My first encounter with Vandana Shiva was in a prickly senior-level women's studies class in college. On our reading list, Ecofeminism by Shiva and Maria Mies. I didn't like it. The amount of metaphor was unbearable at the time. It crashed around the data in the book, drowning any hope of a really solid argument, I thought, in a sea of "female hormones."
I've grown to better understand the value of methaphor. And temper my hair-trigger judgement with a willingness to hold that with which I disagree in the same hands I hold that with which I do agree. Turning things around and appreciating how they hum to me. Or don't.
And I've run into other facets of Vandana Shiva over the years, finding clear and true notes in her writing and speaking that ring in accordance with my heart. Her work at Navdanya is both an expression of the failings of our global food system and the hope that can still be found in our land, our seeds, and our farmers. It was a treat and a pleasure to meet her in person at a small gathering at the Rodale Institute last week.
I think it's time a reread Ecofeminism. I have a feeling I might come away with a very different message than I did those many years ago.