Posted by: Stephan Muller | September 16, 2010

Time for a Change

“Our world is not only composed of human beings – but of other beings too” – Jane Goodall. She has been studying chimpanzees in Tanzania since 1960 (she was 26 at the time). Goodall has made clear that the technological inventions over the past 4 decades have allowed her to make advances in her studies. Samples have allowed to find the DNA, video cameras have made it easy to observe, and technological testing on the animals have made it possible to judge their intelligence. A 28 year old chimp that resides in Japan is able to play a video game on a computer. Now if that doesn’t sound very impressive, this will – If the chimp does not get the score that she wants to achieve, she would go up to the black window (where the experimenters are watching her) and tap it, making it clear she wants to try again. Goodall is challenging the thought that humans are so different from apes, monkeys, gorillas, etc. These animals are able to use technology, able to use tools, can live up to 60 years in the wild, and they have close family relations. They also use “human” emotions and gestures such as: compassion, happiness, anger, sadness, fear, and then kissing, hugging, fighting, etc. But the chimps are disappearing fast because of human actions, human wants, and human expansion. We are harming ourselves when we harm nature. The toxic gasses, the oil spills, the polluted water – these are all reasons that we are currently dealing with diseases that did not exist 20-30 years ago. What can we do about it? Goodall says that schools are not doing enough to raise awareness about nature. Teachers must take students out into nature more often. They must learn the beauty and the importance of it. All natures problems started started when money became the number one objective for human beings. People want to become as rich as possible – but some affect nature by doing so. We need money to live, but we shouldn’t live for money. Jane Goodall admits that her generation (she is 76) is largely responsible for the situation the world finds itself in. When college students tell her they are angered by what the previous generations have started, she feels nothing but shame. Countless amounts of species are endangered – on land as well as in the water. One thinks that a person cannot help the wellbeing of this planet by themselves. That person must realize that if he/she sets an appropriate example, people will follow, and we will be able to clean up this world together. I didn’t realize the state of our planet until I researched. In all honesty, I didn’t take the future of this world into consideration. But now I am aware. Roots and Shoots is an organization that was started by Jane Goodall, and tries to improve the current situation of our communities, the animals in and around them, and the environment as a whole. If you care about the future of your children, grandchildren, or even great-grandchildren, then please take a look at this website and spread the word.

At 76, she is still striving for the wellbeing of "her chimps"


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