Jane Goodall quotes – Saving the planet and speaking on behalf of the animals who are being butchered.

Jane is a naturist who first caught my attention from her work with chimpanzees in Tanzania. Way back in the 60s I was captivated by her book – In the Shadow of Man. She is someone I greatly respect who has worked to support wildlife.
Jane Goodall: 50 Years at Gombe
The least I can do is speak out for those who cannot speak for themselves.
Me too. There are millions of creatures being killed daily. If nobody speaks up for them they will continue to be slaughtered. The world is already depleted of its fantastic array of life. Soon they will be gone if we do not do something.
Only if we understand, will we care. Only if we care, will we help. Only if we help shall all be saved.
I am only a writer. The people who make the decisions are the rich and powerful. They have to be made to understand that this cannot go on.
The greatest danger to our future is apathy.
Throughout my teaching career I have strived to get my students thinking. They are the future. They need to be aware and involved.
Every individual matters. Every individual has a role to play. Every individual makes a difference.
We can all make a difference. There are millions of us who care. We have to keep making the powerful aware.
Change happens by listening and then starting a dialogue with the people who are doing something you don’t believe is right.
We have to keep telling them to stop – there are better ways.
Lasting change is a series of compromises. And compromise is all right, as long your values don’t change.
The bottom line is that the environment needs protecting.
“I don’t have any idea of who or what God is. But I do believe in some great spiritual power. I feel it particularly when I’m out in nature. It’s just something that’s bigger and stronger than what I am or what anybody is. I feel it. And it’s enough for me.”
I’m an antitheist. I do not believe in god and I think that religion is very bad for us, but I do believe in a power that exists in nature, a vibration that connects us to the universe. That is something I’m prepared to call spiritual. That is what requires protection.

Anthropocene Apocalypse. Chimpanzees – our closest relatives.

Our closest cousins. We are chimps too. They are people.

Opher's World

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The Chimps are hominids just like us. We share 99% of our coded DNA with chimps. We evolved from a common ancestor around 3-4 million years ago. That is recent.

There are two species of chimps. The Bonobo is presently on the verge of being wiped out.

We are really the third species of chimp. We have slight evolutionary modifications. We have evolved bigger brains and lost a bit of fur.

Chimps can use tools and can learn to speak a number of words. They exhibit a lot of the emotional complexities and learning behaviour of humans.

Presently, as our numbers surge and our lust for food, timber and land increases, we are destroying their habitat and butchering them for bush-meat.

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We need to start caring for our wild-life and limiting our numbers. We are destroying the planet.

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Poetry – Gorilla – an elegy to the inevitable demise of a relative of ours.

We do need to save these wonderful and intelligent people.

Opher's World

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We share ninety nine per cent of our genes with the chimpanzees and gorillas. They are the closest relatives we have left after we eradicated our fellow human Neanderthals.

They are sentient, intelligent and peaceful. We are sentient, intelligent and ruthless.

They are hunted for bush-meat. Their babies are prised away from their dead mothers and sold. Their hands and feet are hacked off and sold as trophies.

The forests they live in are opened up with logging roads for the hunters to exploit; then the trees are sawn down to leave bare soil.

Their numbers decrease and the destruction is relentless as our numbers soar and greed, selfishness and necessity create a tsunami that is rolling over nature.

It fills me with hopeless despair.

Gorilla

Ninety nine per cent of us

Living wild and free;

Tight-knit family –

How we’d like to be.

Wandering, playing at ease

As they…

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Poetry – I am a gorilla – A poem to humanity who has none.

I’m still a bald gorilla!

Opher's World

Prose Cons and poetry cover

I am a gorilla

We haven’t been around so long and yet we’re running the planet. We’re out of control.

We think we’re so clever but look at the mess we’re making of things!

We can be so kind but we are the cruellest animal who ever evolved.

We run on power.

We desire more.

We fight for more than we could ever need.

Our greed is extraordinary. We’re like wolverines in a chicken-run.

The planet’s become our play thing.

And we’ve only just begun!

 

I am a gorilla

 

I am a gorilla

In a garden without a single tree

A crazy, bemused chimpanzee

Who built a lavatory.

My madness runs

In my veins and DNA.

Inherited through my genes

To bring atoms into play.

From the African Savannah

Right out to the stars

We’re the naked chimps

Who string up guitars.

I know I am a mad…

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Animal rights – What would be the effect of giving ‘human’ status to gorillas, chimps and whales?

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As a number of animals (Gorillas, Chimps, Orangutans, Whales, Dolphins, Porpoises etc.) have a large intelligence it makes sense to regard them as ‘people’ – individuals with their own consciousness and sense of identity.

By accepting their level of sentience and conferring ‘human’ status on them we would automatically confer status.

It would, in law, be an act of murder to kill one of these animals. Hunting them would be a major crime. To imprison, torture or be cruel to one of them would open the abuser to a different level of justice through the courts.

I believe it would make a big difference to the life of these creatures and help humans too. We need to become more civilised and develop a far better attitude to nature and the needs of life on this planet.

What do you think?

Animal rights – Which Animals should be awarded ‘Human’ status?

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The old prevailing attitude was that human beings were not animals. That we were made by god in his image.

The DNA evidence, couple with any cursory look at our far from perfect ‘design’, shows quite clearly that this is not the case.

It used to be thought that we alone displayed intelligence. That is now known to be false. Many creatures display quite marked intelligence. We are probably not even the most intelligent creature on the planet!

