Jane Goodall Quotes On Animals, Nature, And Humanity


While Jane Goodall is first and foremost a scientist, her work with chimpanzees, environmental activism, and her influence on women’s rights have made her a unique kind of celebrity. Born in 1934, this English primatologist has initiated huge changes in the way people view both animals and humans. She has studied and advocated for animals for the past 60 years, and her work has inspired people in ways few other scientists have ever accomplished. Jane Goodall quotes speak not only about animals, but also about what it means to be human.

Goodall’s career as a famous primatologist is even more impressive considering she never set out to be a scientist and never earned a Bachelor’s degree. She skipped all undergraduate schooling and went straight for her PhD. She says that above everything, she has always loved animals and wanted to be a naturalist. Her fascination with Africa and its animals led her to a secretary job working with a Kenyan archaeologist. From there, her career snowballed until her name was recognized all over the world.

Goodall is most famous for her immersive study of chimpanzees in Tanzania. She was the first scientist to recognize that chimpanzees have individual personalities, form human-like bonds within their communities, and use tools for tasks such as finding food. She also discovered that chimpanzees are not strictly vegetarians as previously thought and that they can exhibit brutal and aggressive behavior toward themselves and other primates. She stunned the world when she became the first human to be accepted into a chimpanzee troop. Despite the danger, she was the lowest-ranking member of a chimpanzee troop for almost two years.

Above all, these Jane Goodall quotes teach us to treat all animals with respect and remind us that humans are not the only species with complicated thoughts and emotions.

  1. “Lasting change is a series of compromises. And compromise is all right, as long your values don’t change.”
  2. “If we do not do something to help these creatures, we make a mockery of the whole concept of justice.”
  3. “Let us develop respect for all living things.”
  4. “One thing I had learned from watching chimpanzees with their infants is that having a child should be fun.”
  5. “If we kill off the wild, then we are killing a part of our souls.”
  6. “The least I can do is speak out for those who cannot speak for themselves.”
  7. “I never wanted to be a scientist per se. I wanted to be a naturalist.”
  8. “We have the choice to use the gift of our life to make the world a better place–or not to bother.”
  9. “To reconnect with nature is key if we want to save the planet.”
  10. “Change happens by listening and then starting a dialogue with the people who are doing something you don’t believe is right.”
  11. “The greatest danger to our future is apathy.”
  12. “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.”
  13. “I like some animals more than some people, some people more than some animals.”
  14. “What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”
  15. “Here we are, the most clever species ever to have lived. So how is it we can destroy the only planet we have?”Jane Goodall quotes
  16. “Every individual matters. Every individual has a role to play. Every individual makes a difference.”
  17. “Let us try to replace violence and intolerance with understanding and compassion. And love.”
  18. “It actually doesn’t take much to be considered a difficult woman. That’s why there are so many of us.”
  19. “I’ve watched a lot of people who became famous who completely change and I think it’s because they tend to believe all the hype that’s out there. I don’t think there’s that much hype about me.”
  20. “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.”
  21. “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.”

We hope you enjoyed this collection of Jane Goodall quotes. If you know someone else who is a fan of her and all she does the animal kind, don’t forget to share.

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