New Book Club Announcement: Vandana Shiva and Stolen Harvest
Welcome to the inaugural book club event for Conducive Media’s Left Eye on Books. We will focus on books centered around
current progressive issues and invite readers to share their thoughts
and comments and join in on the discussion. Our subject is Stolen Harvest: The Hijacking of the Global Food Supply by the renowned environmentalist and feminist, Vandana Shiva. In the book, Shiva lays out with stark clarity an argument about the sources of the world food crisis. Multinationals, with the cooperation of the wealthiest countries, push monocultural, energy inefficient practices that undermine more sustainable practices that promote diverse crops and uses of plants and animals. Claims that technological fixes like the green revolution and genetically modified crops will provide a miracle cure obscure the costs, both in terms of energy inputs required for the supposed ‘increased yields’, and the costs when traditional agriculture is undermined around the world. Another major target of Shiva’s is the use of patent law to monopolize rights to seeds and destroy traditional agricultural practices, which depend on reusing the bounties of plants for next year, rather than purchasing more seeds from global agricultural giants like Monsanto. Whether or not you agree with her, Shiva offers much to think about.
Vandana Shiva (b. 1952) is a major figure in the alter-globalization, food justice, and eco-feminist movements. In the 1970s, she was part of the nonviolent Chipko movement, the original ‘tree huggers’. A fierce critic of the developmental policies proposed by the World Bank and IMF, she has championed causes of sustainable and diverse practices of agriculture for thirty years in over twenty books. She helped found Navdanya, a seed-sharing program centered around indigenous agricultural practices. In 1993, she received the Right Livelihood Award, otherwise known as ‘the alternative Nobel’.
To kick things off, you may wish to respond to any of these discussion questions. Or, feel free to post your thoughts on the book even if they go in a somewhat different direction.
What does Shiva see as the roots of the world food crisis? How does technology and science increase the crisis, and what role might they have in undoing it? Who does she see as the main actors? Is there anyone she leaves out? What sort of politics do you think is necessary to reverse the trends she writes about? Vandana Shiva on women\’s struggles over biodiversity
To learn more about Shiva’s intellectual ideas, watch this video.
Consider purchasing a World Hunger: Be the Solution Tee. Proceeds from the shirt will go to Vandana Shiva’s Navdanya, the Small Planet Institute Fund the International Fund for Africa. All tees are sweat free and available in organic cotton. To see the selection of World Hunger tees at Conducive’s Humanitarian & Human Rights Tee store, click here.
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