Every Day We Live, We Make an Impact: A Conversation with Dr. Jane Goodall
Dr. Jane Goodall: Me Jane to another chimpanzee would recognize it was me.
Michael Rivo: And that Jane is none other than Dr. Jane Goodall, the celebrated primatologist and lifelong conservationist sharing with us, the distinct greeting call of the chimpanzees she's been studying for the past 60 years. Welcome to another episode of Blazing Trails. I'm your host Michael Rivo from Salesforce studios. Jane Goodall has dedicated her life to protecting chimpanzees and fighting tirelessly for a better world. But today, like millions of people around the planet, Dr. Goodall is also in self isolation in her childhood home in England. In April, she joined Salesforce's Jody Kohner to talk about the powerful ways this pandemic is reminding us how we're all interconnected. But before we jump over to Jody, a quick word about work. com. Work. com is an all new suite of apps and resources that leaders around the world can use to reopen, re- skill employees and respond efficiently to the COVID- 19 pandemic. Reopening will be a journey, but work. com is your guide. To learn more, go to work. com. And now Salesforce's is Jody Kohner and Dr. Jane Goodall.
Jody Kohner: Hello. She is a renowned primatologist, anthropologist, conservationists, author, activist, trailblazer, personal hero of mine, treasure to the planet. She has been doing 60 years of groundbreaking work, studying chimpanzees in Tanzania, and really redefining species conservation. She is a UN messenger of peace, and she now dedicated all of her time to the Jane Goodall Institute, which she launched in 1977. Jane, welcome. Welcome to our little show here.
Dr. Jane Goodall: I'd like to thank you for inviting me and Marc Benioff and I have collaborated on planting trees, which of course is slightly halted right now. But I want to greet all of you listening from all around the world and hope that you're all keeping safe and well and all your loved ones as well. There's an awful lot of suffering. People who've lost their jobs and people who have loved ones who are sick or dying or dead, but the rest of us battle on, we don't know how long for, but we will get together and we will survive this, as we have survived other things in the past. This is just to welcome you all and say how happy I am to be here with you.
Jody Kohner: Thank you. And triggering off of that and what we have survived in the past, this is certainly not the first cross species contamination that you have lived through. When you were in Gombe Tanzania, the family of monkeys were stricken with polio, SARS, and HIV were also other cross species viruses. I'm wondering if you can speak for a little bit about what these occurrences have taught you and what we really need to learn from these incidents.
Dr. Jane Goodall: Well, I hope that this time we will really take to heart the lesson that this COVID- 19 virus. It's the first time the whole world has been shut down, but you say I've lived through other experiences. I lived through World War II. That was grim. We were fighting a known, seen enemy, now we're fighting an unseen, minute enemy in this virus. I was also in New York at that time of the destruction of the twin towers. That seemed like the ending of the world for a while. It did change the world. And I've been in other African countries when there was killing and rioting and things like that. But yes, the thing that people really need to understand is that we have brought this pandemic on ourselves. It's been predicted for years and years and years by people studying these so- called zoonotic diseases, that's diseases that jumped from animals to people. And very often it's things like the wet markets, that's where they sell alive and dead animals for meat in Asia. It's the bushmeat markets in Africa. It's our intensive farming of domestic animals. In all these situations, animals are crowded together with people, often in unhygienic, unsanitary, crowded, and extremely cruel conditions. And that gives the opportunity for a virus to cross the so- called species barrier. And it attaches itself to another virus in our bodies and we get these pandemics. Yes, you mentioned SARS, it was MERS that came from domestic Bactrian camels, HIV- 1, HIV- 2 came into places from eating chimpanzees. And we're moving deeper and deeper into the animal's habitat, destroying the forest. We're bringing animals in closer contact with each other, so that virus has jumped from one animal to another, that animal may be better able to pass it's viruses onto us. And then of course, animals are being pushed out into human communities because they're getting less and less of their own habitat, so with crop grading, for example. And this time let's hope and pray that we learn from this pandemic, which has hit everyone so hard commercially with loss of life, loss of jobs, loss of livelihoods, and try not to let this happen again. And the last thing I'd say on that, is that being with the chimpanzees, which aren't monkeys by the way, they're apes, taught me so much about how like us they are. And at the beginning, I was told by the scientists in 1960, mid 60s, that there was a difference in kind between us and other animals. And only we had personalities, minds and emotions. And of course I've been taught by my dog, rusty, I grew up with him. He taught me, we're not the only beings with personalities, minds, and emotions, but now the doors are opened and we're realizing it's not just primates, so like us, but elephants and dolphins, birds, pigs are as intelligent as dogs, more intelligent than some. They can enjoy painting and you can Google Pigcasso and-
Jody Kohner: Pigcasso, that's amazing. That's genius.
