Wednesday, April 1, 2009


I had the opportunity to read THE TEN TRUSTS by Jane Goodall and co-author Marc Bekoff. A little about the authors, Jane Goodall is an animal lover, researcher, caretaker, and activist. She is most well known for her work with chimpanzees of central Africa. Her co-author is also a much respected scientist from the University of Boulder, Colorado. They have been friends for over two decades and continue working together today.
The purpose of this book is to illustrate the ever-growing need for modern society not only to protect the animal life on our planet, but to value them to us as well. Jane and Marc are concerned with the problems in the world today: overpopulation, pollution, erosion, global warming, deforestation, etc. the authors sat down and made a list of what they can do to help preserve and care for the multitude of species struggling to survive in our modern world.
The Ten Trusts I believe can be referred to as the “Ten Commandments” of animal life conservation. Each trust is thoroughly covered and explored in the book and entrances the reader with scientific data and real life experiences by both individuals. The Ten Trusts are:
Rejoice that we are part of the animal kingdom.
Respect all life.
Open our minds to animals and learn from them. Teach our children to respect and love nature.
Be wise stewards.
Value and help preserve the sounds of nature.
Refrain from harming life in order to learn from it.
Have the courage of our convictions.
Praise and those who work for animals and the natural world
Act knowing we are not alone and life with hope.

Ms. Goodall and Dr. Bekoff utilize a passive warm and friendly approach to discuss each trust. As you read the experiences depicted in the book, it guides and encourages you to think of the importance of conservation of nature and animal life. Each author uses personal experiences that make you feel involved. Jane and Marc tell of experiences in Africa, Europe, and the Far East and the US which are very detailed and paint beautiful and sometime very graphic images in the mind of the reader.
The format of the book is interesting. Jane’s writing appears in standard type while Marc’s portions are interspersed in italics. I was pleased with the transitions that connected the sections. As I mentioned above the scientific research included makes the reading meaningful and enriches the text. The detailed examples used telling the reader about chimp behaviors and the similarities that are shared with humans really makes the reader think about what is happening in the world.
I will admit that I waited to the last possible minute to start searching for a book for the book review. I was fortunate to find Jane and Marc’s book The Ten Trusts. It was a coincidence that some of our reading for Monday lecture was on some of the ten trusts. I was able to finish the book in 10 hours and am very happy that I choose the book I did. As I ponder on how this simple book has changed my perception of animal conservation and how I as one individual can contribute to conservation, I feel empowered. The book does an excellent job at showing how individuals can make a difference on many different levels. One example was Marc Bekoff, a professor at the University of Boulder, Colorado, he fought against the university to change the practices used at the university medical school on animals dissection and animals testing. The courage it must have taken to go against your employer shows the dedication that Marc has in regards to animals equality. Something interesting about the book that caught me off guard is that both authors are not against the using of animals for scientific research, which I viewed as a strength for their argument. Their message is that if institutions use animals for research, the animals need to be very well taken care of. I agree whole heartedly with that position. I have come to realize that I can make a better effort in helping animal conservation and habitat conservation by teaching my son to appreciate nature. I believe that my parents did a great job teaching me about nature and the least that I can do is teach my son to appreciate that he is part of the animals kingdom as stated in trust one.
The book also did a good job in showing the cruelties that our animal brothers endure for the betterment of the human race. We owe a lot of gratitude to research animals because they are the ones that have sacrificed their bodies so that we as humans can lead a more productive life. The book also tells of individuals that have benefited from animals research and have now established sanctuaries for animals used in research.
Overall I am grateful to have read this book. It has opened my heart and eyes to the cause of animal conservation.
I have read the book all the way through!

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