS STILL SO MUCH IN THE WORLD WORTH FIGHTING FOR. SO MUCH THAT IS BEAUTIFUL, SO MANY WONDERFUL PEOPLE WORKING TO REVERSE THE HARM, TO HELP ALLEVIATE THE SUFFERING. AND SO MANY YOUNG PEOPLE DEDICATED TO MAKING THIS A BETTER WORLD. ALL CONSPIRING TO INSPIRE US AND TO GIVE US HOPE THAT IT IS NOT TOO LATE TO TURN THINGS AROUND, IF WE ALL DO OUR PART.”Dr. Jane Goodall
Accomplishments Of Jane Goodall
In the times when humans were considered to be the only beings smart enough to make tools out of uncomprehending things, Goodall discovered that chimpanzees, too, had similar knowledge. When she saw a chimp using a stick to prod into anthills and eat the ants stuck to it, she made the discovery.
It is also how Goodall changed the narrative that chimpanzees were vegetarians and did not eat meat.
Jane authored many books where she discussed how animals should be treated with respect and love. In her book Hope For Animals And Their World, Goodall specifically mentioned how with human efforts, we are now able to bring back several animal species from the verge of extinction, for example, the golden lion tamarin or the Giant pandas in China.
Jane was particularly criticized for naming her subject chimps instead of assigning them numbers. Her unorthodox methodology raised several eyebrows. People claimed that by naming the test subject, she was losing the objectivity of the research. On the other hand, Jane believed that those chimpanzees had a soul and personality and could not be referred to with numbers.
In 1991, Jane founded the “Roots and Shoots organization,” which primarily aimed to inspire young minds, encouraging and empowering them to become compassionate beings and conserve nature. She traveled to different countries to educate the fragile minds of the youth and help them make a difference on an individual level.
In 2002, Goodall established the Jane Goodall Institute. It is a global wildlife and conservation organization working day and night to protect the chimpanzees and become an inspiration for people to step forward with their efforts to protect the animals and the essence of nature.
She was also named in the same year a UN Messenger of Peace. Goodall is an honorary member of the World Future Council.
Jane Goodall set her focus on her dream of protecting the animals and dedicated her life to it. She made countless efforts to inspire the youth to follow in her footsteps. All she ever wanted was to rescue nature from falling into ashes before it was too late.
All we need to do is to take forward the animal rights debate that she started. Is that so hard?
“THE ADVICE I GIVE TO YOUNG PEOPLE TODAY IS EXACTLY WHAT MY MOTHER GAVE TO ME WHEN I WAS 10 AND I SAID I’M GOING TO GROW UP GO TO AFRICA, LIVE WITH WILD ANIMALS AND WRITE BOOKS ABOUT THEM. EVERYBODY LAUGHED. HOW COULD I DO THAT? WE DIDN’T HAVE ANY MONEY. WORLD WAR II WAS RAGING. I WAS JUST A GIRL. BUT MY MOTHER ALWAYS SAID, ‘IF YOU REALLY WANT SOMETHING, YOU’RE GOING TO HAVE TO WORK HARD, YOU’LL HAVE TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF EVERY OPPORTUNITY BUT DON’T GIVE UP.’ I’VE TAKEN THAT MESSAGE TO YOUNG PEOPLE…ALL AROUND THE WORLD.”Dr. Jane Goodall’s Advice