120 Jane Goodall Quotes on Animals & Preserving Nature

We’ve gathered these Jane Goodall quotes to inspire you to make a difference in the world, no matter how big or small.

Jane Goodall is one of the best-known scientists and researchers in the world. She’s famous for studying chimpanzees in Africa. Her works in Africa made her a pioneer in the field and an inspiration to young women worldwide.

Jane Goodall is an inspiration to many. Learn more about her life and journey and how she continues to inspire people to make their mark in the world.

Read here.

And don’t forget to check out these Steve Irwin quotes.

Best Jane Goodall Quotes

1. “Change happens by listening and then starting a dialogue with the people who are doing something you don’t believe is right.”

2. “Every individual matters. Every individual has a role to play. Every individual makes a difference.”

3. “Here we are, the most clever species ever to have lived. So how can we destroy the only planet we have?” 

4. “What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”

5. “My mission is to create a world where we can live in harmony with nature.”

6. “Words can be said in bitterness and anger, and often there seems to be an element of truth in the nastiness. And words don’t go away, they just echo around.”

7. “The greatest danger to our future is apathy.” 

8. “Empathy is really important. Only when our clever brain and our human heart work together in harmony can we achieve our full potential.” 

9. “Let us develop respect for all living things.” 

10. “The least I can do is speak out for those who cannot speak for themselves.”

11. “I think the most important thing is to keep active and to hope that your mind stays active.”

12. “You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you.” 

13. “There is a powerful force unleashed when young people resolve to make a change.”

14. “If we kill off the wild, then we are killing a part of our souls.” 

Famous Jane Goodall Quotes

15. “To me, cruelty is the worst of human sins. Once we accept that a living creature has feelings and suffers pain, then by knowingly and deliberately inflicting suffering on that creature, we are guilty, whether it be human or animal.” 

16. “What makes us human, I think, is an ability to ask questions, a consequence of our sophisticated spoken language.”

17. “Without patience, I could never have succeeded.”

18. “Every stage of my life set the scene for the next, and at each point, all I had to do was say ‘yes’ and not think too much about the consequences.”

19. “Nature can win if we give her a chance.”

20. “Each one of us must take responsibility for our own lives, and above all, show respect and love for living things around us, especially each other.”

21. “Chimpanzees, more than any other living creature, have helped us to understand that there is no sharp line between humans and the rest of the animal kingdom.”

22. “It’s easy to become hopeless. So people must have hope—the human brain, the resilience of nature, the energy of young people, and the sort of inspiration that you see from so many hundreds of people who tackle tasks that are impossible and never give up and succeed.”

23. “I like some animals more than some people, some people more than some animals.”

24. “Only if we understand, can we care. Only if we care, we will help. Only if we help, we shall be saved.”

25. “There’s too many of us. It’s a planet of finite resources and we’re using them up. And that’s going to mean so much suffering in the future.”

26. “We have so far to go to realise our human potential for compassion, altruism, and love.”

27. “Women tend to be more intuitive or to admit to being intuitive, and maybe the hard science approach isn’t so attractive. The way that science is taught is very cold. I would never have become a scientist if I had been taught like that.”

28. “We’re poisoning the land, we’re poisoning animals, and I truly believe we’re poisoning ourselves.”

29. “Today it is generally accepted that although the earliest humans probably ate some meat, it was unlikely to have played a major role in their diet. Plants would have been a much more important source of food.”

Profound Jane Goodall Quotes

30. “We have the choice to use the gift of our life to make the world a better place or not to bother.”

31. “My job now is to try and help people understand every one of us makes a difference. And cumulatively, wise choices in how we act each day can begin to change the world.”

32. “I think to be fully human, we need to have meaning in our lives, and that’s what I am trying to help these young people to find.”

33. “From my perspective, I absolutely believe in a greater spiritual power, far greater than I am, from which I have derived strength in moments of sadness or fear. That’s what I believe, and it was very, very strong in the forest.”

34. “I think we must cling to the hope that we can see in the great heroism, the bravery of the firemen and policemen, and the outpouring of caring and concern that has come pouring in from around the world.”

35. “I believe that accurate knowledge is very, very important, but find that out in free time. Don’t let it take over every hour of the day. Perhaps most important, talk about it.”

36. “I never wanted to give up. I thought I might have to. Especially at the beginning when chimpanzees had never seen a white person before. They gave one look at me and ran away! They were scared, but eventually, I got their trust.” 

37. “What you have to do is to get into the heart. And how do you get into the heart? With stories.”

38. “Lasting change is a series of compromises. And compromise is all right, as long your values don’t change.”

