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We are either going to have a future where women lead the way to make peace with the Earth or we are not going to have a human future at all.
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I do not allow myself to be overcome by hopelessness, no matter how tough the situation. I believe that if you just do your little bit without thinking of the bigness of what you stand against, if you turn to the enlargement of your own capacities, just that itself creates new potential.
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The time has come to reclaim the stolen harvest and celebrate the growing and giving of good food as the highest gift and the most revolutionary act.
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An organic farmer is the best peacemaker today, because there is more violence, more death, more destruction, more wars, through a violent industrial agricultural system. And to shift away from that into an agriculture of peace is what organic farming is doing.
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The liberation of the earth, the liberation of women, the liberation of all humanity is the next step of freedom we need to work for, and it's the next step of peace that we need to create.
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Genetic engineering has never been about saving the world, it's about controlling the world. - Vandana Shiva Quotes
Genetic engineering has never been about saving the world, it's about controlling the world.
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I think the American people should see that the corporations abandoned them long ago. That people will have to build their own economies and rebuild democracy as a living democracy. The corporations belong to no land, no country, no people. They have no loyalty to anything apart from the base-line - their profits. And the profits today are on an unimaginable scale; it has become illegitimate, criminal profit - profits extracted at the cost of life.
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Uniformity is not nature's way; diversity is nature's way. - Vandana Shiva Quotes
Uniformity is not nature's way; diversity is nature's way.
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In nature's economy the currency is not money, it is life. - Vandana Shiva Quotes
In nature's economy the currency is not money, it is life.
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Nature shrinks as capital grows. The growth of the market cannot solve the very crisis it creates. - Vandana Shiva Quotes
Nature shrinks as capital grows. The growth of the market cannot solve the very crisis it creates.
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We share this planet, our home, with millions of species. Justice and sustainability both demand that we do not use more resources than we need.
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You cannot insert a gene you took from a bacteria into a seed and call it LIFE. You have not created life, instead you have only polluted it.
175
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Seed is not just the source of life. It is the very foundation of our being. - Vandana Shiva Quotes
Seed is not just the source of life. It is the very foundation of our being.
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We've moved from wisdom to knowledge, and now we're moving from knowledge to information, and that information is so partial – that we're creating incomplete human beings.
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Gandhi is the other person. I believe Gandhi is the only person who knew about real democracy — not democracy as the right to go and buy what you want, but democracy as the responsibility to be accountable to everyone around you. Democracy begins with freedom from hunger, freedom from unemployment, freedom from fear, and freedom from hatred. To me, those are the real freedoms on the basis of which good human societies are based.
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You are not Atlas carrying the world on your shoulder. It is good to remember that the planet is carrying you.
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I think what we owe each other is a celebration of life and to replace fear and hopelessness with fearlessness and joy.
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I describe what is happening as 'food fascism' because this system can only survive through totalitarian control. With patents on seed, an illegitimate legal system is manipulated to create seed monopolies. Seed laws that require uniformity - which criminalize diversity and the use of open-pollinated seeds - are fascist in nature. Suing farmers after contaminating their crops, [...] is another aspect of this fascism. Pseudo-hygiene laws that criminalize local, artisanal food are food fascism. And attacks on scientists and the silencing of independent research [...] are examples of knowledge fascism.
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The primary threat to nature and people today comes from centralising and monopolising power and control. Not until diversity is made the logic of production will there be a chance for sustainability, justice and peace. Cultivating and conserving diversity is no luxury in our times: it is a survival imperative.
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It's not an investment if its destroying the planet. - Vandana Shiva Quotes
It's not an investment if its destroying the planet.
102
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The fact that I still find so much beauty in a handicraft is because my mother taught us to see not just the craft as a product but the craft as an embodiment of human creativity and human labor.
