Vandana Shiva is an Indian physicist and social activist who is famous for her advocacy of sustainable agriculture and opposition to detrimental corporate practices affecting the environment and farmers.
Born in 1952, she founded the RFSTN in 1982 to address ecological and social issues.
Shiva’s activism stemmed from witnessing her childhood forest’s destruction leading her to oppose clear-cut logging large dams and the Green Revolution.
She established seed banks in India promoting agricultural heritage and sustainable farming.
In 1991 she initiated Navdanya a project aimed at preserving crop diversity.
Shiva has been a vocal critic of genetically engineered seeds life form patents and corporate trade agreements earning her the Right Livelihood Award in 1993.
I have collected some of her best quotes in this article.
Best Vandana Shiva Quotes
It is not an investment if it destroys the planet. ~ Vandana Shiva.
We must occupy the food system to create food democracy. ~ Vandana Shiva.
When you control seed you control food. ~ Vandana Shiva.
My mother taught that if anyone needs you, you should be available to them. ~ Vandana Shiva.
I think what we owe each other is a celebration of life and to replace fear and hopelessness with fearlessness and joy. ~ Vandana Shiva.
The end of consumerism and accumulation is the beginning of the joy of living. ~ Vandana Shiva.
The only way to build hope is through the Earth. ~ Vandana Shiva.
Nature shrinks as capital grows. The growth of the market cannot solve the very crisis it creates. ~ Vandana Shiva.
In traditional agriculture, the soil is the mother. She’s the mother who gives, to whom you must give back. ~ Vandana Shiva.
Living democracy grows like a tree, from the bottom up. ~ Vandana Shiva.
I do have fun. Even when I’m fighting I’m enjoying it: I think there’s nothing as exhilarating as protecting that which you find precious. ~ Vandana Shiva.
I like to live my life so that my loved ones give me the things I need as gifts and I give them the things they need. Frankly a society built around consumerism is hell. ~ Vandana Shiva.
Famous Vandana Shiva Quotes
Governments have a favorite phrase: lean and mean. But they’ve been made very, very fat for corporate interests. ~ Vandana Shiva.
Cultivating and conserving diversity is no luxury in our times: it is a survival imperative. ~ Vandana Shiva.
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. ~ Vandana Shiva.
Whatever happens to seed affects the web of life. ~ Vandana Shiva.
We can and must respond creatively to the triple crisis and simultaneously overcome dehumanization, economic inequality, and, ecological catastrophe. ~ Vandana Shiva.
When you don’t take into account the way ecological systems work, then you do damage. ~ Vandana Shiva.
It is time to learn from the mistakes of monocultures of the mind and the essentializing violence of reductionist thought. It is time to turn to diversity for healing. ~ Vandana Shiva.
I think we will become disenchanted with the glamour of globalization. ~ Vandana Shiva.
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. ~ Vandana Shiva.
Popular Vandana Shiva Quotes
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. ~ Vandana Shiva.
We’re living in the anthropocene age and now human beings will be the shapers of our future, that totally control the overall functions of not just our planet, but our relationship with other planets. ~ Vandana Shiva.
Food is the place where you begin. ~ Vandana Shiva.
We’re still eating the leftovers of World War II. ~ Vandana Shiva.
Diversity creates harmony, and harmony creates beauty, balance, bounty and peace in nature and society, in agriculture and culture, in science and in politics. ~ Vandana Shiva.
Soil, not oil, holds the future for humanity. ~ Vandana Shiva.
Genetic engineering has never been about saving the world, it’s about controlling the world. ~ Vandana Shiva.
The abuse of the Earth is the ecological crisis. ~ Vandana Shiva.
Simplicity and nonviolence are the basis of an economy of wellbeing, and such an economy must be localised. ~ Vandana Shiva.
Top Vandana Shiva Quotes
Biotech and geoengineering have the same mindset, of engineering, of power, of control, of mastery of nature. ~ Vandana Shiva.
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. ~ Vandana Shiva.
We have managed to make the celebration of diversity our mode of resistance. ~ Vandana Shiva.
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. ~ Vandana Shiva.
Whenever we engage in consumption or production patterns which take more than we need, we are engaging in violence. ~ Vandana Shiva.
You are not Atlas carrying the world on your shoulder. It is good to remember that the planet is carrying you. ~ Vandana Shiva.
The art of teaching is clarity and the art of learning is to listen. ~ Vandana Shiva.
In civilizational issues you don’t look at the tiny details as the debate. You have to look at the big picture! ~ Vandana Shiva.
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. ~ Vandana Shiva.
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. ~ Vandana Shiva.
Climate change is not just a problem for the future. It is impacting us every day, everywhere. ~ Vandana Shiva.
Inspiring Vandana Shiva Quotes
We’ve moved from wisdom to knowledge, and now we’re moving from knowledge to information, and that information is so partial – that we’re creating incomplete human beings. ~ Vandana Shiva.
Patriarchy is based on appropriating rights and leaving responsibility to others. ~ Vandana Shiva.
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. ~ Vandana Shiva.
In nature’s economy the currency is not money, it is life. ~ Vandana Shiva.
Nature has gifted this rich biological diversity to us. We will not allow it to become the monopoly of a handful of corporations. We will keep it as the basis of our wealth and our sustenance. ~ Vandana Shiva.
Unless the poor of the world agitate for themselves to be heard, there will be no changes in their circumstances. ~ Vandana Shiva.
Seed is not just the source of life. It is the very foundation of our being. ~ Vandana Shiva.
Population control is not an issue involving contraceptives for third world women. It is an issue of ecological justice. ~ Vandana Shiva.
It’s not an investment if it’s destroying the planet. ~ Vandana Shiva.
In nature’s economy the currency is not money, it is life. ~ Vandana Shiva.
The best and most evolved technologies are those that do not destroy the very base on which we live. ~ Vandana Shiva.
Uniformity is not nature’s way; diversity is nature’s way. ~ Vandana Shiva.
Given that I was interested in physics, I think it was easier for me to do physics in India. ~ Vandana Shiva.
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. ~ Vandana Shiva.
Everything I need to know I learned in the forest. ~ Vandana Shiva.
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.
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. ~ Vandana Shiva.
If you are doing the right thing for the earth, she’s giving you great company. ~ Vandana Shiva.
As usual, in every scheme that worsens the position of the poor, it is the poor who are invoked as beneficiaries. ~ Vandana Shiva.
Earth Democracy connects people in circles of care, cooperation, and compassion instead of dividing them through competition and conflict, fear and hatred. ~ Vandana Shiva.
So these were the 61 quotes by Vandana Shiva for you.