Vandana Shiva is a brilliant mind calling for inhabitants of the Earth to unite against forces that are threatening to destroy the planet, in part via a new wave of colonization in the name of sustainability.
Tech billionaire Bill Gates, now the largest owner of farmland in the U.S.,1 is at the root of the problem, pushing technology as the only mechanism to save the world, and in so doing denying real solutions. This path is not accidental but carefully orchestrated to amass wealth, power and control, while making all but the elite subservient.
In my interview with Vandana Shiva, Ph.D., she spoke about Gates Ag One,2 which is headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, where Monsanto is also headquartered.
“Gates Ag One is one [type of] agriculture for the whole world, organized top down. He’s written about it. We have a whole section on it in our new report,3 ‘Gates to a Global Empire,'” she said. This includes digital farming, in which farmers are surveilled and mined for their agricultural data, which is then repackaged and sold back to them.
Bill Gates’ New Book Is ‘Rubbish’
In the above Under the Skin podcast with Russel Brand, Shiva takes aim at Gates’ book “How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need,” which was released in February 20214 — calling it “rubbish:”5
“Just by chance I was reading the rubbish in Bill Gates’ new book. I normally don’t read rubbish but when they want to be rulers through rubbish, I read it. And it’s lovely because he says the greenhouse gases from factory farms are not because of factory farms and putting animals in prisons … it’s because the cows were the problem. They had four stomachs and the four stomachs make the methane.”
The reason cows in concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) emit methane that smells is because they’re fed an unnatural diet of grains and placed in crowded quarters. It’s not a natural phenomenon. It’s a man-made one. “You walk behind a good cow on a grazing pasture, she’s not stinking,” Shiva said.6
The strong recommendation to replace beef with fake meat is also made in Gates’ book7 — another example of replacing a whole, natural food with something engineered, heavily processed and fake. It all stems from an overreaching theme of arrogance and the desire for recolonization and a global empire.
The idea is to imply, or create the environment in which, survival isn’t possible without technology. “It is a denial of the richness of agroecological knowledges and practices that are resurging around the world,” according to one of Navdanya’s reports.8
Shiva founded Navdanya, a nonprofit organization promoting biodiversity, organic farming and seed saving, in 1994. She has also travelled the globe to warn other countries, including Africa, about plans to displace rural farmers so investors can turn the land into industrial farms to export the commodities.
Gates’ book talks about eliminating age-old farming traditions, which Shiva believes must be protected. Speaking with Brand, Shiva said:9
“He [Gates] has put the Indian plow that has existed for 10,000 years and says this primitive technology must go. I call this, as the future technology, a partnership between our bodies, the body of the Earth, and the body of the animals — realizing that we are not masters but we are there to serve through what Gandhi called bread labor, the labor of our body in the service of the Earth, in the service of community.
So we are for sure at an epic moment where everything wrong is being given a new life just at the time when the world was waking up … I think this is happening … because of arrogance … we’ve destroyed every international law, we’ve destroyed all democracy, we have locked people into fear … you know, the British empire had that arrogance.”
Breaking the Sacred Relationship With Food
Industrialization started the process of severing humans’ age-old connections to their food and the land on which it’s grown. “Now, with digitalization,” Shiva said, “they would like to end it forever.”10 Tech giants, in an effort to drive home digital agriculture, are working to reduce life to software11 while advancing digital surveillance systems.
So far, Shiva’s organization has managed to prevent Gates from introducing a seed surveillance startup, where farmers would not be allowed to grow seeds unless approved by Gates’ surveillance system. The data mining, Shiva says, is needed because they don’t actually know agriculture.
This is why Gates finances the policing of farmers. He needs to mine their data to learn how farming is actually done. In countering the tech giants’ attempts to remove humans’ sacred relationship to food, Shiva states we can fight back by remembering and focusing on a few essential principles:12
- Food is the currency of life
- The highest duty is to grow and give food in abundance
- The worst sin is to let someone go hungry in your neighborhood, not grow food and, worse, sell bad food
“We’ve got to bring to the center of our everyday life the rituals that make life sacred,” Shiva said. “Our breath … breath is what connects us to the world … water connects us to the world. Food connects us to the world.”13