Dr. Jane Goodall: ...Birds. Some crows can do faster than eight year old humans. And these animals that are passing these viruses on unknowingly, the ones sold in the markets, the ones crammed into our intensive farms, they too are individuals with personalities, minds, and emotions. They feel fear, distress and certainly pain. We have to consider that as well as the effect on us. It's what we're doing to animals and to the natural world.
Jody Kohner: What do you think the role of businesses are right now? Never to your point, the whole world is impacted by this, and we're all having to really reconsider what our relationship is with the planet. What would your call to action be? What do you want businesses thinking about?
Dr. Jane Goodall: I think many businesses have already begun to think about their impact on the natural world and take steps to do things differently. And Salesforce is one of those businesses. And I can think of many more, even some of the oil and gas businesses are beginning to put more and more money into green energy, sustainable energy. Hopefully this is a wake up call that we need to do things differently because we have to realize that our human populations are growing. And this, determination, the economic development at the expense of the natural world, it's going to destroy us because already in some places we have natural resources are being used up faster than nature can replenish them. The 7.2 billion people now, 2050, they say 9. 7 and what will the planet do? We've got to think in a different way of how we interact with the planet and with each other.
Jody Kohner: I know you have grandchildren down in Africa, and I'm also curious to learn about, and I've been seeing that the COVID- 19 is on the rise down there, I'm curious if we're learning more about how this might be impacting the chimpanzees. Do you have any insights into what's happening there?
Dr. Jane Goodall: All the apes and many of the primates are potentially susceptible to the COVID- 19 virus. And we have two sanctuaries for orphaned chimps whose mothers have been killed for bushmeat. And then of course, there's the Gombe chimpanzees and JGI is also studying chimps in Uganda and Burundi and Mali and DRC. And so we're having to take as many precautions as we can. And anybody who goes into the field has to wear masks and have hygienic clothes that have just been washed, no visitors allowed. The sanctuaries are suffering because they've depended on tourism to keep going, some of them. And we have huge extra demands for sums of money that wasn't budgeted for, but we haven't been do it and also for Africa. In the US, as health benefits, there's some kind of care that money is being given to some NGOs and some businesses to tide them over and they're alone. In Africa, so many people just live day- to- day. They're little stallholders beside the roads. What are they going to do? They have absolutely no safety net. And so some leaders are saying," Well, we can't do shut down because people will die of starvation." It's very worrying to think that the surge in Africa is just beginning.
Jody Kohner: Is just beginning, right. Well, listen, you recently had a wonderful quote in the Washington Post talking about your hope and that you have hope and that you did live through world war II. And by the time you get to 86, you realize that we can overcome these things. There's a lot of doom and gloom out there, Jane, and I'm wondering about your message of hope and how you hope humanity is going to change after this.
Dr. Jane Goodall: One hopeful thing is everywhere, there are communities coming together and individuals to help. It's a spirit of community getting together, that is really wonderful to see. And also I'm hoping there are so many millions of people living in some of the big cities, who've never known what it is to breathe clean air, except perhaps fortnight's holiday somewhere, and to look up and see the starry sky in the middle of the city. And this is happening all over the world. If there's enough millions and millions of people, then ultimately those millions of people who do not want to go back to the old days of pollution will be able to push business and government to make the necessary steps, to prevent too many emissions and to do what it takes to prevent another pandemic, but also to keep nature whole.
