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Newsletter 137
13/10/16

Most Admired People on the Planet. 

 
Hello Friends 
 
In a recent interview I was asked who I admired most on this planet. These are they. 

Gary Player:  

“I would like to be known
Not as a great golfer,
But as a great humanitarian” 

When I was lying  in hospital after the tiger attack and then again when I got cancer Gary had this to say: Don’t fight it, embrace it. Make adversity your friend, not your enemy.

When I asked Gary when he thought he would become a great golfer, he replied “when my mother died, I was 5 years old”. I took that adversity and turned it into a positive force. 

Forget about the 9 majors Gary has won and the fact that he was voted South African  Sportsman of the Century. 

Gary has raised over $40million for charities around the world. This is undoubtedly Gary’s greatest legacy. 

If I needed two words to describe Gary Player, it would be “Great Competitor”.  


Ian Player:

"Wilderness is for Me Salvation"

In the 60’s Ian Player was head of capture of the white rhino for the Natal Parks Board. Ian Player and his team revolutionized the capture of white rhino and moved them to safety. 

However this is not Ian Players greatest achievement. He was the founder of the Wilderness Leadership School.

Ian Player was the first to connect the need of modern urban human beings to wilderness. He enlightened us that wilderness and wild places are not a luxury, they are essential for the survival of human beings, especially as our population races to 10 billion people. 

It is accepted today (unless you are a game guard fighting poachers) that people that live in wild places close to nature, live longer and healthier lives. 

Ian Player’s relationship with James Magqubu, his lifelong mentor and friend, encouraged me to form a friendship with Elmon Mhlongo. This was not a popular thing to do during the days of apartheid. My friendship with Elmon and the knowledge he gave me, had a profound effect upon my life. 

If I were to select two words to describe Dr Ian Player, it would be “Spiritual Wilderness”. 


Tina Turner:

“Simply the Best
Better than All the Rest” 

When I met Tina, she has just separated from her abusive husband, Ike Turner.

Tina had lost her career, her fame and was flat broke. So desperate was she, that the only gig she could get, was in apartheid South Africa. (anti-apartheid protestors would later demonstrate outside her concerts). I remember one concert where barely 30 people pitched up to see her perform.

Tina’s response to her situation, was to embrace Buddhism. (Buddhism is one of the few religions that has a reverence for the natural world) 

At Londolozi she found peace in a beautiful wild place. Close to nature and using her Buddhist beliefs, she was able to slowly restore herself.

Tina told me that one day she would once again perform in front of 60,000 people. (I was dubious) Her prediction has come to pass. At the age of 70, Tina has once again gone out onstage in front of 60,000 screaming fans. 

Tina has become one of the greatest inspirations in my life. I saw her when she was down and out and I see her now in her 70’s strong, beautiful and full of energy. A force of nature indeed!! 

The one word I would use to describe Tina, would be “Survivor” 

 

Bob Dylan:

“I have listened to the lyrics
Of Mr. Tambourine Man 
Was it a psychedelic journey 
That even you don’t understand” 

From the song “Tribute to Bob Dylan"

Bob Dylan has embraced folk, rock, pop, R&B, gospel and any other type of music on this planet. He is essentially a poet who sings. (Bob Dylan was recently awarded the Nobel Prize for literature).

When Bob Dylan picked up an electric guitar, the purists from the folk community booed him off the stage.

Undeterred, Bob Dylan kept writing, recording and moving, "like a rolling stone". "The times are a changing", "I’m knocking on heaven’s door", "The answer my friend, is blowing in the wind”, were all penned by the lyrical genius.

Every time Bob Dylan ran into a dead end (There were many) he simply reinvented himself and moved on.

He ignored the critics and moved to his on beat and his own style. When I picked up a guitar in the 60's, Bob Dylan was my musical hero, today 50 years later Bob Dylan is still my hero.

I believe the most inspirational thing about Bob Dylan is that on some occasions he sings brilliantly in key and other times he is terrible. 

