An Interview With Vandana Shiva
This year farmers started to commit suicide in Uttar Pradesh, the richest agricultural state in India. Some of the most fertile soil in the world can be found there, and the region has never had agricultural problems. But the first rule of globalization says, “Don’t grow food for yourself; grow export crops.” So the farmers there all grew potatoes. And then potato prices collapsed. The potato-chip makers have walked off with super profits, and the farmers have been left with huge debts.
Sometimes when I’m sad, I become convinced that the world is going to end. And it will end someday, of course, but scientists give it billions of years yet. My “sense of impending doom” (the phrase psychiatrists use to describe this type of fear) is all out of proportion to what I know to be true.
I first noticed the house early one spring afternoon as I was driving through Capaha Park in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, where I’d taken a job teaching English at Southeast Missouri State. I was new in town and unfamiliar with the neighborhoods west of campus.
The year I moved to Montana, a man shot another man for picking huckleberries in “his” huckleberry patch. He claimed he thought the picker was a grizzly bear. I didn’t know which to fear more: grizzlies or men with guns. A city girl, I was used to people getting shot — just not over huckleberries.
I’ve been staying with my friend Jackson, and I’m wearing his large red flannel jacket with the blue padding inside. I hope he lets me keep it. It’s a comfortable jacket, and I’d freeze otherwise. The wind is blowing. In Chicago in the winter, the wind chill is the only measurement that matters. I wish Maria would get here before the cold sinks into me permanently.