39. “Any little thing that brings us back into communion with the natural world and the spiritual power that permeates all life will help us to move a little further along the path of human moral and spiritual evolution.”

40. “To reconnect with nature is key if we want to save the planet.”

41. “Let us try to replace violence and intolerance with understanding and compassion. And love.”

42. “We could change the world tomorrow if all the millions of people around the world acted the way they believed.”

43. “Together we can bring change to the world, gradually replacing fear and hatred with compassion and love. Love for all living beings.”

44. “We have a responsibility toward the other life-forms of our planet whose continued existence is threatened by the thoughtless behaviour of our own human species. Environmental responsibility, for if there is no God, then, obviously, it is up to us to put things right.”

Jane Goodall Quotes About Chimpanzees and Other Animals

45. “Chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans have been living for hundreds of thousands of years in their forest, living fantastic lives, never overpopulating, never destroying the forest. I would say that they have been in a way more successful than us as far as being in harmony with the environment.”

46. “We find animals doing things that we, in our arrogance, used to think was ‘just human.'”

47. “I’m always pushing for human responsibility. Given that chimpanzees and many other animals are sentient and sapient, then we should treat them with respect.”

48. “People say maybe we have a soul and chimpanzees don’t. I feel that it’s quite possible that if we have souls, chimpanzees have souls as well.”

49. “Farm animals are far more aware and intelligent than we ever imagined and, despite having been bred as domestic slaves, they are individual beings in their own right. As such, they deserve our respect.”

50. “The chimpanzee study was—well, it’s still going on, and I think it’s taught us perhaps more than anything else to be a little humble—that we are, indeed, unique primates, we humans, but we’re simply not as different from the rest of the animal kingdom as we used to think.”

51. “I learnt from my dog long before I went to Gombe that we weren’t the only beings with personalities. What the chimps did was help me to persuade others.”

52. “Chimps are very quick to have a sudden fight or aggressive episode, but they’re equally as good at reconciliation.”

53. “Chimps can do all sorts of things we thought that only we could do—like tool-making and abstraction and generalisation. They can learn a language—sign language and they can use the signs. But when you think of our intellect, even the brightest chimp looks like a very small child.”

54. “When you meet chimps you meet individual personalities. When a baby chimp looks at you it’s just like a human baby. We have a responsibility to them.”

Jane Goodall Quotes That Give You Insight Into Her Thoughts and Beliefs

55. “Every single day, we could be in a motorcar accident, so, we have to carry on with our lives, and not imagine terror around every corner.”

56. “Our brains are fully capable of controlling instinctive behaviour. We’re not very good at it though, are we?”

57. “And I thought how sad it was that, for all our sophisticated intellect, for all our noble aspirations, our aggressive behaviour was not just similar in many ways to that of the chimpanzees. It was even worse. Worse because human beings have the potential to rise above their baser instincts, whereas chimpanzees probably do not.”

58. “Terrorism is usually fuelled by poverty, and the fanatical faith of the terrorists who truly believe that the more people they kill who do not subscribe to their faith, the greater their reward in heaven.”

59. “I don’t think that faith, whatever you’re being faithful about, really can be scientifically explained. And I don’t want to explain this whole life business through truth, science. There’s so much mystery. There’s so much awe.”

60. “I think anything is better than war. The extent to which one can negotiate with fanatics, I have no idea. I don’t know.”

61. “It’s knowing what can be done that gives people the courage to fight.”

62. “If only we can overcome cruelty, to human and animal, with love and compassion we shall stand at the threshold of a new era in human moral and spiritual evolution―and realise, at last, our most unique quality—humanity.”

63. “Whatever we believe about how we got to be the extraordinary creatures we are today is far less important than bringing our intellect to bear on how do we get together now around the world and get out of the mess that we’ve made. That’s the key thing now. Never mind how we got to be who we are.”

64. “Fortunately, nature is amazingly resilient. Places we have destroyed, given time and help, can once again support life, and endangered species can be given a second chance. And there is a growing number of people, especially young people, who are aware of these problems and are fighting for the survival of our only home, planet earth. We must all join that fight before it is too late.”

65. “If you look through all the different cultures. Right from the earliest, earliest days with the animistic religions, we have sought to have some kind of explanation for our life, for our being, that is outside of our humanity.”

66. “Every individual can make a difference. If we continue to leave decision making to the so-called decision-makers, things will never change.”

67. “The most important thing is to actually think about what you do. To become aware and actually think about the effect of what you do on the environment and on society. That’s key, and that underlies everything else.”

