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Sustainable Happiness by Sarah van Gelder

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CHAPTER 19 Everything I Need to Know About Happiness, I Learned in the Forest

Vandana Shiva

It is from the Himalayan forests and ecosystems that I learned most of what I know about ecology. My father was a forest conservator, and my mother became a farmer after fleeing the tragic partition of India and Pakistan. In the 1970s, when I was a young adult, peasant women from my home region of India in the Garhwal Himalaya began to defend the forests there. Logging had led to landslides and floods, and scarcity of water, fodder, and fuel. The women declared that they would hug the trees, and the loggers would have to kill them before killing the trees.

One of their dramatic protests took place in the Himalayan village of Adwani in 1977, when a village ...

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