This month, acclaimed ethologist Jane Goodall spoke about the urgent need for humans to reduce their consumption of animals to mitigate the climate crisis during a virtual event for journalist organization National Press Club. “If we would just stop eating all of this meat, the difference would be huge because all of these billions of farm animals … kept in concentration camps to feed us, and, you know, whole environments are wiped out to grow the grain to feed them,” Goodall said. “Masses of fossil fuel are used to get the grain to the animals, the animals to the abattoir, the meat to the table. Masses of water, which is in such short supply and drying in some areas, is used to get vegetable-to-animal protein. And, finally, they’re all producing gas in their digestion and that’s methane, and that is a very virulent greenhouse gas.” The 86-year-old animal activist urged viewers to reconsider their diets, stating, “If everybody ate less meat, or preferably no meat, it wouldn’t only reduce cruelty, but it would also have a huge impact, positive impact on the environment.” 

At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic—which is believed to have originated from a “wet” animal market in Wuhan, China—Goodall spoke out about the “too close” relationships humans have with wild animals. “My heart is with all who are sick; all who have lost loved ones. I just hope and pray that the nightmare will soon be over,” Goodall said. “I also hope and pray that the nightmare will end for the wild animals who are captured and kept in horrible conditions for food. We have amazing brains. We’re capable of love and compassion for each other. Let us also show love and compassion for the animals who are with us on this planet. Let us all live in peace and harmony together.”

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