Jane Goodall is one of the world's most celebrated primatologists and conservationists. Born in London, England, in 1934, Goodall was fascinated by animals from a young age. 

She began her groundbreaking research on chimpanzees in Tanzania's Gombe Stream National Park in 1960. Over the course of her five-decade career, Goodall has worked tirelessly to protect chimpanzees and their habitats. 

In 2002, she founded the Jane Goodall Institute, which supports chimpanzee conservation efforts around the world. Goodall's work has inspired people of all ages to appreciate and respect animals and our natural environment. 

(We also recommend her site as one of the best places to find good news on the internet.)

At Good Good Good, we've always been drawn to Jane Goodall's relentless pursuit of hope — and her passion for inspiring young people to make a difference.

As we celebrate her birthday — and every day — let's learn from her wisdom.

Here are our favorite Jane Goodall quotes to leave you inspired to make a difference for animals, earth, and people:

Famous Inspirational Quotes from Dr. Jane Goodall

“I do have reasons for hope: our clever brains, the resilience of nature, the indomitable human spirit, and above all, the commitment of young people when they’re empowered to take action.”
— Jane Goodall

“I do have reasons for hope: our clever brains, the resilience of nature, the indomitable human spirit, and above all, the commitment of young people when they’re empowered to take action.” — Jane Goodall
Jane Goodall quote for the centerfold poster inside The Animals Edition of the Goodnewspaper / Illustration by Megan Burns for The Goodnewspaper

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

Quote: “You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you.” — Jane Goodall

“The greatest danger to our future is apathy.”
— Jane Goodall

“The greatest danger to our future is apathy.” — Jane Goodall quote

“I think empathy is really important, and I think only when our clever brain and our human heart work together in harmony can we achieve our full potential.”
— Jane Goodall

“I think empathy is really important, and I think only when our clever brain and our human heart work together in harmony can we achieve our full potential.” — Jane Goodall quotes

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

“Let us try to replace violence and intolerance with understanding and compassion. And love.” — Jane Goodall quotes

“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 realize, at last, our most unique quality: humanity.”
— Jane Goodall

“Let us not forget that human love and compassion are equally deeply rooted in our primate heritage.”
— Jane Goodall

“Let us not forget that human love and compassion are equally deeply rooted in our primate heritage.” — Jane Goodall quotes

“We have so far to go to realize our human potential for compassion, altruism, and love.”
— Jane Goodall

On Hope

“Hope is often misunderstood. People tend to think that it is simply passive wishful thinking: I hope something will happen but I’m not going to do anything about it. This is indeed the opposite of real hope, which requires action and engagement.”
— Jane Goodall, The Book of Hope: A Survival Guide for Trying Times

“Hope is often misunderstood. People tend to think that it is simply passive wishful thinking: I hope something will happen but I’m not going to do anything about it. This is indeed the opposite of real hope, which requires action and engagement.” — Jane Goodall quotes

“There is still so much in the world worth fighting for. So much that is beautiful, so many wonderful people working to reverse the harm, to help alleviate the suffering. And so many young people dedicated to making this a better world. All conspiring to inspire us and to give us hope that it is not too late to turn things around, if we all do our part.”
— Jane Goodall, in her New Year’s message for 2018

“Hope does not deny the evil, but is a response to it.”
— Jane Goodall, The Book of Hope: A Survival Guide for Trying Times

Quote: “Hope is often misunderstood. People tend to think that it is simply passive wishful thinking: I hope something will happen but I’m not going to do anything about it. This is indeed the opposite of real hope, which requires action and engagement.” — Jane Goodall

“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.”
— Jane Goodall, A New Era of Discovery in Gombe Thanks to Disney Family Trust 

Quote: “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.” — Jane Goodall

Related: Read this curated collection of quotes about hope

On Making a Difference

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

“What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” — Jane Goodall quote

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

“There is a powerful force unleashed when young people resolve to make a change.” — Jane Goodall quote

