Report from Santa Fe; Jane Goodall
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Report from Santa Fe is made possible in part by a grant from the members of the National Education Association of New Mexico. An organization of professionals who believe that investing in public education is an investment in our state's economic future. I'm Lorraine Mills, welcome to Report from Santa Fe. Our guest today is Dr. Jane Goodall, most well-known for her work on chimpanzees, but also an emissary of peace and a world famous author. Welcome to New Mexico and welcome to Report from Santa Fe. Thank you. I was going to list a few of your accomplishments, and I don't want to embarrass you, but I think people should know. In 2001, you got the Gandhi Martin Luther King Prize for Nonviolence. In 2002, Kofi Annan, the United Nations, named you a United Nations Ambassador of Peace, for which you were the dove of which there are only 11? That's right, and Kofi himself was one, and he has a point of 10 messengers of peace.
And you're bringing your message here to us. Thank you. Also in 2003, Queen Elizabeth knighted you and made you a name of the British Empire. So we'd like to welcome you to New Mexico and to thank you for all the work that you've done. Give us a little about your background. How you came to this because it's a most extraordinary story. It is actually very unlikely, because I was born in England to a family with very little money. We couldn't afford a bicycle, let alone a motor car. And then I grew up during the years of World War II, and I was always passionate about animals. I had an amazing mother. She supported my interest. And when, somewhere between 10 and 11, I read books about Tarzan of the Apes. It was, of course, passionately in love with him. And very jealous of that wimpy jank. I thought I would have been a better mate myself, which I would have been. So this was when I grew up, I would go to Africa, live with animals, write books about them. But everybody laughed. I mean, how could I do that? Africa was still the dark continent. And we didn't have any money. And there were no 747s going back and forth. So no wonder they laughed, except my mother.
And she used to always say, you know, that if we really wanted something and we worked hard and we took advantage of our opportunity, we never gave up, we would find a way. So when I left school at 18, I didn't go to university like my friends or most of them. We couldn't afford it. And you couldn't get a scholarship, and they were good in a foreign language. So it was my mother who said, well, do a secretarial training. Then you can perhaps get a job in Africa. So this is what I did. And the school friend gave me the opportunity when her parents moved to Kenya. I was invited for a holiday. I saved up my wages and tips by working as a waitress to get that first boat fare. And that was it. Then I met the late Louis Leakey. And he realized that I really did passionately want to go out in the bush. And I didn't care about hairdressing and makeup and parties and all that stuff. And eventually was able to find the money and get the permission for me to go and study chimpanzees, our closest living relatives.
I understand he had been looking for certain qualities in the researcher, one of which was great patience. And a keen eye for observing the chimpanzees, which you certainly had. And I believe he also didn't want a mind-encumbered by scientific theory and all of that. So what was your experience when you finally were able to go to the, it was not a preserve, it was a park then. It became a park, but it was protected at that time. And of course the awful thing was that the chimpanzees were so afraid of this peculiar white ape. They'd never seen such a thing before. They would run away. And so those early weeks turning to a one month, two months. I knew if I didn't see something really exciting that the money would never be renewed. He'd only had money for six months. Some wealthy American businessman said, alright, we'll give it a try. And the months going by, and then finally the breakthrough observation, seeing the one chimpanzee who'd begun to lose his fear, David Graveyard, crouched over a termite mound and using pieces of grass as tools.
We have actually a few pictures that we want to show. This is one of her wonderful books called The Chimpanzees I Love. And we actually have the picture of the tool bearing activity that you discovered. And I'll just hold it here while you talk about that. The reason this was so exciting using pieces of grass to fish for termites is that at that time it was thought that only humans used and made tools. And the chimpanzees would sometimes strip leaves. That's the beginning of toolmaking. It was thought that that differentiated us from the rest of the animal kingdom more than anything else. So we were known as man, the toolmaking animal. Man, the toolmaker. So Lewis said, well I sent him a telegram. Now we must redefine man, redefine tool or accept chimpanzees as humans. And that was the first time that the chimpanzees showed themselves capable of doing things which we had thought made us unique.