It used to be believed that the animals had been put here by god for us to use or abuse as we saw fit. This is dangerous nonsense. Animals have nervous systems and experience pain and discomfort in exactly the same way that we do. There can be no excuse for inflicting pain or torment on any living creature.

So now we come to the thorny question. As many animals are conscious, sentient and intelligent – should we afford them ‘human’ status and give them similar rights to that of human beings?

I say yes.

So which creatures are ‘worthy’ of being given this status?

In my view all animals, but if we go for those animals that have been shown to have a high level of intelligence then we could form a list of suitable candidates:

Our closest primate cousins:

Chimpanzees

Gorillas

Orangutans

Gibbons

The cetaceans:

All whales

Dolphins

Porpoises

Now we know that a number of birds, monkeys and other creatures display a remarkable set of intelligences. Maybe some of them are worthy of being called human? I would be interested to hear your views.

Featured book – Anthropocene Apocalypse – the blurb

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For anybody who cares for nature this book is a must. This is written by somebody who loves animals in the wild and despairs at the degradation of the environment that he has witnessed first-hand in his life-time. You reel at the cruelty and thoughtlessness, the stupidity and crass superstition. You boggle at the numbers of this mad population explosion that is to blame. You can see the panic setting in as we career towards an inevitable human catastrophe.
Yet it is not all doom and gloom. The passion rips through your heart and the fury saddens you. But also in there is the ecstasy and love of the wonder that is this planet with its bountiful treasure-trove of nature.
We write so that it may not come true.
This book is not a mass of scientific facts or boggling information; it is one mans view from the vantage point of a long life of what is happening to this jewel of a planet.
It is also a book about hope; hope that we can use our intelligence to put a stop to this pollution and cruelty before it is too late. There are ways we can make it work. They are outlined. The way forward is clear.
All that is needed is the will to make it happen.
If you care about the planet you should read this. It will change your life. Hopefully it will also change the world for the better!

In Britain you can access my books on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Opher-Goodwin/e/B00MSHUX6Y/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1463753690&sr=1-2-ent

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Anthropocene Apocalypse:

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In the USA:

http://www.amazon.com/Opher-Goodwin/e/B00MSHUX6Y/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1463753801&sr=1-2-ent

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Poetry – The last one – In the Cage. – A poem for the Chimps and Gorillas.

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The last one – In the cage

As a child I was taken to London zoo. I stood in front of the small cage in which Guy the Gorilla was housed. He looked out at me with sad rheumy eyes. He seemed so human.

There was a great resignation. Guy was bored to tears.

We humans have evolved from a branch of apes that gave rise to the gorillas and chimps. Only one percent of our DNA is different. Our greater intelligence is the result of a small number of changes. It is responsible for our technology and the weapons and tools with which we are busy destroying the planet and killing everything that lives.

We assume that all those chimps and gorillas have no intelligence.

We are wrong.

They have plenty of wisdom. It is merely different to ours.

Our binocular vision coupled with that opposable thumb has enabled our tool making and our technology. It has enabled us to destroy our cousins.

I think they know their days are numbered.


 

The last one – In the cage

 

What wise thoughts lie

Behind those eyes;

Brown eyes so human.

The blitheringed

Say you have no soul

But I see the sadness –

The knowledge of your fate.

 

What strange tools

Could be devised

By that hand –

That hand with thumb

And finger to pick

And grasp?

 

What contented future

Has been savagely

Plucked from

Your grasp

And snatched

From your mind?

 

Opher 7.11.2015

Poetry – First Feet – A poem for the first humans – the crazy chimps

Stanzas and Stances cover

First feet

I am intrigued by the idea of the first humans. Somewhere on the African plains a small group of chimp-like apes were isolated from other groups and underwent various mutations. Within that group the genes became distinct and a series of beneficial changes created sufficient difference to be considered a new species.

There had to be a moment when those changes were distinct enough to be considered human. A mother held her baby in her arms. When it took its first steps human civilization was born.

I am aware that in practice this would have been a continuum and that moment would be arbitrary but it is nice to give it a concrete moment.

The strength of humans, which gives us our dominance on this planet, is due to our ingenuity/intelligence and ability to solve problems coupled with our teamwork. We, as hunters, even with weapons, when on our own, were no match for predators, but when in a group we proved formidable. Our brains created technology, weapons, civilization, war, hunting, farming and religion.

I just hope that our abilities are sufficient to deal with the huge problems we are creating ourselves.

 

First feet

 

First feet

Treading the grass

Of the savannah

With the cunning

Of a predator.

 

Brother to the right

In trust of

Bravery,

Safe within

The magic

Of ingenuity.

 

Working fearlessly

In collaboration

Lies the strength,

Cold and calculated

Of imagination

Throughout their length.

 

Opher 30.10.2015

Anthropocene Apocalypse – Imagine a world without Chimpanzees, Elephants, Gorillas, Rhinos, Orang-utans, Hippos, Tigers and thousands more. That’s what we are heading towards.

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All over the world the population of humans is soaring, the habitats are being polluted or destroyed, jungles being cleared, strip mining, logging and farming are taking their toll, and the animals are being slaughtered for meat or superstitious medicine.

We seem to be sleep-walking towards a concrete jungle.

The seas and rivers are overfished, the natural world is built over.

It’s time to make clear lines of demarcation – 50% for us and 50% for the rest of the animal life.

It is almost too late.