Ecofeminist crusader: What makes anti-GMO activist Vandana Shiva tick?

There is no figure in the anti-GMO movement that commands more respect than Vandana Shiva. An Indian writer and activist, Shiva has placed herself at the center of the anti-GMO movement through her relentless opposition to biotechnology and her willingness to theorize the objectives of the anti-GMO movement into a broader vision of society. Shiva ... views her opposition to biotechnology as the linchpin cause in this great green revolution.

Despite her popularity as a speaker, there are very few analyses of Vandana Shiva’s own eco-philosophy. In order to better understand ... I decided to read her book Staying Alive: Women, Ecology and Development. It is ... considered a serious statement on her “ecofeminist” ideals. ...I was shocked at both the content and the scholarship. It was full of fallacies and creative interpretations of history.... Most surprising though ... it became evident that Shiva’s “ecofeminism” is a profoundly conservative, if not reactionary, ideology. ...[S]he is a vicious opponent of modernism, suspicious of enlightened humanism, a wily eco-mystic who has more in common with religious fanatics than the progressive activists who are her main audience.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: The Eco-Philosophy of Vandana Shiva A Critical Review of Staying Alive: Women, Ecology and Development

  • GrahamH

    I wonder if she knew mother theresa.
    There seem to be certain similarities in there fervent, fact denying, fraudulent misinterpretation of some facts, social management, using emotional based arguments. I wonder how much she makes a year, if this is her livelihood she has to maintain, strong bias there.

  • Robert Howd

    It seems to me that the anti-GMO movement is driven by Indian Ayurvedic mysticism, as reflected by Vandana Shiva as well as the Maharishi contingent in the U.S. (Steven Druker, Jeffrey Smith, John Fagan, and others). This seems a bit weird to me; we haven’t had this much attention to Indian naturalistic theology in the U.S. since the 60s, led by the Beatles.

  • Carolyn Parsons

    I had the opportunity to attend her lecture in Salem Oregon last year and to demonstrate at a Shiva lecture at Lane Community College in Eugene Oregon last Monday. Shiva has been challenged time and again about the farmer suicide myth she perpetuates, given the facts, offered the truth, and she still makes it a part of every single lecture. She is the very definition of a fraud.

    Here is the little known fact. Her lectures are boring and mostly incoherent. I have no idea why people revere her other than as a part of tokenism of indigenous thought by people who romanticize the brutal life of pesants. I grew up in rural africa where people with “indigenous” knowledge live short lives scratching out a living farming using manual labor. Women have many children while young and carry their children on their backs into the fields while they toil all day under the subtropical sun to just survive. It is a brutal life that only a privileged person with ready access to inexpensive, safe and healthy food could possibly romanticize. Her philosophy is bullshit.

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