And over these 45 years of the study, the line which we used to think so sharp, well I never did, but science did, between humans and the rest of the animal kingdom. It's a very, very blurry line. We're just not as unique as we used to think. But as that line blurred, did that not send shock waves to the scientific community? And at first, because I had no degree back then, they decided to discount it. I was a girl too. I mean girls didn't do that sort of thing. I was untrained. I had no degree. I had to go back later and get a degree. So this is Cambridge? Yes. And Lewis said there was no time for a BA, so I had to go straight for a PhD. And they told me I'd done everything wrong. I shouldn't have named the chimps. I couldn't talk about personality mind or emotion because those were unique for us. But fortunately, all through my childhood I had this amazing teacher who taught me absolutely that animals do have personality mind and feeling. And that was my dog Rusty. He gave me the courage of my conviction.
I'd like to just show another picture here. Can you tell us about, is this David Greybeard? No, this is way back in the early days when we still... I mean, you can imagine that when beings have been running away from you in fear and suddenly you're able to actually touch. This was, you know, I wouldn't have foregone it for anything. But once we... And this is Figgin, the most intelligent chimp we've ever had who went on to become top male for ten whole years. And, you know, once we realized that the study was going to continue, then it came obvious that we shouldn't be touching them. We wanted to see their natural behaviour. So we withdrew. Just one more picture I'd like to show because when you look at these faces, I just... I'm so moved. Fifi's daughter, Fanny, with Fifi's grandson Fax. And this picture I love because it so well illustrates this tenderness between mother and child. I think one of the most important aspects of my study has been to show the tremendous importance of early experience, the difference that different kinds of mothering makes.
And it affects the whole subsequent life of the child. It affects behaviour and the adult. And we think it's the same for humans. It's a, you know, it's a real message to say early experience, early childhood is so important. And yet politically, these issues are often right at the bottom of the pile. Early childhood programs get cut all the time. And it's a huge mistake. Then there's a sort of mirroring because you observed the family and the maternal instinct of the chimpanzees before you had your own son and learned from them. And then when you studied them after being a mother yourself, you found that it affected how you saw them. Tell me a little about that. Actually, it was really interesting. I realized from watching the chimpanzees that the most important thing for an infant chimpanzee was to have a mother who was protective, tolerant, patient, and above all supportive. And the child needs reassurance. These are constant, stable relationships. That's the key. And infants with mothers more harsh and less protective and above all less supportive tend to grow up as individuals who find it difficult to form relaxed relationships. They're always more tense.
And if that's the same for humans, then that could explain a lot of adolescent dysfunctional behavior. But anyhow, I saw this with the chimps. And when I had my son, I thought, well, you know, I wanted to give him that kind of upbringing. Looking back, I found, well, actually my mother treated me the same. So whether I learned from the chimps or it was inherited from my mother, it's the same. And then when I saw the chimps with their infants, the females, the mothers, behavior which some people couldn't understand, especially the men who were watching. The baby is asleep. The mother's holding the child. Some other individual approaches and accidentally sneezes or something and makes the baby jump and the mother gets mad. But when I had my own baby, I would have these irrational, you know, how can you be disturbing my child? So I understood better why they did what they did.
One of the things you talk about in this magnificent biography, it's called Reason for Hope. And I couldn't put it down. I think it's a wonderful piece. But you describe, it is your life. It is the autobiography. But there's this constant evaluation of good and evil in what is the nature of man? What is the nature of God? What is the nature of the chimpanzee? I know that this is a question that's never answered. But where are you standing now, especially in terms of your messenger of peace? Is the goodness of man on top? Well, I think the interesting thing is the chimps, so like us, more like us than any other living creature, they have their dark side too. I was shocked to find out that they also were capable of brutality and violence, even a kind of primitive war. And a lot of scientists suggested I downplay that side because they said if we had a common ancestor, like six million years ago. And it was possible that chimpanzees and humans had inherited aggressive tendencies, therefore war and violence are inevitable in our own species.
