Goodall on Vivisection and Vegetarianism

In an article (February 19, 2007) in the on-line Spanish publication, El Mundo, Jane Goodall makes clear that she is not opposed to all vivisection and that although she claims to be a vegetarian, she does not think that it is “an option that everyone has to adopt.” I do not know whether she is a vegan, but as she continues to be a celebrity supporter of Stonyfield Farm dairy products, I assume that she is not.

In any event, here are two portions of the interview, which have been translated by Professor Jenna Torres of St. Lawrence University, who is also the co-producer of the Vegan Freak website and podcast and Maria Luisa Arenzana, a Spanish animal advocate who translates animal rights texts. This should put to rest any misimpression that Goodall is opposed to the use of nonhuman primates in experiments.

The translation:

Q: Do you believe that biomedical research with primates should be prohibited?

Goodall: Yes, it should be prohibited, unless there is a very clear justification that an experiment could serve to save human lives, for example in the research on diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. I am not necessarily against all research with primates or other animals. What I do believe is that when an experiment is justified for medical reasons, it should take extreme care so that the animals suffer minimally. But we know that today it’s not like that. The reality is that the majority of laboratories are terrifying places.

Q: Are you vegetarian?

Goodall: Yes, but it’s not necessarily an option that everyone has to adopt. Nevertheless, if people feel it’s necessary to eat meat, I believe, that for their own health, they should eat the least possible amount, and they should always look for products from organic farms where the animals aren’t kept in horrible conditions and fed antibiotics.

Thanks to Professor Torres and Ms. Arenzana.

Thanks also to Jane Goodall, for making her speciesist position crystal clear in her own words.

Gary L. Francione
© 2007 Gary L. Francione