It's fascinating to me to think about, you know, the beingness of creatures on this planet. And it's very obvious that we are human beings, so I always feel we have chimpanzee beings and dog beings. And I like to talk about them as he and she, which I was horribly criticized for at the beginning. And I was told that we humans were the only beings with personalities, minds, and emotions, but I learned from my childhood teacher that that wasn't true, and that childhood teacher was my dog, Rusty.
People said why did I name the chimpanzees? Why wouldn't I name them? Every animal I'd ever had had a name. My guinea pigs had names; my golden hamster had a name; the caterpillars that I kept to turn into butterflies—they all had names. Of course I would name chimpanzees. I couldn't remember them if they had numbers. Thanks for National Geographic, people got to know the chimpanzees as individuals, which they were. They had names, like David Greybeard, the first one to lose his fear; Old Flo, that amazing matriarch. If they'd been number 1, 10, 15, nobody would have had a clue, including me. It doesn't mean anything.
And I was told that you have to give them numbers because you've got to be objective as a scientist, and you mustn't empathize with your subject. And I feel this is where science has gone wrong. To have this coldness, this lack of empathy, has enabled some scientists to do unethical behavior. Moreover, why deny a perfectly respectable tool? I think those two are behaving like that because that's how I would behave if I was in that situation—that's empathy. Once you've worked out why you think they are doing it, then you can start testing that: Am I right? Is this a valid assumption or not? But it gives you a groundwork for asking questions.
I think empathy is really important. And I think only when our clever brain and our human heart work together in harmony can we achieve our full potential.
註一：chimpanzee beings 和 dog beings 是珍‧古德女士在這裡自創的詞，改自 human being（人類）一字，因為珍古德認為黑猩猩和狗兒和人類一樣都是地球上的生命，並沒有地位高低之別。