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UP #26: Life With Chimpanzees, Jane Goodall, Resilience And Hope With Barb Cartwright

UP #26: Life with Chimpanzees, Jane Goodall, Resilience and Hope with Barb Cartwright

As I write this blog post for today’s Unplug podcast, the calendar shows April 22, 2014: Earth Day.

One thing I’ve always pondered about Earth Day is this – since there are 365 days in a typical year (unless its a leap year of course), why is it that we only designate one day of special recognition for the magnificence of this floating blue ball that we call home? This beautiful little blue ball teeming with incredible life in an infinite Universe is certainly worth celebrating more than one day per calendar year don’t you think? I mean, without her, life as we know it just can’t exist. She sustains us with food, water, gravity, and oxygen. Never asking for anything in return. And, with that, what’s our thanks? Exploitation and rampant destruction to the point where we’ve made her very sick. It’s actually quite amazing how much abuse she’s withstood while still maintaining ecological equilibrium to continually sustain life.

There’s no denying that we’ve reached a critical crossroads with climate change as a present day reality. We’ve now officially passed the tipping point and are experiencing the repercussions of our negligence with extreme droughts, wildfires, floods, weather patterns, and superstorms. Combine this with runaway species extinction and acidifying plastic infested oceans and we have the very real potential for global disaster. Climate change clearly shows the unraveling of the delicate web of life that connects us all.

I’m not going to get all preachy with facts, figures and statistics about how bad things are because this just keeps us trapped in the same level of reasoning-based consciousness that created the mess in the first place. Reason and logic changes nothing. They only provide intellectual fuel for arguments and useless discussions that keep us trapped in a war of words and excuses for inaction.

At this point we need to connect to the higher consciousness of interconnection residing in our hearts. By combining the feeling of caring with action, we have the power to transform anything.

Caring is a derivative of love. When we care, we feel gratitude. Gratitude for simple things that matter – like waking up every morning with breath, heartbeat, and a planet that sustains the life force of every living being that we share this awesome planet with. Think about it – how amazing is it that we get to experience wind, sun, rain, four very distinct seasons, animals, trees, flowers, mountains, oceans, you know…life. How amazing is it that we were blessed with consciousness and free will to make everyday personal choices that can actually have a significant impact on the outcome of today’s planetary woes. There’s just so much to be grateful for on this beautiful planet, and this is a wonderful way to activate the love in your heart that has the incredible power to create miracles.

Love is a movement of higher consciousness. And this is where hope lives.

And today’s Unplug podcast episode is all about hope. Hope for a better world for animals, for the planet, for ourselves.

Today I have the privilege of speaking with a truly inspiring woman and dear friend, Barb Cartwright, about her life with chimpanzees, her work with Jane Goodall, the power of choice, resilience and hope.

Barb has dedicated her life to working with animals and making the world a better place for the wonderful sentient beings who share life with us on this beautiful blue ball we call home.

As her Huffington Post bio reads:

An award winning leader in animal welfare, conservation and education, Barbara’s work has spanned five continents and 20 years. Her extensive experience in developing and facilitating relationships with stakeholders including governments, corporations and NGOs led to innovative programs with Quebec First Nations on companion animal issues, with the Assembly of First Nations building resources for youth on reserves, with the BC government studying grizzly bear rehabilitation, with east coast fishermen protecting endangered right whales and with African communities conserving chimpanzees. Her knowledge of policy and public affairs allowed her to lobby for amendments to federal legislation including updates to the Criminal Code, the Migratory Bird Act and the Canadian Environmental Protection Act. In 2008, working closely with on-line giant eBay, she led a successful effort to end the illegal ivory trade on its site worldwide.

Barbara has presented to the Justice Committee of the House of Commons, the all party International Conservation Caucus, the UN Convention on International Trade in Endangered Specifies (CITES) as well as at the IUCN World Congress. Barbara holds a Master’s in Environmental Education and Communication, is a published author, lecturer and received the Governor General’s Gold Medal, as well as the National Environmental Excellence Award. She is the former President and current Committee Chair for the Jane Goodall Institute of Canada and sits on the Advisory Council for the Pan-African Sanctuary Alliance.

Above all else, Barb exemplifies passion, compassion, dedication, commitment, and fire. She’s a woman who deeply cares and a woman I feel honored to call friend.

Today we speak about a diversity of topics including:

• Acting on your dreams and making them happen.
• Close encounters with chimpanzees in Africa.
• The serious threat of wildlife trafficking on animal populations.
• How a chance meeting with Jane Goodall changed her life.
• The importance of hope to create a better world for all living beings.
• How to remain effective without falling into the pit of darkness that makes up much of today’s world.
• The importance of having a solid support system to create a safe oasis of peace when the outside world is painful.
• Living life as a caring empath in a world that teaches us to not care.
• The magic of “pure moments” to bring us back to what matters in life.
• Fostering resilience in order to remain in a state of hope.
• How choice is empowerment.

Today’s interview includes alot of laughter, a few tears, a heaping dose of resilience and a ton of hope. Enjoy this week’s interview and let Barb Cartwright give you reason for hope.

Finding Fido CFHS PSA


What is your reason for hope?


Canadian Federation of Humane Societies website.
Three Things To Do For Someone Who’s About To Lose a Pet Huffington Post article.

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