On Nature and Animals
“As corny as it sounds, natural highs are the greatest highs in the world. The stars, the mountains, children, babies smiling are just magic.”
Michael Jackson, JET Magazine, 1979
“I am not street smart at all. I hate the city. I love nature.”
"A lot of people just stay in the cities when they travel. They should get out and see the real country. Wherever you go, man-made things are man-made, but you’ve got to get out and see God’s beauty of the world."
"I like to hear the sound of water and birds chirping and laughter. I love all the real natural, innocent things."
"Music started with nature. Music is nature. Birds make music. Oceans make music. Wind makes music. Any natural sound is music. And that’s where it started."
“I try to be loving, and I try to find love and see love in all things. I love nature, I love the forest. I love the grace, the gentleness, the easiness of how gentle nature is. It is just giving. I love that.”
"What delight Nature must feel when she makes stars out of swirling gas and empty space. She flings them like spangles from a velvet cape, a billion reasons for us to awaken in pure joy. When we open our hearts and appreciate all she has given us, Nature finds her reward. The sound of applause rolls across the universe, and she bows."
“...I enjoy nature too much.... I know the tree feels it when the wind blows through it. It probably goes, “Ohhhh, this is wonderful.” And that´s how I feel when I´m singing some songs. It´s wonderful.”
"Plus, I’m crazy for birds and animals and puppies. And I love exotic things. I’ve had llamas, peacocks, a rhea, which is the second largest bird in the world, a macaw, which is the largest parrot from South America, pheasants, racoons, chickens….everything. Now, I’m gonna get a faun. And a flamingo.... I want a chimpanzee – they’re so sweet. Oh, I have such a good time with the animals. I have a wonderful relationship with animals, they really understand me.... I’d like to get into the whole veterinarian thing and learn the behaviour of animals. Dogs may see in black and white. Dogs might even see the wind. And what about the king cobra – what makes him come up when they play that pipe?"
Michael Jackson, Melody Maker music newspaper, 1980
"I remember how in the 80´s you turned Hayvenhurst into a mini-zoo, with giant snakes, llamas, tigers, parrots and monkeys. I remember how one day the snake escaped and we were so scared, especially La Toya, Janet and mother (Taj thought that was pretty funny)."
"Right in the middle of writing this song (We are the World) we´re eating downstairs and there´s this dog barking hysterically. And then we heard, ´Shut up, shut up!´
I´m thinking to myself, ´What´s going on, Michael?´ He said, ´That´s the bird. That´s the bird having an argument with the dog.´ So we went back into the kitchen and there´s the Mynah bird in the cage and Michael´s dog in barking at the bird and the bird is going, ´Shut up,, shut up.´
It gets worse, I´m laying on the floor and we´re working on the lyrics... and I hear a ´hssss...´ and I´m looking at Michael and all of a sudden I´m looking out the corner of my eye and the albums against the wall are falling down and there´s an albino python. And he goes, ´There he is Lionel, we found him, we found him! We knew he was in the room somewhere, Lionel. He wants to come out and play with you.´ I was screaming like the last woman in a horror movie. I was screaming so loud.
I know you want a spiritual tale about how we brought this song to you, but that´s how it was for three days."
Lionel Richie talking about making of We Are The World
"He was such a sensitive guy that when we would go out to dinner -- he was a vegetarian -- he would apologize to each vegetable before he ate it. He ordered steamed vegetables and he literally would say, "I'm sorry, Mr. Carrot" and "I'm sorry, Mr. Broccoli." He was so empathetic to other people and all living things -- that's really what I remember most about Michael, even more than his dancing and singing. When you talked to Michael, you really felt he was feeling what you were feeling."
”I was a strict vegetarian for much of my life, until my doctor told me to include some fish & chicken in my diet for extra energy. Now I love Sushi.”
Michael Jackson in 1980´s
"He was a vegetarian when I first met him in the early 80's. Me too. But we both evolved into omnivorous beings."
"He was not a big eater. He thought it was a waste of his time. When I met him he was a vegetarian, but later added fried chicken that was something he enjoyed."
Karen Faye via Twitter (2014, 2016)
“I don’t like eating anything that used to be alive and now it’s dead on my plate. I want to be a strict vegetarian, but my doctors keep trying to throw in chicken and fish”
Michael Jackson speaking to Rabbi Schmuley Boteach (2000-2001) in the Michael Jackson Tapes
Elizabeth Taylor giving Michael Jackson an elephant at Neverland:
Michael Jackson talking about clouds (Greek subtitles):
“When I see the clouds whisked away from a snow-capped peak, I feel like shouting ‘Bravo! Nature,” the best of all magicians, has delivered another thrill.”