Jody Kohner: And these are the types of messages that we're going to get to see in the documentary, I think it's called Jane Goodall, The Hope.
Dr. Jane Goodall: Yes.
Jody Kohner: I think we can all use a good dose of.
Dr. Jane Goodall: Yes. It's pretty amazing. It's happening now, isn't it?
Jody Kohner: I'm assuming you didn't know this was coming when you were filming this.
Dr. Jane Goodall: I think many people have seen the previous documentary Jane, they're concentrating on the early days, the wonderful days, the best days of my life. This is inaudible it's more about the work I've done as an activist and the impact it's had on so many different kinds of people going from some very poor person in the middle of nowhere in Africa, to people like James Baker and the head of NIH. I'm fascinated when I look back, I think," Hmm, that's strange. How did that happen?"
Jody Kohner: It's pretty remarkable. You've had a tremendous impact on this planet.
Dr. Jane Goodall: It's really staggers me. And I don't understand how this happened. It's nothing I fought for, or wanted. Yes, I wanted to help protect chimpanzees and get them out of medical research, other animals too. I wanted to fight the intensive farming, not just the animal farming, but the agricultural, because we're poisoning the land with chemicals. We're messing about with genetically modified food and it's dangerous.
Jody Kohner: Yeah, it is. You're sheltering in place, like everyone else, all humans around the world. And I feel like, and you were just alluding to as well that the call of the wild has just never been stronger. You see those starry nights. In India and Punjab, they can see the Himalayas, the pandas in the Hong Kong zoo are mating.
Dr. Jane Goodall: [ inaudible 00: 13:36], yeah.
Jody Kohner: Yes. I saw a fox in my neighborhood this week. I feel like the humans are inside and the nature has never been happier and we can't get out. And I'm curious to hear from you, someone who's drawn so much of your inspiration and your spirituality from being in nature, just how are you getting your nature fix?
Dr. Jane Goodall: I'm lucky. I'm in the house and it's a family home. It was my grandmothers, her son raised the money to buy it because she never had any money. She was married to a poor clergy man and it's got a lovely garden. And this is where I am now. Over here are the books that I read as a child, Tarzan and Dr. Doolittle. And there's a garden outside. You have a garden outside. I can see it behind you.
Jody Kohner: I do.
Dr. Jane Goodall: You can get out into the garden but some people can't and I've been a bit shocked recently to hear from people who have probably much larger homes, even than you, certainly larger than ours, who say, Oh, they feel they're imprisoned and their movements are curtailed and they're grossly and grumbly. Let them just imagine what it's like to be six people in one small room and told that you can't come out and beaten if you do.
Jody Kohner: Yeah.
Dr. Jane Goodall: I consider myself really lucky. I've got the garden, we've got birds. We have foxes. The foxes have always been around here. It's not rural, but it's the cliffs leading up from the ocean and I can take the dog out. He's unfortunately rather old and he's never liked walking. Nowadays he can walk even less. So sometimes-
Jody Kohner: Now, are you one of those people, Jane, who will put your dog in a baby carrier and push them around?
Dr. Jane Goodall: No, I do nothing that far.
Jody Kohner: Okay.
Dr. Jane Goodall: Either way, he wouldn't like it. He won't. Feels a bit like taking a reluctant snail for a walk.
Jody Kohner: Yes. A forced march.
Dr. Jane Goodall: Nature's everywhere, even in the inner city. We sometimes do program for young people, Roots and Shoots. We have them going around a city and they've actually found endangered species that nobody knew was there. And they've done citizen science and it's quite exciting.
Jody Kohner: I'm really happy to hear you bring up Roots and Shoots. I think I was just looking into this for my own kids. I wonder if you want to talk a little bit about that. There's so many parents at home with their kids and they're trying to keep them educated and entertained, and Roots and Shoots is just another real intimate program right now.
