- Vandana Shiva, Ph.D., is a physicist and activist who works tirelessly to defend the environment and protect biodiversity from industrial agriculture, GMOs and patented seeds.
- Shiva’s involvement in the contemporary ecology movement began with the Chipko movement in 1973, in which Himalayan villagers, primarily women, fought back against loggers in the best way they could, by physically embracing the trees.
- Shiva went on to found the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology, which she called the Institute for “Counter Expertise” because its goal was to counter the “expertise” of the destroyers and “bring to the front the knowledge of those who were defending the Earth.”
- She also exposed the dark side of the Green Revolution and founded Navdanya, a nonprofit organization promoting biodiversity, organic farming and seed saving.
- There are now at least 127 seed banks in India, which will keep growing, along with a network of farmers and seed savers who have been trained in organic farming.
Vandana Shiva, Ph.D., is a physicist and activist who works tirelessly to defend the environment and protect biodiversity from multinational corporations. Her life’s work has culminated in the creation of seed banks that may one day save future generations’ food sovereignty, but how she got there is a fascinating story, chronicled in the documentary “The Seeds of Vandana Shiva.”
Shiva, “a brilliant scientist” who became “Monsanto’s worst nightmare and a rock star of the international organic food movement,” grew up in a Himalayan forest, where her father, a forest conservator, carried out inspections. She would travel up to 45 miles a day with her father as a young girl, and as they traversed the forest he taught her everything about the trees, plants and herbs therein.
“We had a classroom out in the forest,” Shiva said, but her formal studies were done in a convent which, at that time, didn’t regard science as a subject fit for girls. Shiva wanted to study physics though, and she was especially intrigued by Einstein and his connections of intuition with science. “Everyone has their favorite person that they want to be,” she said. “Einstein was the shaper of the dream of my life.