Mothers have become an important part of the guardianship of the environment. Mother activism now extends to fighting environmental dangers that threaten our children’s futures. The three-way connection between mother, child and the environment is an extremely strong one that lends legitimacy to environmental mother activism. A feminist mothering perspective throws into sharp focus the fight that mothers undertake against corporations and governments who do not factor ‘social justice’ into the equation when they capitalize on the environment for business gain.
Mothers recently were part of a concerned group that met with the USA’s Environment Protection Agency (EPA) to discuss the possibility that a herbicide called Roundup has found its way into breast milk. Roundup has been developed by a company called Monsanto that has come to represent the dangers inherent in GMOs. Roundup is used in domestic gardens and in agricultural land. The chief ingredient found in Roundup is Glyphosate which environmentalists contend is causing problems for plants, people and animals. More specifically, it has been found in breast milk. The group of mothers were representing an organisation called ‘Moms Across America’ which aims to raise awareness of GMO (Genetically Modified Foods) and related issues.
In a book titled: ‘Mothering and the Environment: The Natural, The Social, The Built’, maternalism in relation to the environment can be viewed as being an extension of the compassionate and caregiving side of mothers but with the potential to disrupt gendered expectations of mothers being passive actors in political issues.