Home | About | Donate

Women and Biodiversity Feed the World, Not Corporations and GMOs


Women and Biodiversity Feed the World, Not Corporations and GMOs

Vandana Shiva

The two great ecological challenges of our times are biodiversity erosion and climate change. And both are interconnected, in their causes and their solutions.

Industrial agiculture is the biggest contributor to biodiversity erosion as well as to climate change. According to the United Nations, 93% of all plant variety has disappeared over the last 80 years.


The dead zones are also caused by untreated manure. In the U.S., millions of cattle dump their manure into the Mississippi, creating the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico. The meat-eaters of this country cause the slaughter of ten billion animals per year and they mock vegetarians while demanding that corporations and politicians fix the climate change problem and related problems such as the dead zones caused by the manure of those doomed animals. I have learned from the comments of self-proclaimed progressives that they have no concept of individual responsibility; they rebut my position by announcing that the problem is so huge that individual action cannot succeed and all we can do is demand corporate and governmental action. That takes them off the hook in their own mind but they remain a part of the problem, refusing to take meaningful and effective action.


Personal responsibility in the form of not eating meat certainly is something many here take seriously. However, we also recognize that it’s a match stick inside a forest.

Actual treaties like TPP will enshrine into law the odious, life-negating practices of corps. like Monsanto.

Vandana Shiva is one of the most brilliant spokespersons alive today and I wish her a long healthy life so that she can continue to spread her message.

In the past, she has properly referred to the current system as PATRIARCHAL capitalism because all of these machine-models applied to nature are about controlling HER in the same way that so many rabid Conservative men wish to control women’s reproductive capacities.

I have, in the past, quoted the brilliant Riane Eisler since more astutely than anyone, she shows (and documents) the relationship between societies modeled in top-down fashion and run by masculine orders of domination and how these empowered entities wipe out the counterbalancing sentience, wisdom, and voice of the Feminine.

When corporations lay a claim to seeds and render them sterile and chemically poisoned, this is an ATTACK on The Great Mother.

When corporations drill deep into the ocean bottom and cause massive oil ruptures, this is an ATTACK on The Great Mother.

When forests are felled and rivers redirected to build dams for quick energy corp. profits, these are ATTACKS on the Great Mother.

Nothing manmade is going to stop the winding-up series of Earth Changes that so much anti-life behavior has put into motion.

Go ahead and eat your pita bread. Fine. That is a tiny facet of the equation.

The following quote is for you and exposes why this emphasis on the INDIVIDUAL comes off as a paid Koch Brothers’ style Talking Point:

“Ever since the industrial revolution, the identity of the left had been to press for social justice, equality of opportunities and redistribution, while the right placed the emphasis on individual efforts, less role for the state and success as motivation.” (From Roberto Savio’s article published today on C.D.)


Heck, If the women want to do the work of raising enough crops to feed everyone- I say great! I come from a farm family…i’ts hard work!


SR you have proved the point I was making. You even equate taking personal responsibility with the right wing nut cases. So now the phony progressives can say they have to avoid personal responsibility to avoid supporting the right wing worldview. Good grief.


Personal accountability is a hard pill to swallow. I agree with everything you said.


SR, an unsuccessful attempt to support a point by taking a quote completely out of context. While a a number of statements you make in your post are quite valid, you always seem to bring the discussion back to a favorite hobby horse, which is that individual human beings are not to be held accountable for their choices and are essentially helpless pawns in the hands of a few powerful entities. In psychology that’s called having an external locus of control–or, in layman’s terms, “victimitis.” As a lens through which to view world events and the complexity of cultural shifts, it seems simplistic and definitely not realistic.


Ridiculous. Bipolar thinking on YOUR part.

As I have said MANY times, there is a VAST difference between what the individual can do and what is made structurally possible through agendas implemented on a wide scale… from those IN and WITH power.

Creating an equivalence between “both sides” is about as realistic and viable as all the media attempts to frame the issue between Israel and Palestine, or Black men gunned down and the police who do the gunning down as two equivalent entities.

My quote fits to a T. It shows that this emphasis on INDIVIDUAL CHOICE is a favorite of Koch Brothers-ALEC style think tanks.

If the problem is big oil holding powerful policymakers and politicians hostage, they will be sure to blame EACH individual driver.

If the problem is systemic corruption starting with the funding needed by candidates to mount successful campaigns, they will blame EACH voter.

And so on.

It’s a Talking Point that I recognize as much as I recognize the same dominant forum trolls who NOW have to trade in screen names on a daily basis. Prior, they could log on using many. They still stay ON MESSAGE and their views, for the most part, support the status quo and throw word bombs at key writers and thinkers.


This is an excellent piece which spells out exactly where we are with biodiversity and growing practices. We are beyond a tipping point, we are killing the soil on all the continents.
One real problem with this piece is Ms. Shiva’s statement that women have been the primary food raisers through most of history. That’s simply not true. I’m not particularly read on agricultural anthropology, but I’d wager that in some regions it’s been women, in others men, in many both. I don’t see women as feeding the world per se (this implies men are not doing it also) and frankly comes across as anti-male, strange as it may sound. I would consider myself a strong feminist, but statements like this tell me the author has some strange bias going on. It is really demeaning to men who work in agriculture, not to mention how absurd it comes across to the reader.


Siouxrose, you would fail a biology course. All domesticated plant and animal species are genetically-modified organisms. The only way to avoid genetically-modified organisms would be to go back to being hunters and gatherers. Wild game and wild plant species are not genetically modified. If you have a dog, you have a genetically-modified wolf.

