'Generation Greta' Ignites Passionate World-Wide Youth Activism
An Environmental Article from All-Creatures.org

FROM Wendy S. McPherson VCLE and Nancy Poznak VCLE, MainStreetVegan.net
January 2020

Greta Thunberg inspired a world-wide movement, Friday’s for Future, where children skip school on Fridays to protest climate change. Millions of youth, and even adults, all over the world are taking action for the climate change emergency.

Greta Thunberg

Greta Thunberg inspired a world-wide movement, Friday’s for Future, where children skip school on Fridays to protest climate change. Millions of youth, and even adults, all over the world are taking action for the climate change emergency. How ironic that Greta’s name rearranged is Great!

Greta’s Key Points

  • We have only 12 years to limit climate change catastrophe;
  • Corporate and political greed are largely responsible;
  • Climate change will severely, adversely affect everyone, especially the future of young people;
  • Too little is being done to avoid irreversible, wide-spread extinction of all species, including humans;
  • People need to be educated and act upon the science.

Greta Thunberg

At just 16 years old, Greta is the youngest person to be named as one of Time Magazine’s 2019 100 Most Influential People and Person of the Year, joining the ranks of royalty, presidents, religious leaders, astronauts, and the likes of Charles Lindbergh and Mahatma Gandhi. Greta was also nominated for the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize and honored as the first recipient of the Prix Liberté Award (which honors a young person “engaged in a fight for peace and freedom.” Amnesty International awarded Greta and the Fridays for Future movement the Ambassador of Conscience Award for 2019. And she was also awarded the Golden Camera Award, Germany’s best-known media award.

Despite her challenges with Asperger’s Syndrome, where she is uncomfortable in the spotlight, Greta has brilliantly addressed huge crowds at United Nations conferences, the World Economic Forum, British Parliament, and the United States Congress, and participated in major television network interviews. In her outstanding speeches and writings, Greta is typically unemotional and direct. Clear about her demands on those with influence, she insists governments take charge and accept the responsibility for the damage humans impose on the Earth.

Substantial world-wide activism for climate crisis has never been achieved before. A few other young activists have tried in the past but were ignored. The uncompromising global call-to-action by today’s youth will make climate activism unstoppable.

Greta was already studying climate change at eight years old. She was confused and deeply saddened that more people were not concerned, even panicked, because the climate crisis was ignored by the media and politicians. Greta’s rise to climate activist fame started August 2018. As a fiercely-determined 15-year-old, she skipped school on Fridays to protest outside the Swedish Parliament by holding a sign, Skolstrejk för Klimatet, Swedish for “School Strike for the Climate.” This single action by a brave, young, tenacious girl galvanized a youth-led, global movement. Some adults have now joined in climate protests, including celebrities Jane Fonda and Lilly Tomlin, who were arrested at a protest at the U.S. Capital.

Despite Greta’s popularity, many have ridiculed, insulted, and shamed her, including President Trump. Yet Greta cannot be deterred! She refers to her challenges as her superpower, and calmly mocks their insults with clever comments. She’s stated that these insults only prove she has great influence.

Greta has briefly mentioned that she’s vegan for ethical and environmental reasons, and that her parents went vegan from her influence. Many vegans wonder why she doesn’t speak as often and directly about the massive destruction caused by animal, fowl, and fish agriculture. Could Greta be getting coached to stay focused on greenhouse gases as the most crucial, widely- and socially-accepted issue? Perhaps she realizes that most people are not willing to give up eating animals, and that promoting veganism may alienate too many at this time. Although becoming more popular, veganism is still perceived as a fringe, radical movement by many. While that misconception is changing, it’s up to vegans to broadcast Greta’s statement that she’s vegan for ethics and environment.

Greta Thunberg

Greta’s speeches are published in her New York Times bestseller, No One is Too Small to Make a Difference. She is currently writing a memoir with contributions from her mother, father, and sister, titled, Our House Is on Fire: Scenes of a Family and a Planet in Crisis.

Some Greta-isms

  • “This [Friday’s for Future movement] has nothing to do with political parties.”
  • “The real power belongs to the people.”
  • “Our future was sold so that a small number of people could make unimaginable amounts of money.”
  • “This ongoing irresponsible behavior will no doubt be remembered in history as one of the greatest failures of humankind.”
  • “This is the biggest crisis humanity has ever faced.”
  • “The world is waking up and change is coming, whether you like it or not.”
  • “We must all do the seemingly impossible.”

Wendy S. McPherson attended the April 2019 Main Street Vegan Academy. She has led a vegan outreach group called DineKind for over 5 years. Not only is Wendy a graduate of Cornell University’s plant-based nutrition program, she attends many conferences to learn how to save animals and convince people to adopt a vegan lifestyle.

Wendy McPherson

Wendy completed Rouxbe’s inaugural Forks Over Knives culinary course and is currently pursuing their Professional Plant-based Certification program. She will be teaching three vegan cooking classes at the local community college in the spring and is planning a small Veg Fest in her county.

Wendy lives in Forest Hill, Maryland with her furry (mostly vegan) friends Emma the dog and Vega the cat.

Nancy Poznak founded BotaniCusine: Plant-Sourced Dining Outreach in 2017 to help increase plant-based, vegan-friendly foods in restaurants.

Nancy Poznak

Nancy also hosts events to promote vegan food such as the first annual 2019 Vegan Burger Smackdown in Baltimore, vegan dining and social events, and participates in community markets and festivals by offering vegan food favorites. Her professional certifications include: Health Coach (American Council on Exercise), Vegan Lifestyle and Coach Educator (Main Street Vegan), World Peace Diet Facilitator, Personal Trainer and Group Fitness Instructor (American Council on Exercise). She is a passionate advocate for justice for all, both human and animal rights. 

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