Jane of the Jungle

Jane Goodall

If there’s one woman who’s passionate about protecting the beautiful and biodiverse planet we live on, it’s the internationally renowned conservationist and humanitarian Dr Jane Goodall. To celebrate World Environment Day and Jane’s Australian tour, we’re giving away a double pass to her show at Australia Zoo on the Sunshine Coast at 2pm this Sunday 8 June! Simply leave a comment telling us what action you’ll be taking to reduce your impact on the earth this World Environment Day (Thursday 5 June). And if you’re not our lucky winner, don’t fret! Tickets for the event are still available (and can also be purchased at the door for any last minute decision makers). We had a quick chat with Jane about food issues, the importance of inspiring others and creating positive change in the world…

How can each individual make a difference in the world?

One reason people do nothing is that they contemplate the damage to the environment that we have done (and continue to do), and have a sense of helplessness and hopelessness. “What difference can it possibly make,” they say to themselves, “if I pick up litter, buy organic food, conserve water and so on”. Indeed, if we were alone on the planet our individual actions would make no difference. But we are not alone, and when 100, a 1000, a million and more people start to make ethical choices every day this will start to make a bigger and bigger difference.  So, let each of us spend a little time, each day, thinking of the consequences of our choices – what we buy to eat, to wear and so on. How far has each item come, was harm caused to the environment or cruelty to animals, is it cheap because it used child slave labour, factory farmed animals, sweat shops. Do we actually NEED yet another pair of shoes. Another car. Organic food may cost a little more, but then we will value it more and waste less.

Why is it so important to inspire the next generation to care for our planet?

Many of us are working very hard to protect wildlife and wilderness areas – and if the next generations do not grow up to be better stewards of the planet than we have been, all our efforts will have been in vain.

You’re very passionate about food. What are the most important food issues facing the world today?

Crops grown as monocultures, resulting in the loss of biodiversity. The use of chemical fertilisers, pesticides and herbicides. Cheap fast foods and the link to obesity. Genetically modified crops. The destruction of hundreds of square kilometres of forest and other environments to grow grain to feed the billions of animals in intensive farms, as more and more people eat more and more meat. And, of course, the industry subjects animals to the most horrible cruelty.

What would you like people to remember this World Environment Day?

That the main difference between us and other animals is the explosive development of our intellect. So how come a creature with such a clever brain is destroying the planet, our only home? Remember that every day, every one of us makes an impact. And we have a choice as to the kind of impact we want to make.

{WIN: If you’d like a double pass to Jane Goodall’s show at Australia Zoo on the Sunshine Coast at 2pm this Sunday 8 June, leave a comment telling us what action you’ll be taking to reduce your impact on the earth this World Environment Day! The winner will be drawn after 4pm on Thursday 5 June 2014.}

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