ImageAfter watching the Vandana Shiva video shown in class and reading Donna Haraway’s piece, “The Promises of Monsters: A Regenerative Politics for Inappropriate(d) Others”,  I understand the separation between nature and society Haraway talks about.

In the video, Vandana Shiva explains how she grows seeds on an organic farm and keeps them alive through the changing environment. She compares this to the industrial agriculture methods used by major corporations.  In my Human Biology class this semester, we have learned a lot about food production by major corporations and genetically modified foods, GMI’s.

My personal opinion on GMI foods is that they are unnecessary and that the natural environment supplies us with enough diversity in food, that we do not need to mess with the genes of our crops to produce new variations of them.  This idea relates to Haraway’s separation of nature and society.  Nature is all that is natural and not man-made.  Society is everything brought on by industry….buildings, cars, clothing, and all society has created.  Although the two, nature and society are not working in opposition to each other, they are clearly distinct, separate things. Thinking of the two this way, does one work for the other?

Does nature exist for society to build on?  In the video, Shiva argues that there is enough variety on earth, no other plants need to be created, but does that mean that although humans have evolved enough intelligence to create new crops that they shouldn’t? What are the boundaries? Is nature here for society, people, to work with and use to their advantage, or should people know when to stop and allow nature to be what it is and work with what it provides?

Maybe people should shift their focus from growth of the environment to interaction with the environment.  Instead of trying to change nature and develop new things such as GMI’s, we should learn to work with nature and explore all it has to offer.

Alexandra Fath