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Today you have a situation where now the prescription is: People who don’t have enough money to buy food should end up paying for their drinking water. That is going to be the kind of situation in which you will get more child labor. You will get more exploitation of women. You’re going to get an absolutely exploitative economy as the very basis of living becomes a source of capital accumulation and corporate growth. In fact, the chief of Coca-Cola in India said: “Our biggest market in India comes from the fact that there is no drinking water left. People will have to buy Coca-Cola.
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Soil, not oil, holds the future for humanity. - Vandana Shiva Quotes
Soil, not oil, holds the future for humanity.
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The end of consumerism and accumulation is the beginning of the joy of living. - Vandana Shiva Quotes
The end of consumerism and accumulation is the beginning of the joy of living.
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If you are doing the right thing for the earth, she's giving you great company. - Vandana Shiva Quotes
If you are doing the right thing for the earth, she's giving you great company.
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Water must be free for sustenance needs. Since nature gives water to us free of cost, buying and selling it for profit violates our inherent right to nature's gift and denies the poor of their human rights.
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When the forest is destroyed, when the river is dammed, when the biodiversity is stolen, when fields are waterlogged or turned saline because of economic activities, it is a question of survival for these people. So our environmental movements have been justice movements.
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The kind of capitalism we are seeing today under this expansion of property into living resources is a whole, new, different phase of capitalism. It is totally inconsistent with democracy as well as with sustainability. What we have is capital working on a global scale, totally uprooted, with accountability nowhere, with responsibility nowhere, and with rights everywhere. This new capital, with absolute freedom and no accountability, is structurally anti-life, anti-freedom.
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As usual, in every scheme that worsens the position of the poor, it is the poor who are invoked as beneficiaries.
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That amazing power of being able to stand with total courage in the face of total power and not be afraid. That is stri shakti.
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Although two thirds of our planet is water, we face an acute water shortage. The water crisis is the most pervasive , most severe, and most invisible dimension of the ecological devastation of the earth.
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Every farmer must go to the seed industry every year to buy their seed and pay an 80 percent royalty to a corporation. Over-the-fence exchanges have started to be treated as crimes. Or, if you need a biological pest control, you can no longer use the need seed in your back yard. Instead you have to depend on the Grace Corporation or some other entity. That kind of dependency basically leads to increased poverty and increased ecological destruction.
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Cultivating and conserving diversity is no luxury in our times: it is a survival imperative.
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Whenever we engage in consumption or production patterns which take more than we need, we are engaging in violence.
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We will either defend the rights of people and the earth, and for that we have to dismantle the rights that corporations have assigned to themselves, or corporations will in the next three decades destroy this planet, in terms of human possibilities.
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Earth Democracy connects people in circles of care, cooperation, and compassion instead of dividing them through competition and conflict, fear and hatred.
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If you read Wall Street’s reports, they don’t talk of soya bean as originating in China. They don’t talk of soya bean as soya bean. They talk of Monsanto soya. Monsanto soya is protected by a patent. It has a patent number. It is therefore treated as a creation of Monsanto, a product of Monsanto’s intelligence and innovation.
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Diversity creates harmony, and harmony creates beauty, balance, bounty and peace in nature and society, in agriculture and culture, in science and in politics.
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We could replace people with fossil fuels, have higher and higher levels of industrialization, of agriculture, of production, without thinking of the green-house gases we were admitting, and climate change is really the pollution of the engineering paradigm, when fossil fuels drove industrialism. To now offer that same mindset as a solution is to not take seriously what Einstein said: that you can't solve the problems by using the same mindset that caused them.
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It is time to learn from the mistakes of monocultures of the mind and the essentialising violence of reductionist thought. It is time to turn to diversity for healing.
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I absolutely get thrills from taking on these big guys and recognizing how, behind all their power, they are so empty. I just keep going at it. Each of these balloons does deflate. I’ve seen a lot of balloons get deflated in my life.
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We must occupy the food system to create food democracy.
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Patriarchy is based on appropriating rights and leaving responsibility to others.