“Many people made fun of me, with my animals, you know?.. If I come home from a hard day at the studio, what I come home [to are] my deer or my chimps, and I can hug them and they don’t ask you anything, they don’t complain, you know, they don’t gossip, they just want a hug and some love and they get on with it. You know, ‘Where’s the pizza? Get up, put back the ice cream’, ‘cause the chimps, they love snacks. And, you know, they run around, they help me clean the room and they help me fix up things, you know, and they’re very – their DNA is literally identical to ours if you look in the microscope. And they’re amazing. […] Yeah, yeah, they help me clean my room, they help me dust, they’re doing windows, they flush the toilet after they use the bathroom, and (…) Bubbles would go by himself. And he’d sit at the table and he picks up the spoon and his fork and he eats, he’s very polite, and they’re very intelligent.”
Michael Jackson in “Take Two” The Footage You Were Never Meant To See” (2002)
"How could you be mean or cruel to an animal? That's like being cruel to a small child."
"I love animals because all they really want from you is love. Too bad that's even too much to ask for from some people.”
"From the moment I met Michael in New York last year, I knew he had a greater capacity for empathy than almost any other person I had encountered. We spoke of deer hunting — a common sport in the United Kingdom. Michael’s eyes teared slightly and he probed me with his questioning gaze: ´I don’t understand how someone could shoot something that helpless?´”
Rabbi Schmuley Boteach, 2000
"I remember he cried once because a little spider died."
HIStory Tour, Munich 1997: The Bug - "Don't kill it though...don't kill it!"
"You guys remember when Tony killed a bee?"
"Absolutely, I remember that."
There was a beehive up on the sound stage and they were falling on to that step round circle thing, you know. And Michael came in and we were running it. There was Michael and there were bees and Michael was a little bit scared. And Tony just went up and stamped it... and then Michael was like heartbroken because he killed the life."
"Oh my God."
"Yes, he said: ´That bee had a soul too, Tony.´"
"That´s exactly what he said, he goes ´That bee had a soul too,´ and he was dead and he was very upset by that."
Dance Cast of CAPTAIN EO on The Tiara Talk Show youtu.be/mkNu2e-YhDA?t=1082
Michael at dusk:
"My favourite part of the day is dusk. It just gives you an unexplainable feeling, I thank God for that feeling.”
"I respect the secrets and magic of nature. That's why it makes me so angry when I see these things that are happening, that every second, I hear, the size of a football field is torn down in the Amazon. I mean, that kind of stuff really bothers me. That's why I write these kinds of songs, you know. It gives some sense of awareness and awakening and hope to people. I love the Planet, I love the trees. I have this thing for trees - the colors and changing of leaves. I love it. I respect those kind of things. I really feel that nature is trying so hard to compensate for man's mismanagement of the planet. Because the planet is sick, like a fever. If we don't fix it now, it's at the point of no return. This is our last chance to fix this problem that we have, where it's like a runway train. And the times has come, This Is It. People are always saying: 'They'll take care of it. The government'll--Don't worry, they'll--' 'They' who? It starts with us. It's us. Or else it'll never be done... We have four years to get it right. After that it would be irreversible. Let's take care of the planet."
Michael Jackson, This Is It reheasals, 2009
"The Earth we all share isn’t a rock tossed through space, but a living, nurturing being."
Twitter conversation from August 2019 when Siberia and Amazonian rainforest are burning and looking exactly like what we see in MJ´s short movie (P.S. That famous singer from Taj´s tweet was Sting.)
"I’m very concerned about the plight of the international global warming phenomenon. I knew it was coming, but I wish they would have gotten people’s interest sooner. But it’s never too late. It’s been described as a runaway train; if we don’t stop it, we’ll never get it back. So we have to fix it now. That’s what I was trying to do with "Earth Song", "Heal The World", "We Are The World", writing those songs to open up people’s consciousness. I wish people would listen to every word."
"I just wish they (including the authorities) would do more for the babies and children, help them more. That would be great, wouldn’t it?"
Michael Jackson in Ebony Magazine, 2007
Michael reciting his poem Planet Earth:
“...Look, we don´t have control over the grounds, they can shake. We don´t have control over the seas, they can have tsunamis. We don´t have control over the skies, there are storms. We´re all in God´s hands. I think that man has to take that into consideration.”
