Jane Goodall Is Here to Remind You: “We Are Nature”

Deborah Springstead Ford

“I hope we emerge from this pandemic . . .
with a new respect for nature, the natural world, and animals.”

Dame Jane Goodall

THE LOCKDOWNS around the world kept us in our homes, at a distance from one another, and yet, paradoxically, somehow the distance brought the rest of nature closer. The pandemic has magnified our relationship to the living world.

Nobody knows the origins of the pandemic, but we do know that there has been an increase in emerging infectious diseases over the past century, and that the risks are increasing through human actions, especially deforestation and the ways we treat other animals.



To prevent further pandemics, we don’t just need to examine these kinds of causes. We need to understand that our actions are enabled by the value frameworks that justify what we do to other species, and to the environment.

It was a challenge making a film entirely across zoom during a pandemic, but the film aims to capture that reality as it was happening, and use it as part of the storytelling.


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Melanie Challenger works as a researcher on the history of humanity and the natural world, and on environmental philosophy. She is the author of How to Be Animal (Penguin) and On Extinction: How We Became Estranged from Nature (Counterpoint). She received a Darwin Now Award for her research among Canadian Inuit and the Arts Council International Fellowship with the British Antarctic Survey for her work on the history of whaling. She lives with her family in England.