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Jane Goodall continues to speak about the role of the pandemic and the natural world. Goodall accepted the 2021 Templeton Prize recently for her work.

According to the John Templeton Foundation, which grants the prize, the $1.5 million award honors people who “harness the power of the sciences to explore the deepest questions of the universe and humankind’s place and purpose within it.”

“Her discoveries have profoundly altered the world’s view of animal intelligence and enriched our understanding of humanity in a way that is both humbling and exalting,” said Heather Templeton Dill, president of the John Templeton Foundation, according to the Associated Press. 

Since winning the prize, Goodall spoke to both AFP and the Guardian about the pandemic, ecology and agricultural practices.

“We basically brought this [pandemic] on ourselves by our disrespect of the natural world, forcing animals closer to people, making it easier for a pathogen to jump from an animal to a person,” Goodall told AFP of the COVID-19 crisis. “Hopefully this pandemic has woken people up. We must develop a new relationship with the natural world.”

Speaking with the Guardian, Goodall outlined several problems affecting the world today and the source of many problems. “We have this crazy notion that we can have unlimited economic development on a planet with finite natural resources and a growing population of humans and their livestock,” Goodall told The Guardian. “We have to work out some kind of sustainable population, especially of livestock. Commercial agriculture is destroying immense areas of habitat to grow the grain to feed all these billions of animals — and a lot of fossil fuels are used in the process.”

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