The Barnes & Noble Review
In this deeply felt call to action, Jane Goodall and her coauthor, the animal behaviorist Marc Bekoff (Minding Animals), use a series of maxims -- the Ten Trusts -- as a guide for relating to the natural world. Renowned for her groundbreaking chimpanzee studies, Goodall has shown, first with Reason for Hope and now with this book, a growing determination not only to understand the extraordinary creatures who share our planet but also to gain our help in saving them.
The simple but eloquent precepts enunciated in this book -- from rejoicing in our own place in the animal kingdom to approaching nature with respect, humility, and wisdom -- are designed to help us think about how we conduct our lives on the planet. While issues such as animal experimentation and human overpopulation are noted, the authors maintain a tone of purposeful optimism and argue for persistence, courage, and hope. One of the great strengths of the book lies in its ability to make the authors' goals seem achievable on a human scale, with numerous stories of ordinary individuals who have contributed in some small way to relieving animal suffering. The authors emphasize how children, too, can play an active part, highlighting Goodall's own Roots and Shoots program. These encouraging examples will resonate with kids, parents, and teachers. While many of the ideas in this volume have been have been expressed elsewhere, they probably can't be repeated often enough, and the stature and generous vision of these authors makes their work especially poignant, accessible, and inspiring. Deirdre Mullane
Goodall (My Life with Chimpanzees; Reason for Hope) and Bekoff, a biology professor at the Univ. of Colorado, offer a prescriptive conservation plan designed to protect animals as well as help educate people about the importance of saving both animals and the environment. The authors, who have also worked on Roots & Shoots, an international service program for young people, explain their position by including personal recollections and statistical evidence. Their position that people have chosen to destroy both animals and habitats and will continue to do so unless they radically change their behavior is stressed throughout the book: "It is sad to have to put a monetary value on the wilderness and on animal species. But until the wealthy nations can agree to pay an annual `rent' on huge areas of land, it seems likely that governments in the developing world will exploit their natural resources in any way they can...." The steps to action, including "Praise and Help Those Who Work For Animals and the Natural World" and "Value and Help Preserve the Sounds of Nature," are sound. For example, having children work with animal protection programs has already been successfully tried. Suggesting that kids "adopt" animal programs by making monetary donations is also practical. The book is particularly likely to interest people already active in environmental causes. (Oct.) Forecast: Given Goodall's reputation along with the 75,000 first printing, national advertising, a 15-city NPR tour along with lectures, initial sales are likely to be strong. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
This inspiring book brings together two notables of the animal welfare movement-primatologist Goodall and animal behaviorist Bekoff, who coedited the Encyclopedia of Animal Rights and Animal Welfare-for the first and, one hopes, not the last time. The result of their labor is a gift to those who care about the environment, animals, and people. How many readers have thought, "I care about environmental issues, but what can I do? My contribution would be a drop in the bucket." The authors answer that questions with their ten trusts, e.g., "Teach our children to respect and love nature" and "Praise and help those who work for animals and the natural world," which one can use as a personal action plan. For instance, in their discussion of the trust "Respect all life," the authors point out that while it was once necessary for humans to wear furs to survive, today it is a needless and thoughtless act perpetuated by fashion designers. Readers are encouraged to examine the facts in such cases and make some life choices. This book will be popular wherever there is an interest in animals and the environment.-Peggie Partello, Keene State Coll. Lib., NH Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
Adult/High School-Hiking through the mountains of Colorado, Bekoff found inspiration for a series of exhortations that he and Goodall believe would drastically improve all animal life (humans included) if enough people took action. Among the 10 trusts are "Rejoice that we are part of the animal kingdom"; "Refrain from harming life in order to learn about it"; and "Have the courage of our convictions." A blend of anecdotes and scientific data illustrates why each trust is important. Informal in style, the book leisurely goes back and forth between authors, creating a conversational feel that works nicely. Plenty of primate stories from Goodall are intermingled with dog tales from canine-loving Bekoff. Particularly riveting are his accounts of his personal involvement with animal experiments. Along with what is cited in the text, the section on sources includes more than a dozen pages of books, articles, and Web sites. Here, readers who are already familiar with animal-rights issues will find fuel for their fire, and those who are not are likely to experience an awakening. Without a doubt, Goodall and Bekoff are very good at tugging at the heartstrings while feeding the mind. Eco-warriors will adore this one.-Sheila Shoup, Fairfax County Public Library, VA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
“A wonderful mix of science and ethics that deserves the widest audience. Goodall and Bekoff are a marvellous team.”
Allen M. Schoen
“A powerful paradigm for the twenty-first century. Read it and be part of the healing of our planet!”
“Ten commandments for the future of advanced life of our planet...these too deserve to be chiseled on stone.”
Terry Tempest Williams
“A powerful credo of compassion. May it stand alongside The Earth Charter as a revolutionary text for this century.”
