Home » Blogs » Mentoring and Recovery » Advice for Saving the World

Advice for Saving the World

My parrot, Pearl, posing on top of the shiny cover of the great Sy Montgomery book “Chasing Cheetahs.”

According to Dr. Laurie Marker, wildlife conservationist and founder of the Namibia, Africa-based Cheetah Conservation Fund,

We can save the world. There’s no reason we can’t. But we have to actively do it.

Dr. Laurie has been studying cheetahs since I was 4 years old (just in case you’re wondering, that adds up to 42 years and counting!).

So I figure she knows what she’s talking about.

Plus, I happen to agree with her….at least in theory.

Dr. Laurie says,

We’re not alone! We should learn that before we can walk and talk. We should learn how to have ‘interpersonal’ relationships not only with humans but with nature, before we are allowed a certificate that says we’re human. If we don’t learn that, we’re inhuman.

I really love this lady. 

She’s one of those folks (at least from what I read in the book about her, “Chasing Cheetahs,” that author Sy Montgomery wrote) who is pretty much everywhere doing everything all at once and all the time.

She mentors zoos on how breed cheetahs in captivity….apparently this is a monumental challenge and she’s one of just a handful of folks who has ever pulled it off.

She also talks to African farmers about cheetah conservation. She actually goes to their farms to discuss the problems they have with cheetahs and figures out how to solve those problems without killing any cheetahs.

In her spare time, she breeds puppies that become trained guard dogs for those same farmers’ herds, which saves cheetahs since the dogs won’t let the cheetahs eat the livestock and so the farmers stop killing the cheetahs.

And she breeds hundreds of sheep and goats to help train the puppies to guard them. Oh, and she makes all kinds of products out of the goats’ milk to support her work, including cheese and ice cream!

She talks regularly in local schools to educate the kids about cheetahs and recruit them to become young conservationists.

She runs an international nonprofit that gives tours, offers lodging, welcomes staff and volunteers from around the world, raises money, oversees a cheetah museum, conducts research….oh, and rescues, raises, rehabilitates and releases orphaned and injured cheetahs.

And she has a husband, friends and a life.

So I’m pretty much thinking that Dr. Laurie can save the world, and maybe already has. What interests me here is that she thinks we can too.

She came right out and said it – we can save the world. There’s no reason we can’t.

Here, I think she means me. And you. She doesn’t even know us, but she seems to think we absolutely can save the world, which by my calculations mostly means the non-human beings and plants and nature amongst us, which makes up the part of the world that keeps getting trampled on by….us.

However, if Dr. Laurie is right and we can save the world, then it would seem it is going to require a very tangible shift in how we do almost everything. And a whole lot of us are going to have to make this shift to make sufficient impact that it looks more like “world saving” and less like “finger in the leaky dam.”

And that, to me at least, sounds daunting.

I’m also not sure where to start. But if I can figure out a place to start, and a way to start, I sure would like to do it.

Today’s Takeaway: What do you think? Is saving the world – the natural parts of it, anyway – doable? Is it possible? Or maybe you are already doing it, in which case I’d love to hear about your work! I just feel like my life is over-run with non-world saving things, like earning rent money and drinking out of plastic water bottles. I’d love to hear your ideas for how to get started saving all the wonderful creatures and green beings I so love!!

Advice for Saving the World

Shannon Cutts

Parrot, tortoise & box turtle mama. Writer. Author. Mentor. Champion of all people (and things) recovered and recovering.

2 comments: View Comments / Leave a Comment



APA Reference
Cutts, S. (2017). Advice for Saving the World. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 26, 2020, from


Last updated: 22 Jul 2017
Statement of review: Psych Central does not review the content that appears in our blog network ( prior to publication. All opinions expressed herein are exclusively those of the author alone, and do not reflect the views of the editorial staff or management of Psych Central. Published on All rights reserved.