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13/1/2020 / Issue #028 / Text: Jasmine Nihmey Vasdi

Moving Forward with Ecofeminism: Find Your Community

Ecofeminism: the belief that humans should work together to dismantle the patriarchy and begin to work with nature by healing our relationship with the earth, instead of exploiting the land and its people, especially minorities. Ecofeminism begins with individual action, however, individual action alone is not enough to dismantle the patriarchy without forming a community. We must also understand that an effective reaction to climate disaster hinges on the removal of both the societal toxins and environmental toxins from our planet. A frequent argument is that humanity per se  is to blame for our current environmental crisis, but we must realize that, as stated by Ecofeminist scholar Chaia Heller: “humanity has not destroyed the planet, 1% of humanity has destroyed the planet” (1). By understanding this, we cannot lose hope, instead we gain the courage to fight back against the system and its corporations.

Thunbergian activism, along with many other advocates, such as Autumn Peltier (who heartbreakingly asked the Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau for clean water), are figures we should align ourselves with in this fight for our planet. Spiritual Ecofeminists, like Winona LaDuke, are adamant that: “Earth-based spiritual practice is how we renew, strengthen and retain our relationship with the earth”1. An Earth-based spiritual practice can be defined as any ritual or routine in which we as humans give thanks for this Earth, simple activities such as gardening or composting can be included in this. It is any act of respect that is practiced towards our planet. This is key and how we as individuals can further our understanding of Mother Nature and her power, while also recognizing how we can promote this awareness on a larger scale. Also, by reaching out to others in our community who participate in this Earth-based practice, we are forming our own safe organizations, allowing Ecofeminism to bloom in an organic manner. Climate Activist and Ecofeminist Scholar Greta Gaard describes Social Ecofeminism as a stream of Anarcha-Feminism influenced by social ecology, “which looks at how relations between humans shape the way that humans relate to nature”1. Forming communities with a shared belief of how equality stretches across all of Earth’s beings is a major headway into the hierarchical destruction of the 1%.

For example, Ecofeminist Activist, Vandana Shiva has gone to great lengths to create communities in India where people can learn about Ecofeminism and sustainable practices. She has pointed out: “What do the corporations do? Go after the scientists” (2), therefore, she creates her own activist associations and immerses herself in different councils around the world, like the World Future Council, where an Ecofeminist angle is essential when discussing the future of Earth. She actively battles against massive corporations (i.e. Monsanto) and supports the scientific research into aspects of our society, for instance, GMOs, which are silently oppressing the Earth and all its beings. By encouraging a dialogue within the community, accompanied by individual action that ripples through society, and non-violently opposing the hierarchal operations that currently dominate the world, there is hope for our planet and all her beings.

Interested in learning more about Ecofeminism and our Climate Emergency?
• Economics As If The Earth Really
• Mattered by Susan Meeker-Lowry
• This Is Not A Drill: An Extinction
• Rebellion Handbook
• Making Peace with the Earth
• by Vandana Shiva
• Thinking Green: A Documentary
• by Greta Gaard and Shawn Boeser

1) “Ecofeminism Now!” Youtube, Produced by Greta Gaard, 1996,
2) “Vandana Shiva - Sages and Scientists” Youtube, Produced by The Chopra Foundation, 2013,