Jane Goodall (April 3rd 1934)
Jane Goodall is an English primatologist and anthropologist. Considered to be the world's foremost expert on chimpanzees Goodall is best known for her 60-year study of social and family interactions of wild chimpanzees.
She is the founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and the Roots & Shoots programme and she has worked extensively on conservation and animal welfare issues. In April 2002 she was named a UN Messenger of Peace. Dr. Goodall is also honorary member of the World Future Council.
As a child as an alternative to a teddy bear her father gave her a stuffed chimpanzee named Jubilee. Goodall has said her fondness for this figure started her early love of animals. Today Jubilee still sits on Goodall's dresser in London.
Without collegiate training directing her research Goodall observed things that strict scientific doctrines may have overlooked. Instead of numbering the chimpanzees she observed she gave them names such as Fifi and David Greybeard and observed them to have unique and individual personalities an unconventional idea at the time. She found that it isn't only human beings who have personality who are capable of rational thought and emotions like joy and sorrow.
Goodall is a vegetarian and advocates the diet for ethical environmental and health reasons. In The Inner World of Farm Animals Goodall writes that 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. And our help. Who will plead for them if we are silent?" Goodall has also said: "Thousands of people who say they 'love' animals sit down once or twice a day to enjoy the flesh of creatures who have been treated so with little respect and kindness just to make more meat." Today Goodall devotes virtually all of her time to advocacy on behalf of chimpanzees and the environment travelling nearly 300 days a year. Goodall is also a board member for the world's largest chimpanzee sanctuary outside of Africa Save the Chimps in Fort Pierce Florida.