For untalented musicians like myself, we say if Bob can be this bad there is hope for us.

However, no matter how bad the song, the brilliance of Bob Dylan words shine through. His songs have a complex array of suggestive plots and sub plots that resonate with the man in the street. (The pump don’t work because the vandals look the handle).

It is perhaps the one liners that Dylan has become most famous.

"Black is the color, none is the number", describes apartheid.
"The roar of a wave that could drown the whole world" describes Tsunamis.
"The pellets of poison are flooding their waters" ...... water pollution.
"I threw it all away".... divorce
"Desolation Row".... inner city decay.
"Tangled up in blue"....depression
"I’ll give you shelter from the storm".... hospitality from people who have nothing.
"I’ve stepped in the middle of seven sad forests".... acid rain
"I’ve been out in front of a dozen dead oceans"...... man’s rape of the oceans.

If I were to use two words to describe Bob Dylan, it would be "Lyrical Genius".


Jane Goodall:

“To me, cruelty is the worst of human sins. Once we accept that a living creature has feelings and suffers pain, then by knowingly and deliberately inflicting suffering on that creature, we are guilty, whether it be human or animal.” 

Jane Goodall asks all the awkward questions to us addicted meat eaters. Questions that we simply can’t answer, and actions that we can’t justify.

Until I am a vegetarian, (I’ve tried 3 times and failed) I have no right to speak out against the ghastly cruelty in the feedlots of the cattle industry or the cramped inhumane conditions in mechanized pig farming or chickens shitting on another’s head as it sits trapped in a tiny cage below.

Perhaps like drug addicts we should create rehabilitation centers where meat addicts can be weaned off a meat diet. This would move us forward considerably towards saving our planet.

This is not about health, this is about cruelty to fellow species. Jane Goodall is a visionary of gigantic proportions.

If I were to choose two words to describe Jane it would be “Empathy” and “Vision”


Ian Khama:

“Dead Poachers Can’t Poach” 

While Zimbabwe is trashing its wildlife and South Africa has lost 5,000 rhino in the last 5 years, Botswana has moved to the African country with the most elephants.

At the same time Botswana is quietly buying rhino from South Africa and releasing them into their parks. If you would like to poach a Botswanan elephant or a rhino, you do so at your own peril.

Ian Khama before he was president was Minister of Defense. He understands exactly what works when it comes to poaching. His message is clear “Dead poachers can't poach”.  

It is no coincidence that he was recently voted the best President in the World. Ian Khama is my hero.

If I were to use two word to describe Ian Khama, it would be "Strategy and Discipline"


Paul Watson:

"As for myself, I do not believe in loggers, I believe in trees. I do not believe in fishermen, I believe in fish. I do not believe in miners, I believe in the rocks beneath my feet. I do not believe in pie in the sky spirituality, I believe in rainbows, rivers, mountains, and moss. I do not believe in environmentalists, I believe in the environment. I am a proud traitor to my species in alliance with my mother the Earth in opposition to those who would destroy her, those parasites who believe the Earth is here to serve human interests".

Paul Watson is a founder of Green Peace and now Captain of the Sea Shepherd. 

Watson puts his actions where his mouth is. He doesn’t hang around, he goes into battle with the Japanese whaling ships illegally killing whales.

He confronts the shark fin industry head on. (73 million sharks killed every year for the fins to make soup for Japanese and Chinese people.)

Paul Watson has been abused, threatened, arrested more times than I have had breakfast. He is answerable to no one, he is my kind of guy.

If I would to use two words to describe Paul Watson, it would be "Brave and Action"


Sir David Attenborough:

"Instead of controlling the environment for the benefit of the population, perhaps we should control the population to ensure the survival of our environment"  

Sadly I have never met David Attenborough, but I have worked with many of the crew who have worked with him over many years. I have never ever heard a bad word about David Attenborough.

