The world’s foremost expert on chimpanzees and one of the most influential figures on climate change and animal rights, Jane Goodall has spent her life advocating for change and promoting the protection and conservation of endangered animal species and their habitats. Throughout her career, the renowned English primatologist and anthropologist has published books, attended international conferences and talked to global leaders on this subject. Most importantly, she has inspired millions of people worldwide to take action and make our planet a better place. Here are 10 powerful Jane Goodall quotes.

On Destroying our Planet

1. “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?” From the book Harvest for Hope: A Guide to Mindful Eating (2005)

2. “I’m 300 days a year on the road. I’m talking about what we’re doing to our planet, how we’re destroying the forests, we’re polluting the ocean and the air and the rivers, we are spraying poisonous chemicals on our food, with our pesticides and herbicides. I have to work with young people today so that we try and raise new generations to look after this poor old planet better than we have, before it’s too late.” –  Dr. Goodall reflects on the documentary Jane (2017)

On Endangered Animal Species 

3. “The least I can do is speak out for the hundreds of chimpanzees who, right now, sit hunched, miserable and without hope, staring out with dead eyes from their metal prisons. They cannot speak for themselves.” – From the book Jane Goodall: 40 Years at Gombe (1999)

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

5. “Surely we do not want to live in a world without the great apes, our closest living relatives in the animal kingdom? A world where we can no longer marvel at the magnificent flight of bald eagles or hear the howl of wolves under the moon? A world not enhanced by the sight of a grizzly bear and her cubs hunting for berries in the wilderness? What would our grandchildren think if these magical images were only to be found in books?” – Dr. Goodall’s statement in defense of the Endangered Species Act

6. “I’ve spent my life speaking out on behalf of animals. And there is one issue that stands out uniquely as one of the worst threats to their survival. The illegal wildlife trade… Without doing something today, we could face a world in which thousands and thousands of species go silent. Never to return. But there is something we can do today, and it will take all of us working together to make it possible.” – Jane Goodall introduces #4EverWild wildlife trafficking campaign

On Changing the World

7. “You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”

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

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

10. “We can have a world of peace. We can move toward a world where we live in harmony with nature. Where we live in harmony with each other. No matter what nation we come from. No matter what our religion. No matter what our culture. This is where we’re moving towards.” –  Dr. Goodall’s Message for Peace Day 2018

If you like these Jane Goodall quotes, you might also like: 7 Best Books by Jane Goodall on Nature and Primatology