We are either going to have a future where women lead the way to make peace with the Earth or we are not going to have a human future at all.

— Vandana Shiva

The most tempting Vandana Shiva quotes to discover and learn by heart

I do not allow myself to be overcome by hopelessness, no matter how tough the situation. I believe that if you just do your little bit without thinking of the bigness of what you stand against, if you turn to the enlargement of your own capacities, just that itself creates new potential.


The time has come to reclaim the stolen harvest and celebrate the growing and giving of good food as the highest gift and the most revolutionary act.


An organic farmer is the best peacemaker today, because there is more violence, more death, more destruction, more wars, through a violent industrial agricultural system. And to shift away from that into an agriculture of peace is what organic farming is doing.


The liberation of the earth, the liberation of women, the liberation of all humanity is the next step of freedom we need to work for, and it's the next step of peace that we need to create.


Genetic engineering has never been about saving the world, it's about controlling the world.


Uniformity is not nature's way; diversity is nature's way.


We share this planet, our home, with millions of species.

Justice and sustainability both demand that we do not use more resources than we need.


You cannot insert a gene you took from a bacteria into a seed and call it LIFE.

You have not created life, instead you have only polluted it.


Seed is not just the source of life. It is the very foundation of our being.


I think what we owe each other is a celebration of life and to replace fear and hopelessness with fearlessness and joy.


You are not Atlas carrying the world on your shoulder.

It is good to remember that the planet is carrying you.


The primary threat to nature and people today comes from centralising and monopolising power and control. Not until diversity is made the logic of production will there be a chance for sustainability, justice and peace. Cultivating and conserving diversity is no luxury in our times: it is a survival imperative.


About Vandana Shiva

Quotes 127 sayings
Profession Author
Birthday November 5, 1952

The fact that I still find so much beauty in a handicraft is because my mother taught us to see not just the craft as a product but the craft as an embodiment of human creativity and human labor.


The end of consumerism and accumulation is the beginning of the joy of living.


If you are doing the right thing for the earth, she's giving you great company.


Water must be free for sustenance needs.

Since nature gives water to us free of cost, buying and selling it for profit violates our inherent right to nature's gift and denies the poor of their human rights.


When the forest is destroyed, when the river is dammed, when the biodiversity is stolen, when fields are waterlogged or turned saline because of economic activities, it is a question of survival for these people. So our environmental movements have been justice movements.


As usual, in every scheme that worsens the position of the poor, it is the poor who are invoked as beneficiaries.


Although two thirds of our planet is water, we face an acute water shortage.

The water crisis is the most pervasive , most severe, and most invisible dimension of the ecological devastation of the earth.


Cultivating and conserving diversity is no luxury in our times: it is a survival imperative.


Earth Democracy connects people in circles of care, cooperation, and compassion instead of dividing them through competition and conflict, fear and hatred.


If you read Wall Street’s reports, they don’t talk of soya bean as originating in China. They don’t talk of soya bean as soya bean. They talk of Monsanto soya. Monsanto soya is protected by a patent. It has a patent number. It is therefore treated as a creation of Monsanto, a product of Monsanto’s intelligence and innovation.


Diversity creates harmony, and harmony creates beauty, balance, bounty and peace in nature and society, in agriculture and culture, in science and in politics.


I absolutely get thrills from taking on these big guys and recognizing how, behind all their power, they are so empty. I just keep going at it. Each of these balloons does deflate. I’ve seen a lot of balloons get deflated in my life.


It is time to learn from the mistakes of monocultures of the mind and the essentialising violence of reductionist thought. It is time to turn to diversity for healing.


Whatever happens to seed affects the web of life.


Patriarchy is based on appropriating rights and leaving responsibility to others.


Gandhi’s idea of swadeshi—that local societies should put their own resources and capacities to use to meet their needs as a basic element of freedom—is becoming increasingly relevant. We cannot afford to forget that we need self-rule, especially in this world of globalization.


The abuse of the Earth is the ecological crisis.


The poorest of families, the poorest of children, are subsidizing the growth of the largest agribusinesses in the world. I think it’s time we recognized that in free trade the poor farmer, the small farmer, is ending up having to pay royalties to the Monsantos of the world.


I'm a woman, born the daughter of a feminist and the granddaughter of a feminist grandfather. I don't think I could have avoided working on women's issues. I don't do it as a career or profession; it's my very essence as a human being.


My mother taught that if anyone needs you, you should be available to them.


A single, one-dimensional way of thinking has created a monoculture of the mind.

And the monoculture of the mind has become a self-fulfilling prophecy. This is the root of why we have pitted equity against ecology and sustainability against justice.


I think we will become disenchanted with the glamour of globalization.


When it comes to owning the seed for collecting royalties, the GMO companies say, 'it's mine.' But when it comes to contamination, cross-pollination, health problems, the response is we're not liable.


When you don't take into account the way ecological systems work, then you do damage.


The environmental movement can only survive if it becomes a justice movement.

As a pure environmental movement, it will either die, or it will survive as a corporate 'greenwash'. Anyone who's a sincere environmentalist can't stand that role.


We are in a strange kind of time, where the kind of liberation movements such as anti-apartheid movements and freedom struggles in India need to be reinvented. We need to retool them so that all the gains that our generation has made can be passed on to future generations.


Nobody defines it as something women shouldn't be doing.

In a way, there are more mathematicians, more doctors, more scientists in India than there are in this country. We even had a woman head of state, and that's something the United States has yet to catch up with.


Globalisation has in effect made the citizen disappear, and it has reduced the state into being a mere instrument of global capital.


In the seed and the soil, we find the answers to every one of the crises we face. The crises of violence and war. The crises of hunger and disease. The crisis of the destruction of democracy.


It is only with local [agriculture] that we can manage the complexity and care that sustainability requires.


The problem of numbers can only be dealt with by recognizing that people have a fundamental right to economic security. If you provide them with economic and environmental security, the population will stabilize itself.


I saw some women had written that the cloning of Dolly was wonderful since it showed that women could have children without men. They didn’t even understand that this was the ultimate ownership of women—of embryos, of eggs, of bodies—by a few men with capital and control techniques, that it wasn’t freedom from men but total control by men.


There is now a patent restricting the use of an herb called philantis neruri for curing jaundice. An even more blatant example is the use of turmeric for healing wounds, which is something every mother and grandmother does in every home in India. Now the Mississippi Medical Center claims to have "invented" the capacity of turmeric to heal wounds.


In India, crossbreeding programs aimed at mimicking the milk yields of Western cows like the Jerseys and the Holsteins actually breed out the capacity of our animals to pull ploughs and pulley-cars. So, thanks to cross-breeding programs, we now have humpless cattle with no stamina.


My training in science is actually one that is very critical of mechanistic science. I was trained in quantum theory which emerged at the turn of the last century. We are a whole century behind in absorbing the leaps that quantum theory made for the human mind.


Biotech and geo engineering have the same mindset, of engineering, of power, of control, of mastery of nature.


One particular spark was when I went back to my favorite spot in the mountains where my father always used to take us before my graduate studies in Canada and finding that the stream I had gone swimming in wasn’t there. The forest had been converted into an apple orchard with World Bank financing. The entire place, literally, had changed.