6 spot-on things Jane Goodall said about inequality and saving the planet.

Jane Goodall is one incredible woman.

You wouldn't expect Jane Goodall, who is basically the human form of Mother Earth, to talk about Mars.

But she makes a good point.

"The photographs obtained by that little robot that's crawling around the surface of Mars makes it very clear that the planet is not a hospitable environment for human colonization," the eco-octogenarian said during a recent speech at U.S. Department of State.


"We have to make do with planet Earth, and planet Earth has finite natural resources."


The red planet was just one of many unexpected topics Goodall talked about that didn't involve chimpanzees (except they all totally kind of do, in a way).

Here are six telling quotes from her speech that put a ton of big thoughts into perspective.

1. First and foremost, Goodall laid out how absurd it is that humans are even capable of ruining the planet.

Because when you think about it, it's the epitome of self-destruction.

Photo via Erik (HASH) Hersman/Flickr.

“How is it possible that the most intellectual creature to ever walk planet Earth is destroying its only home?"

As we mentioned, she brought up the fact our ventures to Mars have confirmed the red planet is not, in fact, a hospitable one for human life. And that means "we have to make do with planet Earth."

2. She told white folks that they gotta slow their roll when they want to help other places.

Throughout her speech, Goodall frequently discussed the success of her institute's TACARE program that, since its inception, has focused on listening to local communities first and then working with them to make better food, education, and health initiatives.

Photo by Nick Step/Flickr.

Unfortunately, that's not the same approach other aid groups have taken.

TACARE "began not in the way that so much well-intentioned but unfortunate aid has been delivered," she said. "It wasn't a bunch of white people arrogantly going out to these villages and telling them what we were going to do to make their lives better."

3. Goodall explained how her institute connected the dots between fighting poverty and fighting for the environment.

Because, in many respects, they're actually the same fight.

Photo via Festival della Scienza/Flickr.

Goodall explained to NPR how the correlation between financial desperation and environmental recklessness became increasingly clear in Tanzania, as there was "no way we can even attempt to save these precious Gombe chimpanzees" unless the needs of the people were met first.

As those people in Gombe were too poor to buy food, they were forced to cut down trees for money; their families needed to survive. This, in turn, destroyed the same forests chimpanzees depend on.

“Poverty is a huge force in the destruction of the environment, because when you're very poor, you're going to cut down the last trees in order to grow food to feed your family."

4. But poverty wasn't the only factor affecting Tanzania's forests. Gender equality, believe it or not, played a role too.

The correlation between empowering women and saving the environment may not be the most obvious. But Goodall detailed how her institute's work helping women in Gombe ended up saving trees (and her chimps' home).

Photo via Franz Johann Morgenbesser/Flickr.

After gaining the communities' trust, TACARE began prioritizing women's reproductive health and family planning services — a move that was "well-received by the villagers" because they, too, realized a growing population was leading to damaged farmland and unsustainable growth.

Family sizes needed to decrease. It was vital.

"The reason all the trees had gone, the reason the land was overused, was the sheer numbers of people."

The Jane Goodall Institute began helping girls and women access education through scholarships. As Goodall referenced in her speech, providing girls and women with access to an education has been a proven method in shrinking family sizes across the globe.

5. If you believe every person truly matters, the world can change. Just ask young people.

“Everywhere I go, there are young people with shining eyes, wanting to tell Dr. Jane what they've been doing to make the world a better place," she explained at the Department of State. That, she said, keeps her optimistic.

Goodall's Roots & Shoots program, aimed at getting youth involved in the protection of the Earth and its people, has expanded greatly since launching in 1991. Beginning with just 12 students in Tanzania, the program now works in 140 countries around the world.

Its fundamental message? “Every single individual matters," Goodall said during her speech. "Every single individual makes a difference, every day."



6. Because of both the human and environmental progress she's witnessed through her own institute, Goodall has high hopes for the future.

And it really all comes down to people.


Photo via Kafka4prez/Flickr.

“That indomitable human spirit — that's in every single one of us."

She's got a point. We humans really are one-of-a-kind.

As Goodall expressed so well, each one of us has the power to produce change.

And it can start with just one click. You can learn more about and support the Jane Goodall Institute by visiting the organization's website.

Watch Goodall's speech in front of the Department of State below:

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Don't test on animals. That's something we can all agree on, right? No one likes to think of defenseless cats, dogs, hamsters, and birds being exposed to a bunch of things that could make them sick (and the animals aren't happy about it, either). It's no wonder so many people and organizations have fought to stop it. But did you ever think that maybe brands are testing products on us too, they're just not telling us they're doing it?

I know, I know, it sounds like a conspiracy theory, but that's exactly what e-cigarette brands like JUUL (which corners the e-cigarette market) are doing in this country right now, and young people are on the frontlines of the fallout. Most people assume that the government would have looked at devices that allow people to inhale unknown chemicals into their lungs BEFORE they hit the market. You would think that someone in the government would have determined that they are safe. But nope, that hasn't happened. And vape companies are fighting to delay the government's ability to evaluate these products.

So no one really knows the long-term health effects of e-cigarette use, not even JUUL's CEO, nor are they informing the public about the potential risks. On top of that, according to the FDA, there's been a 78% increase in e-cigarette usage among high school and middle school-aged children in just the last two years, prompting the U.S. Surgeon General to officially recognize the trend as an epidemic and urge action against it.

These facts have elicited others to take action, as well.

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The March Against JUUL | Tested On Humans | truth www.youtube.com

"No one knows the long-term effects of JUULing so any human who uses one is being used as a lab rat," says, appropriately, Mario the Sewer Rat.

"I will never stop fighting JUUL. Or the mailman," notes Doug the Pug, the Instagram-famous dog star.

Truth, the national counter-marketing campaign for youth smoking prevention, hopes this fuzzy, squeaky, snorty animal movement arms humans with the facts about vaping and inspires them to demand transparency from JUUL and other e-cigarette companies. You can get your own fur babies involved too by sharing photos of them wearing protest gear with the hashtag #DontTestOnHumans. Here's some adorable inspo for you:

The dangerous stuff is already out there, but with knowledge on their side, young people will hopefully make the right choices and fight companies making the wrong ones. If you need more convincing, here are the serious facts.

Over the last decade, 127 e-cigarette-related seizures were reported, which prompted the FDA to launch an official investigation in April 2019. Since then, over 215 cases of a new, severe lung illness have sprung up all over the country, with six deaths to date. While scientists aren't yet sure of the root cause, the majority of victims were young adults who regularly vaped and used e-cigarettes. As such, the CDC has launched an official investigation into the potential link.

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Photo by Lindsay Fox/Pixabay

Consumers have a right to know what they're putting in their bodies. If everyone (and their pets) speaks up, the e-cigarette industry will have to make a change. Young people are already taking action across the country. They're hosting rallies nationwide and on October 9 as part of a National Day of Action, young people are urging their friends and classmates to "Ditch JUUL." Will you join them?

For help with quitting e-cigarettes, visit thetruth.com/quit or text DITCHJUUL to 88709 for free, anonymous resources.

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