Dr. Jane Goodall: Yes. It's one of the things I'm proudest of really starting that back in 1991 with 12 high school students in Tanzania, it's now in 65 countries and growing. There's hundreds of thousands of young people from kindergarten, university and everything in between. And the main message of Roots and Shoots is, each one of us makes a difference every single day. And we have a choice as to what sort of difference we'll make. And that's all of us. And each group chooses for itself, three projects, one to help people, one help animals, one to help the environment. And then they don't all have to do the same thing, but they share their projects with each other. And we bring them together from around the world. And I would say over these years, hundreds and thousands of young people have been working to make this a better world and they keep their values. And there's a lot about that in this film, that's coming out. They keep their values, even when they're grown up and sometimes have very responsible positions. I go around China and people come up to me and say," Well, of course I care about the environment. I was in Roots and Shoots in primary school." It's having a huge impact. It's my greatest reason for hope.
Jody Kohner: I love that. I feel like everyone should do this. There should be no age limit on this.
Dr. Jane Goodall: I am reading books for the children. Some of the books I wrote for children, we called it, I think, Storytime with Jane or something, thinking all the time of other things to do to keep young people occupied. But just imagine this happening 20 years ago, we wouldn't have been able to have this sort of communication. The human intellect is amazing. It's the thing that makes us more different from the rest of the animals than anything. And it's bizarre that this intellectual being is destroying its only home, but hopefully the intellect is amazing. And this is just one example that I'm talking to people. I can't see you all, but I can feel you all there, and you'll-
Jody Kohner: And also that you're loved. More than any other guests that we've had Jane, we have had more children reaching out to send you their regards and to say hello, throughout the parents and the people who work at Salesforce. We've received well- wishes from Lily and from Eva and from Rex. And we got the most adorable video from a five- year- old boy named Theo. And we're going to email it to you afterwards.
Dr. Jane Goodall: Okay.
Jody Kohner: But he had a great question. His name is Theo Lorenzen. And he wanted to know if you still have your stuffed ape Jubilee.
Dr. Jane Goodall: Jubilee was given to me when I was one and a half years old and I still have him, but unfortunately he's on lockdown, just like the rest of us. He was part of an exhibition put on by the National Geographic. I think it's called Becoming Jane or something. And I was reluctant to let Jubilee go. He's very precious, he's 84 and a half years old.
Jody Kohner: Jubilee is on lock... They took him away from you?
Dr. Jane Goodall: No, I agreed because I thought it would be nice for people to see. I wouldn't let him go until they made a bulletproof case for him to be taken in the exhibit. But Theo, I do have Mr. H. And many people know Mr. H. I've had him for 28 years and he's with me everywhere. Given them to me by a blind magician who decided, he'd learned to skydive and he's learned to paint and he thought he was giving me a chimpanzee, but I made him hold the tail. I said," Gary, chimps don't have tails," and he said," Never mind take him where you go and you know my spirit's with you." He called Gary Haun and there's a little book that he's done called Blind Artists and in it is a portrait of Mr. H who he's never seen, only felt.
Jody Kohner: That is really lovely.
Dr. Jane Goodall: You can get it on Amazon. He published it himself under Gary Haun, it's H- A- U- N.
Jody Kohner: H- A- U- N.
Dr. Jane Goodall: Yeah.
Jody Kohner: Awesome. I will check that out. Okay. We have a few minutes left. Catherine has any of our employees submitted questions through chatter that we could take?
Catherine: Yeah. We have a couple of questions. The first question I have for you because you spent many years observing chimps out in the wild, what lessons have you learned from them that you've been able to apply to your own life?
Dr. Jane Goodall: First of all, they taught me how arrogant science was to maintain that there was this unbridgeable chasm between them and us, which just isn't true, but on a more intimate level, so to speak, in chimpanzee society, as in ours, there are good and less good mothers. I was fortunate in having a supportive mother who was the only person who didn't laugh at me when I was 10 and dreamed of going to Africa, living with animals and writing books about them. And she just said," Jane, if you really want something like this, you will have to work really hard, take advantage of every opportunity. But if you don't give up, you may find a way." And that's the message I take all around the world. And we find in chimps, we're now onto the fourth generation. And we find that the offspring of the protective affectionate, supportive mothers do better. The males reach a higher position in the hierarchy, sire more kids and the females are better mothers. And I also learned from watching some of the Chimp mothers, they have such fun with their babies. They play with them. They lie on their backs and the dangle them from their feet. They tickled them. They chase them around the trees. I'm going to have fun with my baby and I did.
