India has long harbored a tradition of ethical vegetarianism, anchored on the dharmic traditions' commitment to nonviolence. Yet, just last year, India attained the dubious distinction of being the largest beef exporter in the world.
I appreciated the dirtiness of our Ash Wednesday retreat, and by dirtiness I mean the reminder that the soil, the ground, and the earth that is the very foundation of our bodily existence is something that we must not lose touch with.
On our recent trip to India, we got a wake up call from environmental activist Dr. Vandana Shiva on the reality of these issues and how they can impact farmers to the point of suicide (270,000 farmers have killed themselves in the last 15 years).
Bitter Seeds shows us how little we know about genetically modified seeds. But farmers have an advocate in quantum physicist and activist Vandana Shiva, India's leading opponent of genetic modification and the patenting of seeds.
In the same way that world history curriculum passes over the social and ecological consequences of land enclosure, the current U.S. history curriculum contributes to a larger ecological illiteracy by glossing over the historical role of nature.