Dr. Vandana Shiva’s work around seed sovereignty and organic agriculture is perhaps best known in India. But she influences and inspires on a global scale.
With special thanks to, and permission from Acres U.S.A., North America’s monthly magazine of ecological agriculture, we reprint the following introduction and in-depth interview with Dr. Shiva.
Americans who visit India often come back more or less overwhelmed by its vast size and complexity, and if they are not stunned into silence they are at least much less willing to engage in generalities. Timeless beauty, explosive economic growth, persistent poverty and about a billion people all make for an intense experience if you’re used to the predictable movements of cars and shoppers.
One thing that does emerge from the ancient nation’s recent history, though, is the way societies that seem chaotic and disorganized to outsiders actually offer opportunities for their citizens who are willing to act with boldness, imagination and fierce resolve. Gandhi was one such actor, and Vandana Shiva may well be another. Increasingly well-known here as an author and lecturer, her popularity makes her a pain in the neck to proponents of industrial agriculture.