68. “It honestly didn’t matter how we humans got to be the way we are, whether evolution or special creation was responsible. What mattered and mattered desperately was our future development. Were we going to go on destroying God’s creation, fighting each other, hurting the other creatures of His planet?”

69. “You cannot share your life with a dog, as I had done in Bournemouth, or a cat, and not know perfectly well that animals have personalities and minds and feelings.”

Jane Goodall Quotes on Truth and Reality

70. “If we allow the destruction of the environment, we can see the terrorists have utterly won, and are destroying the future of our children and grandchildren. We must not let that happen.”

71. “If we all get together, we can truly make a difference, but we must act now. The window of time is closing.” 

72. “Cultural speciation had been crippling to human moral and spiritual growth. It had hindered freedom of thought, limited our thinking, imprisoned us in the cultures into which we had been born.”

73. “Young people, when they understand the problems, are empowered to take action. When we listen to their voices they actually are changing the world and making it better for people, for animals, and for the environment because everything is interconnected.” 

74. “More and more young people around the world are taking action now, today, on projects they are truly passionate about.”

75. “In all my lectures and books, I focus on reasons for hope. But today, it’s getting harder and harder to take that message of hope around the world. Todays’ young people—everywhere I go—they’re so excited and empowered. We’re listening to their voices. That gives us a reason to hope.” 

76. “Cumulatively small decisions, choices, actions, make a very big difference.”

77. “We can’t leave people in abject poverty, so we need to raise the standard of living for 80% of the world’s people while bringing it down considerably for the 20% who are destroying our natural resources.”

78. “What keeps her going? Precious moments when I can have a quick walk in nature. I always hope to meet and greet a dog, get a dog fix—any old dog whose owner agrees.” 

79. “We are, indeed, often cruel and evil. Nobody can deny this. We gang up on each one another, we torture each other, with words as well as deeds, we fight, we kill.” 

Powerful Jane Goodall Quotes to Inspire You to Bring About Change

80. “My mother always taught us that if people don’t agree with you, the important thing is to listen to them. But if you’ve listened to them carefully and you still think that you’re right, then you must have the courage of your convictions.”

81. “As thy days, so shall thy strength be.”

82. “It is these undeniable qualities of human love and compassion and self-sacrifice that give me hope for the future.”

83. “Most of us don’t realise the difference we could make. We love to shrug off our own responsibilities, to point fingers at others. ‘Surely,’ we say, ‘the pollution, waste, and other ills are not our fault. They are the fault of the industry, business, science. They are the fault of the politicians,’ this leads to a destructive and potentially deadly apathy.”

84. “If we do not do something to help these creatures, we make a mockery of the whole concept of justice.”

85. “We are also capable of the most noble, generous, and heroic behaviour.”

86. “Certainly, if you look at human behaviour around the world, you have to admit that we can be very aggressive.”

87. “In order to slow down climate change, we must solve four seemingly unsolvable problems. We must eliminate poverty. We must change the unsustainable lifestyles of so many of us. We must abolish corruption. And we must think about our growing human population, but I believe we have a window of time to have an impact.”

88. “But let us not forget that human love and compassion are equally deeply rooted in our primate heritage.”

89. “I think the best evenings are when we have messages, things that make us think, but we can also laugh and enjoy each other’s company.”

Informative Jane Goodall Quotes to Tell You More About Nature and the Environment

90. “It’s been proven by quite a few studies that plants are good for our psychological development. If you green an area, the rate of crime goes down. Torture victims begin to recover when they spend time outside in a garden with flowers. So we need them, in some deep psychological sense, which I don’t suppose anybody really understands yet.”

91. “To me, trees are living beings and they have their own sort of personalities.”

92. “The tree I had in the garden as a child, my beech tree, I used to climb up there and spend hours. I took my homework up there, my books, I went up there if I was sad, and it just felt very good to be up there among the green leaves and the birds and the sky.”

93. “The hardest part of returning to a truly healthy environment may be changing the current totally unsustainable heavy-meat-eating culture of increasing numbers of people around the world.”

94. “If the factory farm does indeed unravel and it must—then there is hope that we can, gradually, reverse the environmental damage it has caused.”

Jane Goodall Quotes on the Things She Experienced in Life

95. “As a small child in England, I had this dream of going to Africa. We didn’t have any money and I was a girl, so everyone except my mother laughed at it. When I left school, there was no money for me to go to university, so I went to secretarial college and got a job.”

96. “When I was two, a dragonfly flew near me. A man knocked it to the ground and trod on it. I remember crying because I’d caused the dragonfly to be killed.”