Our ancestors were hunters and gatherers, meaning they had to eat meat to survive (you can’t survive on a diet composed only of wild plants). All humans have taste receptors for cooked meat. If eating meat were bad for humans, those taste receptors would have been eliminated from the population by natural selection.

Patriarchy evolved with the invention of agriculture and is several thousand years older than capitalism. When humans discovered they could domesticate plant species and herd domesticated herbivores, life was much better. Instead of the males chasing wild game and the females gathering wild plants (nursing females and the presence of small children would hinder a woman on the hunt), growing crops and having animals present as a food source allowed our ancestors to become sedentary. Since the food supply was constant (hunters and gatherers live by feast or famine), the human population grew rapidly (compare the population of native hunters and gatherers on the Great Plains with the population in Europe at the same time. The natives on the Great Plains never did domesticate anything as a food source, they simply followed the bison.

Agriculture requires land. So humans came up with the idea of private property (owning land; hunters and gatherers have no concept of owning the land). Females stopped contributing to the food supply and became the property of males and a source of children who would work the patriarch’s land and inherit it when the patriarch died. War was invented to take land from a neighboring patriarch who was not as strong as you. Eventually, one strong patriarch controlled a large amount of land and you had kingdoms. One really super-patriarch would control an empire (think of Caesar and the Roman Empire).

The only way you will abolish patriarchy (male dominance) in society would be to go back to hunting and gathering (gender equity was part of hunter and gatherer societies because females contributed equally to the food supply). But if you go back to hunting and gathering, you will have to eat meat because it is impossible to collect enough wild plant species to survive.

You might be able to convince people to eat only domesticated plant species (only rich societies can afford to grow crops to feed animals so that they can eat meat), but this would not solve the problem of patriarchy because the status of a patriarch is determined by how much land he owns.

Both the Torah and Aristotle state that male dominance of females is natural and Aristotle also claimed that Greek males are superior to barbarians. Because barbarians are inferior, it is right that they should be slaves, argued Aristotle… This is because both the Greeks and the ancient Israelites were agrarian societies and this is why patriarchy was thought of as natural. Just as hunters and gatherers have no concept of owning land and subjugating women, agrarian patriarchal societies think that slavery and subjugation of women is natural.

You like to bash capitalism, but we know that when a society industrializes and emancipates women, the population growth rate slows down (demographic transition; Japan actually has a negative growth rate). It is not a coincidence that when the US was an agrarian nation of yeoman farmers, women didn’t have the vote. It was only after the US became an industrial giant that women got the vote. Since the Industrial Revolution produced capitalism and also allowed women to become emancipated, I would think you would be in favor of capitalism.

Calls for social justice happened long before the Industrial Revolution. The Old Testament prophets railed against the oppression of the poor by the rich. Early Christians were communists. “All whose faith had drawn them together held everything in common: they would sell their property and possessions and make a general distribution as the need of each required.” (Acts 2: 44-45)


You are screwed now buddy, you disagreed with Sioux! Don’t you know this is her forum? Change your screen name and try again troll… :wink:


So is working in a factory or building roads or whatever other work poor women can find.


Right you are on that!


You’re wrong about the role of women in Japanese society. It’s expected that married women quit their jobs and become housewives in Japan, and many do. In a society where women are truly emancipated, there would be social structures in place which support working women with children so that it would not necessitate women choosing between family and career. So, in Japan’s case, many women who choose their careers over family end up not having any children at all.

Although, it is natural for societies to progress toward a steady-state equilibrium population instead of an unsustainable, constant population boom. A large family is needed to work the land on farms, but as humans progress technologically workers can be easily replaced by machines. It is no longer advantageous to have many workers or even necessarily male workers as all heavy duty work can be assigned to machines overseen by a single human overseer.


No, Goofar and SR are obviously working together in cahoots to disrupt this forum! Paid trolls all!


You open with a very worn-out corporate think-tank talking point, designed to prey on ignorance and promote misunderstanding.

With zero doubt, you clearly understand the difference between:

  • Traditional modification of plants and animals by farmers and householders through breeding for selected traits of improved productivity, behavior, resilience etc., selecting from the existing gene pool for gradual change across many natural generations;

  • Modern modification of plants and animals by corporations through direct engineering of DNA for selected traits of pesticide production, pesticide resistance, corporate ownership of seed etc., introducing novel genes into the gene pool for instantaneous change in a single artificial generation.

i’ve interacted with you in the past, and i understand that you have zero interest in actual conversation, but are here to tweak and twit from your smug and presumptuous superiority. So i do not expect any reasonable reply, and i won’t waste any effort addressing your brief sketch of human history, other than to note that you’ve adopted your take on human cultural development in keeping with your ideological preferences. Goofar is a highly appropriate nom de thread for you.


I don’t have the time or interest in refuting this pabulum premise by premise. It is to the Truth of the human experience what today’s news–representing the perspective of white male patriarchal dominators and their LOVE of war, exclusively–is to what’s true for ALL of humanity.

In other words, you repeat the biases preferred by academe. The same academe that is infiltrated today with genetic scientists paid by Monsanto and friends… as if Mother Nature decided to combine rhino genes with those of a potato.

I scored quite high in college Biology, too, genius.


That’s the classic way to cover your own tracks: make (ridiculous) counter-allegations. As if I’d work with any of you military clowns. You are correct on correcting the long-winded imbecile, however.


I have a friend who came here form Africa. She told me women do do all the work. I grew up on a farm and the girls all worked as hard as the men and it hurt none of us.


Where do you get your ideas of progressives? Get out in the world and meet more. They are the real people who care about other people and the world. None of the progressives I know are phony.