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The system of technological production that we have today has been justified in terms of creating more goods to feed more people and to meet more needs. But it actually destroys more of the resources that we need in order to meet those multiple needs. If we shift to an ecological perception, a diversity perception, we realize that some of the instruments of which we are very proud are actually extremely primitive for dealing with nature. To me that is the great lesson of ecological awareness at the turn of the millennium.
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Whatever happens to seed affects the web of life.
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Gandhi’s idea of swadeshi—that local societies should put their own resources and capacities to use to meet their needs as a basic element of freedom—is becoming increasingly relevant. We cannot afford to forget that we need self-rule, especially in this world of globalization.
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The abuse of the Earth is the ecological crisis.
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The art of teaching is clarity and the art of learning is to listen.
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Biopiracy (is) biological theft; illegal collection of indigenous plants by corporations who patent them for their own use.
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The poorest of families, the poorest of children, are subsidizing the growth of the largest agribusinesses in the world. I think it’s time we recognized that in free trade the poor farmer, the small farmer, is ending up having to pay royalties to the Monsantos of the world.
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The only way to build hope is throuhgh the Earth.
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Nature has given us this for free, it was meant to sustain us, we will not allow it to become a monopoly to finance the Imperial Army.
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I'm a woman, born the daughter of a feminist and the granddaughter of a feminist grandfather. I don't think I could have avoided working on women's issues. I don't do it as a career or profession; it's my very essence as a human being.
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It is not an investment if it destroys the planet
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I have called this phenomenon of stealing common knowledge and indigenous science "biopiracy" and "intellectual piracy." According to patent systems we shouldn't be able to patent what exists as "prior art." But the United States patent system is somewhat perverted. First of all, it does not treat the prior art of other societies as "prior art." Therefore anyone from the United States can travel to another country, find out about the use of a medicinal plant, or find a seed that farmers use, come back here, claim it as an invention or an innovation.
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My mother taught that if anyone needs you, you should be available to them.
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A single, one-dimensional way of thinking has created a monoculture of the mind. And the monoculture of the mind has become a self-fulfilling prophecy. This is the root of why we have pitted equity against ecology and sustainability against justice.
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If you want a cow to be not just a cow but a milk machine, you can do a very good job at that by creating new hormones like the Bovine Growth Hormone. It might make the cow very ill, it might turn it into a drug addict, and it might even create consumer scares about the health and safety aspects of the milk. But we've gotten so used to manipulating objects and organisms and ecosystems for a single objective that we ignore the costs involved. I call this the "monoculture of the mind."
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I think we will become disenchanted with the glamour of globalization.
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For example, the idea that objects have properties out there in fixed ways is an incorrect idea about the world. Properties are created through relationships and processes. They are not inherent in electrons or photons or quanta any more than they are inherent in soil or trees or people. So my critique of reductionistic science is a critique that I have inherited from my scientific training. But it has been deepened by my experiences as an ecologist, in seeing the ecological destruction taking place today.
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I do sculpting sometimes when I have the time, and the first thing I sculpted was a bust of [Albert] Einstein. It still sits on my table and still inspires me. He was a person who triggered my imagination and my ideas.
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We have to build movements in the face of trade retaliation on the basis of people's democratic rights, on the basis of an ancient heritage of collective innovation. We work from the grassroots all the way to the national government and the World Trade Organization. It basically means being very multidimensional in our campaigns. And that is where part of the fun is. It involves both resistance and creativity. It involves constructive action, while at the same time saying "no."
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One of the movements we have developed is to say that, just as intellectual property rights protect the inventions of individuals, common rights are needed to protect the common intellectual heritage of indigenous peoples. These are rights that are recognized through the Convention on Biological Diversity. We are working to make sure that they become foundations of our jurisprudence.
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If India is an emerging economy with millions of new consumers, sell them the Volvo. Sell them the Cielo car. Sell them whatever you can, hamburgers and KFCs. It’s the middle classes who have moved into being able to own a car, a refrigerator. For them there is this mantra that the General Electric refrigerator is better than some other model, that the Cielo car is fancier than the Ambassador.