“The Ten Trusts weaves together science, ethics, and vivid storytelling to inspire us. A beautiful and heart-stirring book.”
“Jane Goodall, with customary good sense and wisdom, reminds us of the tenderness we owe towards all of creation.”
Read an Excerpt
The First Trust
Rejoice That We Are Part of the Animal Kingdom
In our First Trust, we discuss some of the many similarities -- biological, emotional, and intellectual -- that clearly demonstrate the continuity of evolution not only in physical structure, but also in behavior. For those among us who do not believe in the theory of evolution, the anecdotes we have gathered together nevertheless provide compelling evidence of the many similarities in human and animal behavior. We can be proud that we are part of the animal kingdom.
Throughout recorded history the wise ones have known that we are a part of the animal kingdom. Native Americans and many other indigenous people of the world acknowledge their relationship with their brothers and sisters the four-footed ones and the winged ones and the finned ones. St. Francis of Assisi also described animals as his brothers and sisters, treating them with utmost tenderness and reverence. He rescued many creatures, from rabbits and lambs destined for slaughter to worms that were crossing the road. He empathized with them in sermons to the animals, birds, and fishes. The First Nation spiritual leader Chief Dan George urged his people, "If you talk to the animals, they will talk to you and you will know each other. If you do not talk to them, you will not know them. And what you do not know, you will fear. What one fears, one destroys."
Millions of people do not realize how closely connected we humans are with the rest of the animal kingdom. They do not realize that we ourselves are animals. Instead, they perceive a false reality in which humans stand on one side of anunbridgeable chasm and the rest of the animal kingdom stands on the other. Imagine a chimpanzee, so like us in so many ways, reaching out to us across that chasm. There is an unspoken question: "Will you acknowledge me as 'kin.'" If you dare look into his eyes and take hold of his hand, he will look back toward the other animal beings and then back to you with a question, "What about them? Don't they matter too?" Indeed, the great apes are like us in so many ways that they serve as ambassadors for all the other wonderful animals with whom we share the planet.
Of course, although we are animals, we are clearly unique ones. It is not just that we have a large and complex brain, but that somewhere in our evolutionary past we developed a sophisticated spoken language. Other animals with complex brains certainly have complex communication patterns, especially whales, dolphins, elephants, monkeys, and the great apes. Chimpanzees, bonobos, and gorillas even show the same lack of symmetry that humans do in a region of the brain (Broca's area) that is critical for speech production. In humans and these other three great apes, Broca's area is larger in the left cerebral hemisphere than it is in the right. But even these apes cannot, so far as we know, discuss the distant past, make joint plans for the distant future, teach their children about things or events that are not present, discuss an idea back and forth so that it can grow and change in accordance with the collective wisdom of the group, or ask why they are here. Nor, we suspect, do they worry about whether they have souls. Nevertheless, in so many basic ways our kinship with the world of animals, especially with the mammals, is striking. And nowhere is it more striking than with chimpanzees and the other great apes.
We share about 98.7 percent of our genes with chimpanzees, 97.7 with gorillas, and 96.4 with orangutans. We could have a blood transfusion from a chimpanzee if the blood types matched. They can catch or be infected experimentally with all of our contagious diseases. There are striking similarities in the structure of the brain and the central nervous system of apes and humans, and there are many similarities in social behavior and cognitive skills. Indeed, chimpanzees and the other great apes demonstrate many abilities that we used to think were unique to ourselves. They communicate by means of many different calls and also posture and gestures such as kissing, embracing, holding hands, tickling, swaggering, throwing, shaking a fist, punching, and so forth. They are capable of compassion and true altruism, but, like us, they also have a dark side to their nature and can exhibit brutality, and chimpanzees may even engage in a kind of primitive war. Although they have not developed a spoken language like ours (and cannot learn to speak words because of anatomical differences in the larynx), they have cognitive abilities that enable them to learn (in captivity) a variety of human languages, such as American Sign Language. They can make abstractions, generalize, and use abstract symbols in their communications. Some captive individuals enjoy drawing and painting.
Desmond Morris made a study of chimpanzee art back in the early 1960s and, as a joke, persuaded a London art gallery to hang one or two, by "An Unknown Artist." Critics, who spent a lot of time interpreting the meaning of this new art form, were somewhat embarrassed when they discovered the true identity of the unknown artists!
As a result of long-term studies on different populations of chimpanzees across Africa, we now know that there are differences in certain behaviors, such as tool using, that appear to be passed on from one generation to the next through observation and imitation -- one definition of culture. Nor is cultural variation unique to chimpanzees. In a group of Japanese macaques living on Koshima Island, a young female, Imo, discovered that she could remove the sand from sweet potatoes by washing them in the sea. Other young ones imitated her, then their mothers and other young monkeys followed suit, and eventually the whole troop adopted this useful behavior. Subsequently, Imo learned to throw the corn that was scattered on the sand for the monkeys into the sea ...The Ten Trusts. Copyright © by Jane Goodall. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.