Written by Arjun Walia
Below is a clip of Jane Goodall taken from the film HUMAN, a documentary by Yann Arthus-Bertrand which examines the question of what it means to be human and live on planet Earth.
For those of you who don’t know, Dr. Jane Goodall is one of the world’s most prominent and popular primatologists, ethologists, anthropologists, and environmental activists. In the clip below, she shares some indispensable words of wisdom — wisdom that we must listen to carefully if our species is to move forward and thrive.
“If you really want something, you have to be prepared to work very hard, take advantage of opportunity, and above all never give up.”
The quote above is one example of the multiple points Jane makes in the video that really resonated with me. She expresses her wish that she had more time to do and to see all the things she would like, to connect with all the people she would like to meet, and I think that sense of desperation is something we can all relate to as we age. It’s important to take advantage of the time we have, right now, because we never know how much longer we have left in this life.
She also, of course, touches on animal rights, arguing that “we’re not the only beings with personalities, and minds capable of reasoning, and certainly not the only beings with emotions like happiness, sadness, fear, despair. Nor are we the only beings capable of giving and receiving love.”
Goodall and Monsanto + Book Recommendation
Finally, she touches upon the biggest problem facing environmentalists today, and that is the difficulty of fighting the power of money: “Because there’s absolutely no question. There are people in government, who truly agree when I talk with them, they agree that this mine shouldn’t go ahead, or that damn shouldn’t be built, or Monsanto shouldn’t be allowed to test its seeds here. It’s corruption really, the might of money, the corporations that hold governments in their hands, because of lobbying power and so forth, it’s really frightening.”
The only thing I disagree with in the video is the opinion she offered regarding our population. I believe this is so because we have better ways of doing things here, and all several billion and more can thrive with the amount of potential we have. If you think about it, if you took 10 billion people and put them in one area, you’d really be surprised how much area is left. We would be just a tiny little spec on planet Earth. That being said, we are more advanced than one might think, and we have the ability to use resources that will never run out.
These are powerful words, and the truth is, the corporations that dictate governmental policy (and the methods by which they do this) are indeed frightening, as Goodall states. Governments and politicians are simply used as puppets to push along what many academics and politicians call “the invisible government.”
Monsanto is one of these corporations. Fortunately, the story of Monsanto has shifted in recent years, and is becoming a shining example of the power we can wield when we come together for a common cause. Just a few short years ago, you would have been considered a conspiracy theorist for suggesting that GMOs are or could be harmful to human health. Today, dozens upon dozens of countries have completely banned them, or at least placed severe restrictions on them, and this is all due to awareness The latest example occurred a couple of months ago, with 19 countries in Europe completely banning them due to environmental and health concerns. You can learn more about these concerns here.
Another reason why I chose to highlight this excerpt from Goodall is the fact that in September of 2014, she called for a complete ban of GMOs on her website, urging the citizenry of the world to boycott these products. She has also been very vocal about the pesticides that are commonly sprayed on our food. A simple Google or YouTube search can suffice if you are looking to hear more about her stance on GMOs and pesticides.
“How could we have ever believed that it was a good idea to grow our food with poisons?” – Jane Goodall
It’s always great to see someone with such a wide reach raise their voice about important and controversial issues.
“As part of the process, they portrayed the various concerns as merely the ignorant opinions of misinformed individuals – and derided them as not only unscientific, but anti-science. They then set to work to convince the public and government officials, through the dissemination of false information, that there was an overwhelming expert consensus, based on solid evidence, that GMOs were safe.” (source)
The quote above comes from a book called Altered Genes, Twisted Truth: How the Venture to Genetically Engineer Our Food Has Subverted Science, Corrupted Government, and Systematically Deceived the Public.
The book reveals countless examples of scientific fraud, educating people about how genetic engineering of the world’s food supply came to be and how the movement progressed by violating the protocols of science. It touches upon how many scientists and institutions have systematically twisted the truth in order to hide the risks associated with GMOs.
It is supported by a number of internationally recognized scientists who hold various positions at prestigious academic institutions around the world. You can also refer to the article above, regarding 19 countries banning GMOs, for some more scientific sources.
“Altered Genes, Twisted Truth will stand as a landmark. It should be required reading in every university biology course.” – Joseph Cummins, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus of Genetics, Western University, London, Ontario
“Steven Druker’s meticulously documented, well-crafted, and spellbinding narrative should serve as a clarion call to all of us. In particular, his chapter detailing the deadly epidemic of 1989-90 that was linked with a genetically engineered food supplement is especially significant. I and my Mayo Clinic colleagues were active participants in the attempt to identify the cause of this epidemic. Druker provides a comprehensive analysis of all the evidence and also presents new findings from our work. Overall his discussion of this tragic event, as well as its ominous implications, is the most comprehensive, evenly balanced and accurate account that I have read.” – Stephen Naylor, PhD, CEO and Chairman of MaiHealth Inc., Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology & Pharmacology Mayo Clinic (1991-2001)
Originally posted @ Collective Evolution