Just Like Us: A Veterinarian’s Visual Memoir of Our Vanishing Great Ape Relatives 

by Rick Quinn 

Foreward by Jane Goodall

Published by Girl Friday Productions on April 6, 2021

“If I were willing to listen to my inner voice this time, it could be rewarding.”

Have you ever read an article or seen a video that so moved you that you knew you wanted to do something even though it seemed a bit outrageous?  If so, then you are in good company with this memoir/travelogue.

Dr. Rick Quinn, a practicing veterinarian, felt such a stirring after a chance reading of two magazine articles about great apes.  He wanted to do something to contribute to their conservation.  With limited species knowledge but specialized ophthalmology experience, he and a colleague volunteered to provide some training to the Gorilla Doctors in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  

The trip was transformative. As a result, great apes became the focal point for his charity project. This became not only his passion but also his vocation. 

Quinn uses a self-deprecating tone and supplies enough description to create the atmosphere of being along on his journey.  The story evolves as he learns more and takes greater risks.  He wonders about whether or not gorilla habituation to humans is good or bad for the species.  (The answer depends on the situation.)  He researches how orangutans ended up in Sumatra and Borneo when their closest relatives are in central Africa.   He witnesses the impact of civil wars, deforestation, poverty, human displacement, and the almost inevitable toll these have on habitat and wild populations. 

The stories can sometimes be deeply sad but the accompanying photos will surely lift your heart. Look into the eyes of these apes. You will be captivated.

Quinn’s charity, Docs4GreatApes, receives all the proceeds from this book.  The charity recognizes that wildlife conservation efforts often must align with humanitarian ones to relieve human poverty and suffering.  It promotes a “One Health” concept, a holistic approach connecting the health of animals, humans, and the environment.

Why you should not miss this one:

  • The photos! The photos! The photos!
  • The story reminds you that small steps can lead to great outcomes.
  • All the proceeds support a worthwhile cause.

Thanks to NetGalley, Girl Friday Productions, and the author, Rick Quinn, for the opportunity to read a digital copy in exchange for this review.   

#NetGalley  #JustLikeUs   

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