Michael Jackson, Ebony Magazine interview, 2007
"I love the Planet, I love the trees. I have this thing for trees - the colors and changing of leaves. I love it. I respect those kind of things. I really feel that nature is trying so hard to compensate for man's mismanagement of the planet. Because the planet is sick, like a fever. If we don't fix it now, it's at the point of no return. This is our last chance to fix this problem that we have, where it's like a runway train. And the times has come, This Is It."
Michael Jackson in 2009
Look Again, Baby Seal
One of the most touching nature photographs is of a baby fur seal lying on the ice alone. I'm sure you have seen it ďż˝ the picture seems to be all eyes, the trusting dark eyes of a small animal gazing up at the camera and into your heart. When I first looked at them, the eyes asked, "Are you going to hurt me?" I knew the answer was yes, because thousands of baby seals were being killed every year.
Many people were touched by one baby seal's helplessness. They gave money to save the seals, and public awareness started to shift. As I returned to the picture, those two wide eyes began to say something different. Now they asked, "Do you know me?" This time I didn't feel so much heartache as when I felt the violence man inflicts upon animals. But I realized that there was still a big gap. How much did I really know about life on earth? What responsibility did I feel for creatures outside my little space? How could I lead my life so that every cell of living matter was also benefited?
Everyone who began to wonder about these things found, I think, that their feelings were shifting away from fear toward more closeness with life as a whole. The beauty and wonder of life began to seem very personal; the possibility of making the planet a garden for all of us to grow in began to dawn. I looked into the eyes of the baby seal, and for the first time they smiled. "Thank you," they said. "You have given me hope."
Is that enough? Hope is such a beautiful word, but it often seems very fragile. Life is still being needlessly hurt and destroyed. The image of one baby seal alone on the ice or one baby girl orphaned in war is still frightening in its helplessness. I realized that nothing would finally save life on earth but trust in life itself, in its power to heal, in its ability to survive our mistakes and welcome us back when we learn to correct those mistakes.
With these thoughts in my heart, I looked at the picture again. The seal's eyes seemed much deeper now, and I saw something in them that I had missed before: unconquerable strength. "You have not hurt me," they said. "I am not one baby alone. I am life, and life can never be killed. It is the power that brought me forth from the emptiness of space; it cared for me and nourished my existence against all dangers. I am safe because I am that power. And so are you. Be with me, and let us feel the power of life together, as one creature here on earth."
Baby seal, forgive us. Look at us again and again to see how we are doing. Those men who raise their clubs over you are also fathers and brothers and sons. They have loved and cared for others. One day they will extend that love to you. Be sure of it and trust.
Michael Jackson in his book "Dancing The Dream"
"(...) One thing I know: I never feel alone when I am earth's child. I do not have to cling to my personal survival as long as I realize, day by day, that all of life is in me. The children and their pain; the children and their joy. The ocean swelling under the sun; the ocean weeping with black oil. The animals hunted in fear; the animals bursting with the sheer joy of being alive.
This sense of "the world in me" is how I always want to feel.(...)"
Michael Jackson in his book "Dancing The Dream"
"I realized that nothing would finally save my life on Earth but trust in life itself, in its power to heal, in its ability to survive our mistakes and welcome us back when we learn to correct those mistakes."
Michael Jackson in his book "Dancing The Dream
"You don´t climb trees?.... You´re missing out!”
Mark of the Ancients
He had lived in the desert all his life, but for me it was all new. “See that footprint in the sand?” he asked, pointing to a spot by the cliff. I looked as close as I could. “No. I don’t see anything.”
“That’s just the point.” He laughed. “Where you can’t see a print, that’s where the Ancient Ones walked.”
We went on a little farther, and he pointed to an opening, high up on the sandstone wall. “See that house up there?” he asked. I squinted. “There’s nothing to see.”
“You’re a good student.” He smiled. “Where there’s no roof or chimney, that’s where the Ancient Ones are most likely to have lived.”
We rounded a bend, and before us was spread a fabulous sight, thousands upon thousands of desert flowers in bloom. “Can you see any missing?” he asked me. I shook my head. “It’s just wave after wave of loveliness.”
“Yes,” he said in a low voice. “Where nothing is missing, that’s where the Ancient Ones harvested the most..”
I thought about all this, about how generations once lived in harmony with the earth, leaving no marks to scar the places they inhabited. At camp that night I said, “You left out one thing.”
“What’s that?” he asked.
“Where are the Ancient Ones buried?”
Without reply, he poked his stick into the fire. A bright flame shot up, licked the air, and disappeared. My teacher gave me a glance to see if I understood this lesson. I sat very still, and my silence told him I did.
Michael Jackson in his book DANCING THE DREAM