And I do believe we've inherited tendencies of violence. You can't look around this troubled world and not realise that we're capable of being very, very brutal and aggressive. But our intellect is more developed. We are truly capable of controlling our behaviour, and we're not doing a very good job of it. But we all know, I mean, you sometimes people say I could kill her, but they don't, they don't go and kill. We do control ourselves most of the time. So war and violence is not inevitable, and look back on Europe 100 years ago, bloody wars everywhere, and now peace, at least in Western Europe. And so, yes, Africa is in turmoil. Yes, a lot of Eastern Europe and the East is in turmoil. But there is a way forward. This edition of Reason for Hope has a special afterward that you wrote after September 11th. Can you tell us a little about what your message is with that?
I was in New York on that day when the Twin Towers fell, and I was shocked like everybody else, and I had to go off and give a talk called Reason for Hope to a whole bunch of high school students. And I was really scared, because I didn't really know what I was going to say. But then it became very clear, it didn't become clear, I was actually at the podium. And so I was just going through my normal messages, you know, reasons for Hope, the human brain and the resilience of nature. And suddenly it occurred to me, I went through World War II. I knew the fear. We were protected from the might of Nazi Germany by just a little piece of barbed wire. And we had a leader who said, don't be afraid. We will not be defeated. Do you have anything to fear but fear itself? Exactly. And there was a very big difference in after 9-11, with people being told, be afraid. And that was the big difference. So my message was, you know, even though things seemed grim and dark, you must always look for the light ahead and just have faith that we capable of moving in that direction.
And this is why our programme for youth roots and shoots is so tremendously important. It's about taking action, kids from preschool through university in more than 90 countries, taking action, choosing what they want to do to make the world better for animals, for people, for the environment. And woven through all of it is learning to live in peace and harmony with yourself, your family, your school, your neighbourhood, and eventually around the world. So it's called roots and shoots. Roots make a firm foundation, shoots seem tiny to reach the sun together they can break through a brick wall, see the brick wall as all the problems we inflict on this planet, environmental problems, social problems, cruelty, crime, greed, all the rest of it. The message is hope, hundreds and thousands of young people, roots and shoots around the world, can break through and can must and will make this a better world for all living things.
So 90 countries, certainly, I think six, 7,000 groups, and are they fairly autonomous? First of all, we want to tell people how they can get more information about this. I think your website is www.janegoodall.org. And is there a link there for roots and shoots? It's part of the Jane Goodall's mission. It's our youth program, education conservation. And on that website you can link straight through to roots and shoots. You can join online if you wish. We have great materials, but it's a program that's bottom up. So we provide ideas, we provide packs of information for teachers, soon to be all online. There has been huge interest here in Santa Fe, and we have now about 50 groups in New Mexico, of which not so many are really active. But I think, you know, when I come, we do teacher training. We hope to get a little office here in Santa Fe to coordinate the groups around New Mexico.
Well, I know that many people who see this show will then be able to go to your website www.janegoodall.org. And find out more about it, because this is a very unusual state, and I'm not at all surprised. There's such a phenomenal response. And also, you know, the program is about breaking down the barriers we erect between people of different cultures and different religions. And I think for New Mexico, this can be really important. I know some of the problems with the Native Americans and Mexicans. And this is so important for the future that we learn, we're all people. And under our skin, we all have the same feelings. We love, we hate, we fear, and we can be hurt and we can suffer. So bringing the youth together to break down these barriers and to learn that love and compassion leading to respect is more important than violence and anger and argument. You're wearing a beautiful necklace of animal fetishes. And so in a way, this rings so true with our Native American populations who've been telling us this for a very long time.
So are there particular roots and shoots branches that are on the pueblos or with the tribe? This has been my goal for the last eight years, all around North America. And there are leaders who are passionate to get roots and shoots into their communities. We have to really find a way. And I think we're just on the brink in many different Native American communities. It's coming together finally. It takes time. It takes time. You have to get the trust of people. And I don't blame the Native Americans for not trusting us at all. But that vision of oneness and harmony is what the Native Americans have been teaching us for a very long time. Plus the sense of compassion and empathy with all life forms. And also really important, major decisions were always made by them. How will this decision we make today affect our people's seven generations ahead?