Indeed well into his 70’s he was still carrying tripods for the BBC Natural History crew.

Complete with pace maker and into his 90’s, Sir David is prepared to climb into the canopy of the rainforest to present a piece of natural history for television. His voice is one of the most recognized around the world.

Sir David Attenborough regards himself as a member of a team that quite simply have made the finest wildlife films in the history of Planet Earth i.e. BBC Natural History Unit.

If I would use 2 words to describe David Attenborough they would be “Longevity and Eloquence”. 

Sir David Attenborough is my hero. 

 

Leonardo DiCaprio:

"Our oil-based society depends on non-renewable resources. It requires relentless probing into vast reaches of pristine land, sacrificing vital bioregions, and irreplaceable cultures. The possibility of catastrophic climate change is substantially increased by the 40 million barrels of oil burned every day by vehicles. We must all move shoulder to shoulder in a unified front to show this administration that the true majority of people are willing to vote for a cleaner environment and won't back down".

Many Hollywood film stars lend their name to any charity that is fashionable and that’s the last one hears of it.  

Leonardo is not only passionate about climate change but he is well informed.  

One day he is showing the very worst of human behavior in the “Wolf of Wall Street” the next he is addressing the United Nations on climate change. I call this diversity of life.  

I once sat alone in a cinema which was showing DiCaprio’s “The Eleventh Hour” movie. The cinema next door where the gangster movies were showing, was packed. DiCaprio’s movie had an  audience of one, me! This shows clearly where as a species our priorities lie!  

Leonardo DiCaprio’s foundation has given $56 million to environmental causes around the world. I know of no other individual who has given this generously to the environment.  

If I were to use two words to describe Leonardo DiCaprio it would be “Vision and Tenacity”


Therefore the ideal human being would be a person who possesses the vision of Leonardo DiCaprio, the competitiveness of Gary Player, the bravery of Paul Watson, the empathy of Jane Goodall, the spirituality of Ian Player, the energy of Tina Turner, the discipline of Ian Khama, the poetry of Bob Dylan and the eloquence of David Attenborough.

This indeed would be a unique individual!

Tread lightly on the Earth
JV

 

Tread lightly on the Earth

info@jvbigcats.co.za
Copyright 2007 @jvbigcats  All rights reserved


Newsletters


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Newsletter 135
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Newsletter 134
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Newsletter 130
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Newsletter 129
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An Open Letter to Head United Nations

Newsletter 128
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An Open Letter to Carte Blanche

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Newsletter 126
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Lightning strikes 3 times

Newsletter 125
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Newsletter 124
05/10/15
Bad Tigers

Newsletter 123
01/10/15
Tiger Boy's Journey

Newsletter 122
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Give it a Name

Newsletter 121
10/09/15
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Newsletter 120
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Creative Conservation

Newsletter 119
12/08/15
Sariska from birth till death

Newsletter 118
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Newsletter 117
07/08/15
An Open Letter to the President: Operation Wild Lion

Newsletter 116
03/08/15
An Open Letter to Theo Bronkhorst

Newsletter 115
28/07/15
Cruel Nations

Newsletter 114
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Subspecies or no subspecies

Newsletter 113
11/06/15
Tigers Moving Forward

Newsletter 112
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Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Newsletter 111
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Don't Shoot the Messenger

Newsletter 110
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Gaia or God?

Newsletter 108
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The Healing Power of Cats

Newsletter 107
18/02/15
Goddess Gaia

Newsletter 106
03/02/15
Ambassador Cats

Newsletter 105
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Blondes have more fun

Invitation
09/01/15
Gaining ground for tigers

Newsletter 103
14/12/14
Tibo's Dilemma

Newsletter 102
05/12/14
Wilderness Man

Newsletter 101
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Sariska fathers cubs with white Tigress Tibo

Newsletter 100
20/11/14
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Newsletter 99
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Extract from JV's speech on Corbett's Freedom Day

Newsletter 98
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The Power of the Picture

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Tiger Corbett's Release

Newsletter 96
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Corbett's Journey

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Bush School: Where are they now?

