Excerpt: 'Hope for Animals and Their World' by Jane Goodall

There is an old maxim: "While there is life, there is hope." For the sake of our children we must not give up, we must continue to fight to save what is left and restore that which is despoiled. We must support those valiant men and women who are out there doing just that. And it is important for us to realize that we cannot relax our efforts on behalf of endangered animals -- for the threats to their survival are ever present, often growing. Human population growth, unsustainable lifestyles, desperate poverty, shrinking water supplies, corporate greed, global climate change -- all these and more will, unless we are vigilant, undo all that has been accomplished.

It is inevitable that more and more species will need a helping hand if they are to continue to share the planet with us. So it is fortunate that increasing numbers of people are waking up, becoming aware of the damage we are inflicting on the web of life, and wanting to do their bit to help, whether as wildlife biologists, government officials, or concerned citizens.

One thing is certain -- my own journey of exploration will not stop. I shall go on collecting stories, meeting and talking with more extraordinary and inspirational people. There are many to whom I have only spoken on the telephone, but now I want to meet them: I want to look into their eyes to see the spirit of determination that keeps them going, and look into their hearts to glimpse the love for the species or the natural world that takes them to lonely, all-but-inaccessible places. And I want to share their stories with young people around the world. I want them to know that, even when our mindless activities have almost entirely destroyed some ecosystem or driven a species to the brink of extinction, we must not give up. Thanks to the resilience of nature, and the indomitable human spirit, there is still hope. Hope for animals and their world. And it is our world, too.

-- Jane Goodall, February 2009 From HOPE FOR ANIMALS AND THEIR WORLD by Jane Goodall. Copyright © 2009 by Jane Goodall with Thane Maynard and Gail Hudson. Used by permission of Grand Central Publishing. All rights reserved.

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