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In the seed and the soil, we find the answers to every one of the crises we face. The crises of violence and war. The crises of hunger and disease. The crisis of the destruction of democracy.
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The environmental movement can only survive if it becomes a justice movement. As a pure environmental movement, it will either die, or it will survive as a corporate 'greenwash'. Anyone who's a sincere environmentalist can't stand that role.
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Globalisation has in effect made the citizen disappear, and it has reduced the state into being a mere instrument of global capital.
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When you don't take into account the way ecological systems work, then you do damage.
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When it comes to owning the seed for collecting royalties, the GMO companies say, 'it's mine.' But when it comes to contamination, cross-pollination, health problems, the response is we're not liable.
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We have a very old conservation movement, particularly in the United States, which has focused on campaigns to protect endangered species: the spotted owl, the old-growth forest. But usually it stops there. To me, biodiversity is the full spectrum. Species conservation is not only about wilderness conservation. It’s also about protecting the livelihood of people even while changing the dominant relationship that humans have had with other species. In India, it’s an economic issue, not just an ecological one.
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In England, the population explosion can be linked very clearly with the enclosure of the commons that uprooted the peasants from their land. In India, it was the same thing: the population increased at the end of the 18th century when the British took over and Indian lands were colonized. Instead of the land feeding Indian people it started to feed the British empire. So we had destitution. Destitute people who don't have their own land to feed themselves can only feed themselves by having larger numbers, therefore they multiply. It's the rational response of a dispossessed people.
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American firms are beginning to reproduce nonsustainable systems, to force the elite of India to become energy consumers of the kind that the U.S. has become. That’s what globalization is about: Find markets where you can.
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We are in a strange kind of time, where the kind of liberation movements such as anti-apartheid movements and freedom struggles in India need to be reinvented. We need to retool them so that all the gains that our generation has made can be passed on to future generations.
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Nobody defines it as something women shouldn't be doing. In a way, there are more mathematicians, more doctors, more scientists in India than there are in this country. We even had a woman head of state, and that's something the United States has yet to catch up with.
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I didn't leave physics because of boredom. I left it because other issues compelled me in a bigger way. And I always say to myself, "When I'm 60, I'd like to go back to what I interrupted."
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We have reached a stage where governments and political processes have been hijacked by the corporate world. Corporations can within five hours influence the vote in the U.S. Congress. They can influence the entire voting patterns of the Indian Parliament. Ordinary people who put governments in power might want to go in a different direction. I call this the phenomenon of the inverted state, where the state is no longer accountable to the people. The state only serves the interests of corporations.
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My mother was a tremendous woman. I was just cleaning up old trunks and I found a book with her notes written during the war years, in the 1940s. She was studying in Lahore, which became Pakistan. She was writing about how women alone could bring peace to the world, that the men with all their greed and egos were creating all these tensions and violence. I always knew she was a feminist, ahead of her time.
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The people who see the population explosion in the Malthusian way - as a geometric progression - forget that population growth is not a biological issue. People are not increasing in numbers out of stupidity and ignorance. Population growth is an ecological phenomenon linked very intimately to other issues, such as the usurpation of the resources which allow people to live.
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There are scarcities in drinking water when you pollute the groundwater with nitrates. There is a scarcity in diversity when you create huge cornfields with the same strain of corn so that when one disease strikes - which happened in the United States in the 70s - all the cornfields in the country are wiped out. That was the first time the U.S. realized the value of diversity in agriculture and began to discuss genetic resources and their conservation.
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My links with [Mahatma] Gandhi now are very political links because I do not believe there is any other politics available to us in the late twentieth century, a period of a totalitarianism linked with the market. There is really no other way you can do politics and create freedom for people without the kinds of instruments he revived. Civil disobedience is a way to create permanent democracy, perennial democracy, a direct democracy.
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