There is not a lot that primatologist Dame Jane Goodall and I have in common. Born in London in 1934 and growing up in war-torn Britain, Goodall became a leader in the world of conservation and animal welfare and is considered the world’s foremost expert on chimpanzees. By comparison, I grew up in Little Rock, Ark. and the only real thing I survived was the era of stone washed denim overalls and moon shoes. To date, I am still very much a spring chicken in the world of non-profit animal sanctuaries and am not much of an expert on anything. However, the one significant commonality that Dame Goodall and I have, other than our 5’5” stature, is the desire to speak with animals.
Goodall once said that she, “wanted to talk to the animals like Dr. Dolittle.” I can relate. While having no real aversion to people, I have always been drawn to animals. More particularly, I have always been drawn to the responsibility we have as human animals to protect the world and its inhabitants around us. If I could not speak to the animals, then why not use my writing to help speak for them?
With my degree in English Language and Literature from Sweet Briar College, I knew that I wanted to use my love of writing to help those who needed a voice the most. Therefore, when an opportunity to work at TCWR came, I took a chance and applied. From writing biographies for our adoption program to aiding fundraising initiatives and helping with the newsletter, as the Stewardship Writer at TCWR, I will be helping to give the survivors of the exotic pet trade a much-needed voice. Jane Goodall puts it so eloquently: “Only if we understand can we care. Only if we care will we help. Only if we help shall they be saved.” By sharing their stories, we will be able to better understand the issues they face and thereby make a lasting impact on all of our lives.