“In this handful of soil is your future.”
- Thus spake Vandana Shiva, 14 July 2016, Indian Summer Festival
In this troubled time of brutality, inequality, political corruption and injustice, I’ve been swallowing the bitter pill of disillusionment as GMO labelling was undone today in the US Congress. Another blow to democracy where over 90 percent of Americans want to know what’s in their food.
The silver lining is that my spirits were bolstered by being in the presence of the great Vandana Shiva: eco-prophetess, woman warrior, seed saviour.
She overflowed the church tonight, sitting in an armchair decked out in a gorgeous sari. She effortlessly hurled one pearl of wisdom after the other. She was like Kali-Saraswati-Durga Devi. Her pronouncements were interrupted several times with ovations. It’s intense stuff. Life and death, suicides, oppression, the history of the industrial agricultural movement with its violent roots in the machines of war… Here is a sample of one-liners I scribbled down on the back of my e ticket (folded into quadrants. I hope I got these right):
- “We are pro-Earth, not anti-GM”
- “The real problem is the war against the Earth. You take care of the Earth, the rest just happens”
- “The seed is a self-organised auto-poetic system. Not a machine”
- “It’s anti-science to not know how nature works”
I could go on and on but I think lists are boring. Better for someone to take these one-liners and make convenient facebook memes….?
Afterwards, powerhouse Elizabeth May joined Dr Shiva in conversation and my fave line from her was “Foodie is a radical concept that people want to eat food that actually tastes good.” May also urges us to stand up for the Peace River, against Site C Dam (which is primarily to enable fracking) and support the last-stand family farmers who refuse to leave their homes in the best farmland in BC. The Peace River protests are all about food security. Let’s join them.
Dr Shiva’s premise is that we are at a fork in the road: on one hand is total obliteration, a warlike worshipping of killing (bugs, pests, “weeds”) under the guise of progress/science. On the other hand is peace and prosperity. Once we replenish the soil and respect the integrity of the seed and all that nature has to teach us, we will be able to solve many social problems from water supply to displacement of peoples. Her case is compelling. She’s written more than 20 books on these subjects. Nine honorary degrees…
Although we have so much fighting against nature and the sustainable food movement – the huge lobby dollars, the subsidies, the bought scientists, the paid-for trolls and smear-ers… despite everything they throw at us to convince of their flawed paradigm… we aren’t buying it. Organics is growing. Yugely.
Smile. Go ahead. Yes, you see through the elaborate deceptions. And your eyes are open and the future is pregnant with possibilty.
Now, since it’s getting late, I’ll end with a positive quote by Dr Shiva.
“We can seed another future because we can live with peace with all the creatures on the Earth.”