Thursday, April 30, 2009

Earth Democracy - Vandana Shiva

"In Earth Democracy, Shiva updates the struggles she helped bring to international attention—against genetic food engineering, culture theft, and natural resource privatization-—uncovering their links to the rising tide of fundamentalism, violence against women, and planetary death.

Starting in the 16th century with the initial enclosure of the British commons, Shiva reveals how the commons continue to shrink as more and more natural resources are patented and privatized. As our ecological sustainability and cultural diversity erode, so too is human life rendered disposable. Through the forces of neoliberal globalization, economic and social exclusion ignite violence across lines of difference, threatening the lives of millions."

I am so happy I finally finished this book!! I have been reading it bit by bit for the last couple of months and finally decided that I would finish it this month. I have tried to read it at work but I really needed to concentrate to really receive the benefits of the book. I ordered this book from a small publishing company called South End Press (along with some other equally intelligent and hard to read books).

I really learned a lot while i was reading this. I had taken political science and international development courses in university but haven't been reading a lot of non-fiction on the last couple of years. I really liked the real life case studies of different places that have been affected by trade barriers and have dealt with horrible environmental destruction. It made me realize that there are so many things that we need to do as a society to help create a better world - especially when it comes to food and poverty. I eat so many things that I have no idea where they come from or how harmful it was to produce them.

I was a vegetarian for years but started eating meat again when I moved to Korea 6 years ago. I used to be very health conscious and very involved in animal rights and organic food campaigns. As I got older it all kind of fell to the wayside. This book has opened my eyes to topics that I did previously knew about but had either forgotten or pushed to the back of my mind. Now I will make more conscious choices when I purchase food and really think about the people who are benefiting or losing from my purchases. People should read this book.

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