Jane Goodall Interview with Bill Moyers Essay

  • Length: 2 pages
  • Sources: 1
  • Subject: Leadership
  • Type: Essay
  • Paper: #39564898

Excerpt from Essay :

Jane Goodall is one of the most remarkable people alive on the planet, and her presence on the Bill Moyers journal illustrates why. In this relatively brief interview, Goodall and Moyer discuss a range of subjects, not all related to the chimpanzees. However, it is for her work living with the chimpanzees that Goodall is most renowned, and that experience also changed her own life. Through her work with the chimpanzees and related advocacy work in Africa, Goodall has become an international speaker who goes around the world with her organizations like Roots and Shoots. Now, Goodall’s main message has extended beyond the conservation and understanding of chimpanzee sociology, and includes empowering young people to become conscientious stewards of the environment and compassionate actors in the world.

Goodall’s discussion inevitably turns to her observations of the chimpanzees. She speaks about chimpanzees as having individuality, which comes as a surprise for many people who do not view animals as having individuality. Goodall’s respect for animal welfare makes the viewer wonder if she is a vegan. Next, Goodall refers to the social hierarchies and structures in chimpanzee society, which remarkably resembles human society. Chimpanzees also dance and perform ritual-like behavior in front of waterfalls, in similar displays of awe, joy, and wonder that humans demonstrate in their religious expressions. Goodall also speaks about emotions in chimpanzees. Although most viewers recognize that animals do have emotions, hearing about the expressions of empathy and nonverbal communication among the chimpanzees is striking. According to Goodall, the chimpanzees reveal that the root of all love and compassion.

One of the most striking passages in the interview is when Goodall speaks about her relationship with David Greybeard—the first chimpanzee who trusted her enough to approach her, and who touched her hand. He let down his guard, and by doing so he showed all the other chimpanzees in his community that Coodall was trustworthy. As a result, David Greybeard was a transformative figure in his community. Goodall claims that Greybeard was not even the most dominant chimpanzee in the group. He did, however, have a dominant friend whose support he leveraged. All the while David Greybeard was popular among the low status membes of the group because he was trustworthy. This lesson is instructive for human beings. It is best to have ties to the lower status members of the group to…

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