Huge decisions are made today based on how will this decision affect the next shareholder meeting three months ahead? Or based on what's in it for me? Well, it's the same thing. And yet people do love their children. They do love their grandchildren. And there seems to be a disconnect between the brain, our brilliant brain capable of taking us to the moon and medical technologies and stuff. And the heart, which gives us our human, you know, the wonderful qualities of compassion, love, altruism. There's a disconnect. And Roots and Toots hopefully is going to bring that back. In Africa today, I know there's been, you described that where there were once incredibly verdant forests and jungles. Now in the part that is preserved, they're still there, but coming right up to the boundary.
And all your other work with empowering the native communities around please talk to us about that. Yeah, that's actually one of the, I'm very proud of this program. It's called Take Care. And when you look down and you see that outside the National Park, the hills are bare, the people struggling to survive. There's no way you can preserve this jewel of forest if the people outside of it have nothing. So Take Care is a very holistic program to improve the lives of the people in ways that are in harmony with the environment. So we're now in 33 villages. And the people realizing we do care about them and, you know, getting better water supplies and hygienic latrines and learning about conservation and farming methods, most suitable to this rocky land and growing wood near the center of the village so the women don't have to go trailing off. So now they're becoming our partners, they're allowing seemingly dead tree stumps to grow. And so in about five years, you can have a 30 foot tree.
That's the only hope for our Gombe chimpanzees, leafy corridors, so that they can once again interact with other remnant groups outside. And what is the state of the chimpanzees now? It's absolutely grim. There were about a million when I began in 1960. There's no more than 150,000 now disappearing because human population growth, destruction of habitat, but worst in the one stronghold of the chimpanzees in the Gombe basin. There we have the bush meat trade, which is the commercial hunting of wild animals for food, not subsistence hunting, made possible by the roads, made mostly by logging companies. So hunters can go to the heart of previously inaccessible forests, shoot everything, smoke it, truck it into the town where the elite will pay more for that, and they will for a bit of chicken or goat. And hundreds of tons are shipped out for African communities living in exile around the world. And there are some public health implications of that too.
Absolutely. We know that HIV1 and HIV2, the AIDS retrovirus, came from two separate populations of chimpanzees. Almost certainly jumped the species barrier because the chimp retrovirus doesn't affect us, but it mutated because of the bush meat, the bloody and chopping up of corpses. And so it mutated and then from the hunters began to spread. Also the Ebola epidemic that moves between chimpanzees, gorillas and people. We don't know what other viruses and retroviruses there are, things like the avian flu. It's all starting because of this way that we handle dead animals and are intensive farming. That is going to, it's giving rise already to what are called super bugs. You have to feed these poor animals, crowded into these tiny pens. You have to feed them antibiotics to keep them alive. Those antibiotics are getting into the human food chain and bacteria are becoming resistant and soon they'll be resistant to all antibiotics.
Which leads us into your most recent book just coming out right now. Yes, it's being launched next week in New York and I found it here and was amazed. Well, I was amazed and astonished to read it. It's called Harvest for Hope, a guide to mindful eating. And this is exactly, it seems to me the most natural extension of your work all through your life. So tell us what your message is in this book. Well, the message is, it's really, let's try and learn about what happened to the food on our plate. Where did it come from? What effect did the production of that food or the transport of that food? What effect did it have firstly on the environment and the chemical, the agricultural chemicals are destroying. I mean hundreds and hundreds of miles of land and leaching down into the water, getting into the rivers and lakes and poisoning us. So what effect does it have on the environment? And what effect does it have on animal welfare?
And there we get the intensive farms and if people saw them, they wouldn't eat meat from animals farm that way. And when I read about it about 25 years ago, I looked at my plate that was a piece of meat there. And I thought, what is this symbolized fear, pain and death? And I didn't ever eat it again. So it's different if you have meat from a free range animal that's cared for and killed you mainly. But you know, somehow once you stop eating it, you don't want it. But there's a tremendous disconnect in Americans for where their food comes from and the possibility that it could be pain and death there on the plate instead of a barbecue or a national food. But fortunately, organic food is becoming ever more popular. We need to bring the price down. Then you get extraordinary people like John Mackie who started whole foods. And I mean, that is a whole new philosophy about eating. And there are other such organizations and people passionate as farmers markets and the idea of eating locally and bringing less food, wasting less fossil fuels or running out of fossil fuel.
