In Seeds and Soil vs. the Tyranny of Corporate Power: A 2015 Message of Hope, Dr. Vandana Shiva explains how “Seeds and Soil in 2015” is both a metaphorical mantra and a practical and very literal instruction. (See full transcript below.)
The United Nation’s Food and Agricultural Organization (UNFAO) has officially declared 2015 as the “International Year of the Soil,” and its instructions are both simple and imperative: We need to focus all of our energy on improving the soil quality of our planet, so that we may sustain life on this planet.
Dr. Shiva predicts that we will begin to witness key developments in the global fight to overthrow corporate power with true democracy. These reality-based developments have the potential to be shaped by the needs of ordinary citizens, rather than by corporate public relations campaigns and fabrications.
How can you help? (PDF) For one thing, you can spread the word that “Saving the Soil in 2015” is not a merely a holistic metaphor; Our soil is dying, and we will soon go with it, if we don’t act.
As Dr. Shiva explains on her website, we now find ourselves often fighting for the right to save and share seeds.
Other relevant books by Dr. Shiva include: Making Peace with the Earth, Soil Not Oil, and Earth Democracy.
From the article:
Though many recognize the FAO declaration as a largely symbolic gesture, many advocates of organic food and sustainable agricultural are planning to seize the designation as a way to push forth their message that the health of the planet’s soil should not be relegated as a metaphorical issue, but rather one that should be at the very heart of serious conversations and policy changes humanity must begin in order to transform its economic systems, its democracies, the way it generates power, and the way it feeds itself.
Full transcript of video:
I want to thank you for everything each of you has done throughout this year that has gone by. A year where we rolled back seed laws that would have made it illegal for gardeners and farmers to have access to their own variety of seeds, in Europe, in Colombia. A year where we celebrated in Indonesia the overruling of the arrest of famers for saving of seeds. It’s been a year where, the GMO industry got so desperate that they had to start putting out ads using our language, which shows that what we are saying about the joy of growing food, the joy of eating food, that’s what the future is all about. And we know that the corporations that have produced chemicals and GMOs cannot deliver their promise, even if they might create their ads. Most importantly, this is the year where, everywhere in the world, a phrase rang in resonance: that we are all seeds. That, for a while, we might lie underground, but at the right moment, we germinate and bust out with all of our potential. I want to greet you for the a year that is coming. A year that has been declared “The Year of Soil.”
A year where, the seeds we sew of hope and love, the seeds we sew of abundance and creativity, are the seeds that will multiply and show the way forward, not just to each of us, but to the reluctant world that continues to be blind. And, in the Year of Soil, let us celebrate the connections between Mother Earth and ourselves. We are, after all, made of the earth. We’re made of soil. Let us celebrate the 22nd of April which is now Mother’s Earth Day, as a commitment to protect her. As the famous writer, Alice Walker, said, “we now need to adopt the philosophy of “motherism,” where all of us become mothers to our Mother Earth, protecting her with love. And the seed is where that love begins. The seeds that she gives us, and we give back to her. The soil fertility that she creates, and we return to her. In the seed and the soil, we find answers to every one of the crises we face. The crisis of violence and war. The crisis of hunger and disease. The crisis of the destruction of democracy.
We will not allow corporations to allow everyone to believe that they are persons. Corporations are legal constructions. That’s where their place is. People, through democratic process, give permission to what activity is sustainable, what business activity is equitable. What big business activity respects with dignity the life of this planet, the life of all beings, and the life of all human beings.
When corporations start to sue states like Vermont or the County of Maui, because Maui said “we will be GMO-free” and Vermont said “we will know what we eat,” and they use the argument of Corporate Personhood, that is illusions reaching the highest pinnacle.
We are going to create a reality where reality rules. The reality of the ecological living processes of the planet. The reality of our own lives. The reality of democracy that we shape. This challenge of democracy is going to be the single biggest challenge throughout 2015. Let us stay united. Let us stay strong. Let us stay joyful.
Most importantly, since it’s the year of soil, let us recognize that in organic farming and ecological agriculture is the answer to the havoc that’s been created by fossil fuels. As I’ve written in “Soil not Oil,” in the soil are the answers to the problem that oil has created. The joint crises of climate change and biodiversity erosion can both be addressed by creating gardens everywhere full of biodiversity. Full of the celebration of life in well-being and abundance. Gardens of hope everywhere. Farms that give real food. We will continue to create the other world that we are sowing. Seed by seed. Inch by inch of soil. Person by person. Community by community. Till all of this planet is embraced in once circle of a resurgent life and resurgent love. We will not give up.
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