Catherine: That's wonderful. And a somewhat related question. What was the greatest act of compassion that you witnessed between the different chimpanzees over your time observing them.
Dr. Jane Goodall: The most moving and compassionate is when an adult chimpanzee adopts a motherless orphan. Usually, it's as an older brother or sister, they almost automatically adopt an infant. The child must be at least three to survive because they suckle for five years, but sometimes unrelated adults or adolescents will adopt them and save their lives. And it's very moving to see.
Catherine: Thank you. Another one of our employees has asked, you've witnessed so many different things over the years and so many acts of cruelty towards others and animals. How are you able to keep your compassion and not get burnt out and bitter and angry? What tips do you have for us to kind of maintain that composure as well?
Dr. Jane Goodall: First of all, I'm pretty obstinate and I'm not going to give up. And the more people try and do things that I think are wrong, the more I'm going to tackle them. But I think the big secret is not to show aggression, not to point fingers, not to lay blame, but you've got to reach the heart. It's not much good arguing. And if you reach the heart, how do you do that? I do it with stories. I have some lovely stories I could tell you, but there isn't time. But if you can cause a person to think, even if they don't agree with you at the time, you leave a story with them that they then think about later. And I've got so many examples of people changing and don't make people lose face. It doesn't work.
Jody Kohner: Good advice always. Are there other questions, Catherine?
Catherine: Yeah, I have more questions. On another sad note, there have been reports of increased poaching in Africa related to COVID- 19. And so what are some ways that we can contribute now to the conservation efforts on the ground and support the local communities?
Dr. Jane Goodall: I think it's going to be very important to raise money, to enhance programs like ours or to carry program is working with the communities around Gombe and also in the other African countries. And if you want people to stop poaching, you have to do two things. One, you have to find alternative ways of people making a livelihood. If they were for instance, getting money from hunting, poaching, cutting down the forest for firewood or making charcoal and things. And secondly, you have to work on the demand. Our Roots in Shoots programs in Asia concentrating on telling people that rhino horn is just like fingernail. And pangolin scales won't help you and their bile could give you a disease. We work on that end, but I think people can truly help by supporting conservation programs on the ground involving local people. But it's true, poaching does go up because conservation organizations are no longer able to pay the Rangers, the national parks, same situation. People are starving and so they go and kill the animals in the parks or shoot elephants to sell the ivory, even though it's illegal.
Jody Kohner: Thank you for sharing that with us and giving us that important call to action, to get involved and to support these local conservation organizations. Is there anything you'd like to leave us with any parting words, anything you want us thinking about as we head into our weekends?
Dr. Jane Goodall: You have a weekend. I don't know what a weekend is to be honest, this just carries on for me, reading books for people and doing video messages and interviews and podcasts and you name it, we do it. But the parting words are, think of any which way you can get children involved in programs like Roots and Shoots. Think of how you personally can make a difference in your life, whether it's contributing money, whether it's raising awareness, there's always something people can do. And it depends who you are, what your interests are, but just, I think the most important thing to remember is that every day we live, we make an impact and think about the consequences of the small choices we make each day. What do we buy? What we wear? What we eat? Where did it come from? Did it harm the environment? Did it result in cruelty to animals. Is it cheap because of child slave labor or inappropriately paid laborers in some other country and try to make ethical choices. And when billions of people make ethical choices, we'll be moving towards a better world.
Jody Kohner: Thank you. Thank you for the impact that you have had on our world and us and just me personally. I'm so inspired by you. You are an absolute treasure. Please promise me you will take care during this very crazy time. And we hope to be talking with you again soon. Be well.
Michael Rivo: That was Dr. Jane Goodall with Jody Kohner, talking about how it's more urgent than ever to stop destroying the planet and to protect it. You can learn more about Jane's work by checking out the Jane Goodall Institute at janegoodall. org. I'm Michael Rivo from Salesforce studios. Thanks for joining us today.