“Only if we understand, will we care. Only if we care, will we help. Only if we help shall all be saved.”
— Jane Goodall, as quoted in the Becoming Jane Challenge

Quote: “Only if we understand, will we care. Only if we care, will we help. Only if we help shall all be saved.”‍ — Jane Goodall

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

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

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

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

“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.”
— Jane Goodall

“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.” — Jane Goodall quotes

“Every individual matters. Every individual has a role to play. Every individual makes a difference.”
— Jane Goodall

“Every individual matters. Every individual has a role to play. Every individual makes a difference.” — Jane Goodall

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

“My job is to collect stories of hope — because there's so much going on that's awful. Animals becoming extinct, forests disappearing, people suffering tremendously. If this is the only aspect that gets out to the general public, they think there's not much we can do and they do nothing. And so these stories that show what can be done I think are tremendously important.”
— Jane Goodall, in an interview with Ecosia

“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.”
— Jane Goodall, in an interview in The New York Times

“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.”
— Jane Goodall, after winning the BBVA Foundation Worldwide Award for Biodiversity 

“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.”
— Jane Goodall, in an interview with The Washington Post 

“We can work together to make the world a better place. Perhaps there can be peace one day if we learn from our past and commit to compassionate action for our futures.”
— Jane Goodall, reflecting on the 20th anniversary of 9/11

Related: Read these curated quotes from activists about activism

On Animals

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

Quote poster wallpaper: “The least I can do is speak out for those who cannot speak for themselves.” — Jane Goodall
Jane Goodall quote for the centerfold poster inside The Animals Edition of the Goodnewspaper / Illustration by Steffi Tsai for The Goodnewspaper

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

Quote: “If we kill off the wild, then we are killing a part of our souls.” — Jane Goodall

“Let us develop respect for all living things.”
— Jane Goodall

“Let us develop respect for all living things.” — Jane Goodall

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

“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.”
— Jane Goodall

“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?”
— Jane Goodall, in a statement in defense of The Endangered Species Act

“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

On Chimpanzees

“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.”
— Jane Goodall

“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.” — Jane Goodall quotes

“One thing I had learned from watching chimpanzees with their infants is that having a child should be fun.”
— Jane Goodall

“Chimps turned out to be, not only behaviorally so like us, but also biologically like us, sharing 98.6 percent of DNA, similarities in immune system, blood composition, anatomy of the brain. We’re not, after all, separate from the animal kingdom. We’re part of it.”
— Jane Goodall, in an interview in The New York Times

On the Environment

“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.”
— Jane Goodall, in TIME

“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.” — Jane Goodall

“Here we are, the most clever species ever to have lived. So how is it we can destroy the only planet we have?”
— Jane Goodall

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

“You may not believe in evolution, and that’s alright. 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.”
— Jane Goodall

“Of course, a great deal of our onslaught on Mother Nature is not really lack of intelligence but a lack of compassion for future generations and the health of the planet: sheer selfish greed for short-term benefits to increase the wealth and power of individuals, corporations and governments. The rest is due to thoughtlessness, lack of education, and poverty. In other words, there seems to be a disconnect between our clever brain and our compassionate heart. True wisdom requires both thinking with our head and understanding with our heart.”
— Jane Goodall, The Book of Hope: A Survival Guide for Trying Times

“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.”
— Jane Goodall

On Women and Girls

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

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

“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.”
— Jane Goodall

When I was a little girl, I used to dream as a man, because I wanted to do things that women didn’t do back then such as traveling to Africa, living with wild animals and writing books.
I didn’t have any female explorers or scientists to look up to but I was inspired by Dr. Dolittle, Tarzan and Mowgli in The Jungle Book — all male characters.
It was only my mother who supported my dream: ‘You’ll have to work hard, take advantage of opportunities and never give up,’ she’d tell me.
I’ve shared that message with young people around the world, and so many have thanked me, and said, ‘You taught me that because you did it, I can do it too.’”
— Jane Goodall, in TIME