Newsletter 94
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John Varty interview with Sizie Modise

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Newsletter 91
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Newsletter 90
10/02/14
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Newsletter 89
05/02/14
Where are the Champions?

Newsletter 88
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Newsletter 87
16/01/14
Capture the Moment

Newsletter 86
07/12/13
The Princess Diana of Tigers - Julie:
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Newsletter 85
26/11/13
The Communicators

Newsletter 84
26/11/13
A Letter to All Conservationists in SA 
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Newsletter 83
16/11/13
Tell me what happened

Newsletter 82
04/11/13
Profit is the Name of Your Game

Newsletter 81
30/10/13

Big Cat Cub Safari


Newsletter 80
18/10/13
In the Jaws of the Tiger

Newsletter 79
11/10/13
Open letter to Vice President Cyril Ramaphosa about rhino crisis

Newsletter 78
06/10/13
Open letter to Min of Defense, South Africa about rhino crisis

Newsletter 77
30/09/13
Digital Photography

Newsletter 76
06/09/13
Zoochosis

Newsletter 75
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Rhino Horn Trade - Response

Newsletter 74
09/07/13
Raw Power

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The Evolution of the Tracker

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Using flash or spotlight on cats at night

Newsletter 70
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Newsletter 69
12/04/13
Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fastest of them all?

Newsletter 68
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Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the best fighter of them all?

Newsletters 67
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Newsletter 66
28/02/13
Seeking the genes

Newsletters 65
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Corbett's Journey

Newsletters 64
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In Search of a Mate

Newsletters 63
11/01/13
Rumble in the Jungle

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30/10/12
Voronin Big Cat Safari Breaks All Records

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A Journey to Nowhere

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03/10/12
The John Hume Approach

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28/09/12
Response to Rhino Horn Auction

Newsletters 58
24/09/12
A Letter to John Hume, SA biggest Rhino Breeder

Newsletters 57
05/09/12
Newsletters 56
01/08/12
Indian Government -
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Newsletter 55
11/07/12
What price must beauty pay?

Newsletter 54
21/04/12
Corbett's Freedom

Newsletter 53
15/04/12
Lethal injection or Freedom

Newsletters 52
04/04/12
The anatomy of an aggressive tiger

Newsletters 51
14/02/12
Majestic, breathtaking pictures

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04/11/11
Tigress Calendar

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Let your pictures do the talking

Newsletters 48
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Rhino Wars

Newsletters 47
06/09/11
A Letter to the President

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08/08/11
The Body Parts Scam

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11/07/11
Tiger Subspecies

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01/05/11
Your future and the Tiger

Newsletter 42
08/05/11
Talk to Me

Newsletter 41
26/01/11
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Ron's Journey

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"Descreprimate"

Newsletter 38
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Beauty comes at a price

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18/08/10

The Light Has Gone Out


Newsletter 36
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The Beautiful Game

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The Ethics of
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Runti's Journey


Newsletter 30
12/01/10

To intervene or not to intervene -
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Lion - Tiger - Human Communication


Newsletter 28
12/11/09

Emotional humans, emotional cats


Newsletter 27
03/11/09

Julie gives birth to 5 tiger cubs


Newsletter 26
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International Tiger Day


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To all Photographers


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A Shot in Anger


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Newsletter 21
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Tiger Courting


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Privatizing the Tiger


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Newsletter 8
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Newsletter 7
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Tiger Intelligence


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Newsletter 3
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Interspecies communication


Newsletter 2
06/02/07

Cub relocation


Londolozi
Newsletters

Death of a Legend
17/08/09


Newsletter 20
10/02/09

Newsletter 15
17/08/08

Painted Wolves


Newsletter 13
11/04/08

Response to Elephant Trust
by Daryl Balfour


Newsletter 12
09/04/08

Elephant Trust