Shiva is an advocate for all natural, non-genetically grown products. She is an independent and intelligent woman who freely speaks her mind.
I was often amused during the article, especially after she was asked a question. I feel like she was a very spunky woman.
Genetically engineered plants are becoming more popular in the farming community (and also more expensive) because most are thought to grow more quickly (though there is nothing to suggest they grow any faster than regularly grown crops) and with the use of less pesticides. The seeds are incorporated with chemicals that are ‘needed’ to fend off harmful pests; however, these chemicals are in all the products we eat. Whether we are directly consuming the seed that has these harsh chemicals or if we’re getting them through the meat we eat (cattle, chickens and etc.), we are still consuming these products (which have been connected to environmental causes of cancer).
One topic that she also brought up was the concept that we have enough food in the world and yet so many people are starving every day. How is it possible to have enough food in the world and yet not every mouth is being fed? The answer is simple: distribution. If the food isn’t being evenly distributed, it doesn’t matter if we have an over abundance of food. Every year, I participate in the 30-hour famine. One country we specifically focus on is Africa. What’s different about the foundation we go through is that they create sustainable food networks instead of simply shipping food over to these countries. One major problem faced by these countries isn’t just a lack of food, it’s also unclean water that they aren’t able to drink (which is another point Shiva touches briefly on in the beginning).
What specifically does Shiva mean “the death of birth” during this interview then? I believe she’s referring to the death of naturally grown products and the rebirth of genetically altered seeds. Not only is the detrimental to our health and well-being, it is also advancing big corporations and creating more and more monopolies. What happens when monopolies are created? These corporations are able to raise prices on their goods. When prices are raised on goods, the people who NEED to purchase them are no longer able to. Not only that, but as more chemicals are added to these seeds, more ‘super bugs’ are created.
Shiva firmly believes, though, that there is hope in our futures. She says that ‘the system will crack’ eventually. First diseases will outbreak and when people start to die, the community will become suspicious and want to know exactly where their product is coming from. Secondly, especially in America, we like power and control; monopolies don’t allow this. And lastly, Shiva believes that by taking small, baby steps towards change, we can eventually sway the world. In the end, it is up to us to move away from this notion that genetically engineered farming is the way to go.