97. “When I was 10 years old, I loved—I loved books, and I used to haunt the secondhand bookshop. And I found a little book I could just afford, and I bought it, and I took it home. And I climbed up my favourite tree, and I read that book from cover to cover. And that was Tarzan of the Apes. I immediately fell in love with it.”

98. “I miss the early days; I do. I was so lucky. I basically had it to myself, learning about these chimpanzees. Nobody knew anything about them. Discovering their different personalities, different life histories. I was lucky.”

99. “When I began in 1960, individuality wasn’t an accepted thing to look for, it was about species-specific behaviour. But animal behaviour is not hard science. There’s room for intuition.”

100. “I was born in London in England in 1934. I went through, as a child, the horrors of World War II, through a time when food was rationed and we learnt to be very careful, and we never had more to eat than what we needed to eat. There was no waste. Everything was used.”

101. “I did this book ‘Harvest for Hope,’ and I learnt so much about food. And one thing I learnt is that we have the guts not of a carnivore, but of an herbivore. Herbivore guts are very long because they have to get the last bit of nutrition out of leaves and things.”

102. “All the time I was getting closer to animals and nature, and as a result, closer to myself and more and more in tune with the spiritual power.”

103. “One thing I had learnt from watching chimpanzees with their infants is that having a child should be fun.”

104. “The biggest problem we have as environmental activists is to fight the power of money.”

More Jane Goodall Quotes You Will Love

105. “And always I have this feeling—which may not be true at all—that I am being used as a messenger.” 

106. “It actually doesn’t take much to be considered a difficult woman. That’s why there are so many of us.”

107. “You’re thinking about putting scientists into small cages and doing research on them. I wish it could happen sometimes.”

108. “Someday we shall look back on this dark era of agriculture and shake our heads. How could we have ever believed that it was a good idea to grow our food with poisons?”

109. “I became totally absorbed into this forest’s existence.”

110. “We are unique. Chimpanzees are unique. Dogs are unique. But we humans are just not as different as we used to think.”

111. “And if we dare to look into those eyes, then we shall feel their suffering in our hearts. More and more people have seen that appeal and felt it in their hearts. All around the world, there is an awakening of understanding and compassion, and understanding that reaches out to help the suffering animals in their vanishing homelands.”

112. “Thousands of people who say they love animals sit down once or twice a day to enjoy the flesh of creatures who have been utterly deprived of everything that could make their lives worth living and who endured the awful suffering and the terror of the abattoirs.”

113. “Anyone who tries to improve the lives of animals invariably comes in for criticism from those who believe such efforts are misplaced in a world of suffering humanity.”

114. “I understood why those who had lived through war or economic disasters, and who had built for themselves a good life and a high standard of living, were rightly proud to be able to provide for their children those things which they themselves had not had. And why their children, inevitably, took those things for granted. It meant that new values and new expectations had crept into our societies along with new standards of living.”

115. “But consumers, at least if they’re not living in poverty, have an enormous role to play, too. If you don’t like the way the business does its business, don’t buy their products. This is beginning to create change. People should think about the consequences of the little choices they make each day.” 

116. “Mainly because as women’s education increases all around the planet, we find that family size tends to drop.”

117. “I don’t have any idea of who or what God is. But I do believe in some great spiritual power. I feel it, particularly when I’m out in nature. It’s just something that’s bigger and stronger than what I am or what anybody is. I feel it. And it’s enough for me.” 

118. “You may not believe in evolution, and that’s all right. How we humans came to be the way we are is far less important than how we should act now to get out of the mess we have made for ourselves.”

119. “A sense of calm came over me. More and more often I found myself thinking, ‘This is where I belong. This is what I came into this world to do.’”

120. “In what terms should we think of these beings, nonhuman yet possessing so very many human-like characteristics? How should we treat them? Surely we should treat them with the same consideration and kindness as we show to other humans and as we recognise human rights, so too should we recognise the rights of the great apes? Yes.”

Did These Jane Goodall Quotes Inspire You to Make a Difference?

Jane Goodall helped the world have a better understanding of humankind’s closest relatives, the chimpanzees. It is also through these studies that she became very famous and well-known throughout the world.

Her idea about chimps started when she was still a child and with her mother’s influence. In her many years of research, her studies, papers, and documentation are considered one of the most vital for current and future researchers.

Jane Goodall’s kindness and compassion are an inspiration to many. If we all had compassion and kindness, poverty would not exist, and nature would be in a better place. We hope that this collection was able to inspire you to live a more purposeful and peaceful life.

What do you think of Jane Goodall’s quotes? Which quote was most relevant to you? Please, share your thoughts with us!


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Amy Finn

Hi. I'm Amy, the founder of this blog. I love quotes and enjoy sharing the best ones with you.

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