And yet, some food is trucked miles in one direction and back in another, just so it can be evaluated by some huge packing company. And it's crazy. And that's what's in this book. It was a shock. I didn't want to, I wanted to stop halfway through. I didn't want to learn about it. But I'm glad that I do because I can now choose more meaningfully. It is, some of it is very difficult reading, but I was fascinated. And it made me think the comparison between your early days in 1960 in the jungle with the chimpanzees and the solitude and serenity of that. And now, tell us a little about what your life is like now, and do you miss those days? I have to keep them in my heart because 300 days a year on the road, I get back to Gombe twice for a few days each time in a year. And I just lose myself in the forest and try and recharge my batteries.
This is, I'd love for you to tell us in essence what we can do. People are always, they hear these things and they say, well, but what can I do? Well, I think we need to be more informed. And once we've informed ourselves more about what's going on around us, if everybody thought each day about the little things they do, how do I, what method do I use to get from aid to be? What am I eating? What am I wearing? Where did it come from? If we just thought about the little actions we take and we didn't waste and we were perhaps making more people smile and just having this effect on the world around us. You know, it's the main message of roots and shoots for all the youth. You make a difference every single day and to think about how you live through that day and what sort of impact will you make on the world? Well, as part of staying informed, I just want to mention your books again. By Jane Goodall Harvest for Hope, reason for Hope and amazing autobiographies.
And there are many other books, but these are the ones I have here. The chimpanzees I love. Jane Goodall, Dr. Jane Goodall. And you know, the first book I ever did on the chimps in the shadow of Mars is still selling as well today as it did 10 years ago. It's amazing. Everywhere I go around the world, I meet young people who say, when I read that book, I started to think differently about animals. So that's what the chimps have done for us. And that's what you have done for us by bringing us the word, the message from the chimps and from all life forms. This is a great gift to us. I'd like to thank you, our guest today, Dr. Jane Goodall. And I really want to thank you. Our viewers for being with us today on report from Santa Fe. We'll see you next week. Report from Santa Fe is made possible in part by a grant from the members of the National Education Association of New Mexico. An organization of professionals who believe that investing in public education is an investment in our state's economic future. Thank you very much.
Thank you very much.
- Report from Santa Fe
- Jane Goodall
- Producing Organization
- KENW-TV, Eastern New Mexico University, Portales, New Mexico
- Contributing Organization
- KENW-TV (Portales, New Mexico)
- AAPB ID
- Episode Description
- Dr. Jane Goodall, primatologist, emissary of peace, and author, discusses her background, her research into chimpanzees, and touches on her worldwide organization “Roots & Shoots.” For more information, visit www.JaneGoodall.org or www.rootsandshoots.org.
- Series Description
- Hosted by veteran journalist and interviewer, Lorene Mills, Report from Santa Fe brings the very best of the esteemed, beloved, controversial, famous, and emergent minds and voices of the day to a weekly audience that spans the state of New Mexico. During nearly 40 years on the air, Lorene Mills and Report from Santa Fe have given viewers a unique opportunity to become part of a series of remarkable conversations – always thoughtful and engaging, often surprising – held in a warm and civil atmosphere. Gifted with a quiet intelligence and genuine grace, Lorene Mills draws guests as diverse as Valerie Plame, Alan Arkin, and Stewart Udall into easy and open exchange, with plenty of room and welcome for wit, authenticity, and candor.
- Broadcast Date
- Asset type
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- Moving Image
Guest: Goodall, Jane
Host: Mills, Lorene
Producer: Ryan, Duane W.
Producing Organization: KENW-TV, Eastern New Mexico University, Portales, New Mexico
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Identifier: cpb-aacip-293ea984961 (Filename)
Format: Betacam: SP
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- MLA: “Report from Santa Fe; Jane Goodall.” 2005-10-29. KENW-TV, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. March 3, 2024. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-a4f43b2a3d4>.
- APA: Report from Santa Fe; Jane Goodall. Boston, MA: KENW-TV, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-a4f43b2a3d4