Because I succeeded in a scientific world largely dominated by men, I’ve been described as a feminist role model, but I never think of myself in that way. Although the feminist movement today is different, many women who have succeeded have done so by emphasizing their masculine characteristics. But we need feminine qualities to be both accepted and respected and in many countries this is beginning to happen. I love that the new movement involves women joining their voices together on social media, thus giving a sense of solidarity.”
— Jane Goodall, in TIME 

On Nature

“Nature can win if we give her a chance.”
— Jane Goodall

“Nature can win if we give her a chance.” — Jane Goodall quotes

“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.”
— Jane Goodall

“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.” — Jane Goodall

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

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

Related: Read the best Earth Day quotes

On Life

“Like our intellect, social media in itself is neither good nor bad — it is the use to which we put it that counts.”
— Jane Goodall, The Book of Hope: A Survival Guide for Trying Times

“Like our intellect, social media in itself is neither good nor bad — it is the use to which we put it that counts.” — Jane Goodall

“Children — and adults — who have a growth mindset are much more successful than those who have a fixed mindset about themselves and the world.”
— Jane Goodall, The Book of Hope: A Survival Guide for Trying Times

“Like our intellect, social media in itself is neither good nor bad — it is the use to which we put it that counts.” — Jane Goodall

“The advice I give to young people today is exactly what my mother gave to me when I was 10 and I said I’m going to grow up go to Africa, live with wild animals and write books about them. Everybody laughed. How could I do that? We didn’t have any money. World war ii was raging. I was just a girl. But my mother always said, ‘If you really want something, you’re going to have to work hard, you’ll have to take advantage of every opportunity but don’t give up.’ I’ve taken that message to young people…all around the world.
— Jane Goodall

Short Jane Goodall Sayings

“Without patience, I could never have succeeded.”
— Jane Goodall

“Forgiveness is how we unchain ourselves from the past.”
— Jane Goodall, The Book of Hope: A Survival Guide for Trying Times

“There seems to be a disconnect between our clever brain and our compassionate heart.”
— Jane Goodall, The Book of Hope: A Survival Guide for Trying Times

“What you have to do is to get into the heart. And how do you get into the heart? With stories.”
— Jane Goodall, at the World Economic Forum 

More Quotes from Jane Goodall

“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.”
— Jane Goodall

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

“Is world peace EVER going to be a reality? Sadly, likely not in our lifetimes. But that does not mean we should give in to despair. Mahatma Gandhi once said, ‘When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it-always.’”
— Jane Goodall, reflecting on the 20th anniversary of 9/11 

“I truly believe that the number of good and decent people in the world form by far the greatest percentage of the world population. And while there are those who are ruthless in their desire for ever more wealth and power, a great deal of harm is done simply through ignorance or the desperation of poverty or by those who have been misled.”
— Jane Goodall, reflecting on the 20th anniversary of 9/11 

“One million species are in danger of extinction. So what I say to the business community is: Just think logically. This planet has finite natural resources. And in some places, we’ve used them up faster than Mother Nature can replenish them. How can it make sense if we carry on in the way we are now, with business as usual, to have unlimited economic development on a planet with finite natural resources, and a growing population?”
— Jane Goodall, in an interview in The New York Times

People should think about the consequences of the little choices they make each day. What do you buy? Where did it come from? Where was it made? Did it harm the environment? Did it lead to cruelty to animals? Was it cheap because of child slave labor? And it may cost you a little bit more to buy organic food, but if you pay a little bit more, you waste less. We waste so much. And eat less meat. Or no meat. Because the impact on the environment of heavy meat eating is horrible, not to mention the cruelty.”
— Jane Goodall, in an interview in The New York Times

“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.”
— Jane Goodall

“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.”
— Jane Goodall, in her Peace Day 2018 message

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