We have a huge cheer this week for one of the most powerful voices currently on the planet, 16-year-old climate activist, Greta Thunberg, who delivered a damning speech at the UN Climate Action Summit on Monday, telling world leaders: “This is all wrong. I shouldn’t be up here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean, yet you all come to us young people for hope. How dare you. You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words.”

The young activist has managed to substantially raise the profile of the dire environmental situation we’re currently facing in a very short period of time. A year ago, Thunberg began striking from school each Friday to protest climate inaction. Last Friday, she gave a speech to hundreds of thousands of people in New York, at the Global Climate Strike, which was inspired by her original protests. (FoA attended the strike held in CT where we are headquartered).

According to the United Nations, humanity has under 12 years to prevent a climate change crisis. A report released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) at the end of 2018 called for immediate “unprecedented changes” to all aspects of society.

Thunberg’s main message is that if we do not act, rising global temperatures pose a high risk of social and environmental disasters, including floods, drought, wildfires, and food shortages for millions of people.

Thunberg has also connected the dots between the meat and dairy industry’s monumental impact on the planet, so she follows a vegan diet. She has said in the past that she believes animal agriculture is stealing her future and has convinced her parents to adopt a vegan lifestyle as well and to purchase an electric car to cut down on their collective carbon footprint.

She has also had to endure harsh criticism and bullying from many climate change deniers, including the President, who would prefer it if she would just shut up and go away.

Alan Grant, in an article for the Huffington Post titled “Why They’re Really Scared of Greta Thunberg” writes that the Swedish teenager, “(frightens) the life out of a particular middle-aged and middle-class establishment type of person… and that the reaction to her is driven by the fear of knowing that losing their place to her and those like her (in political conversation) is inevitable.”

We admire Thunberg’s passion, tenacity and ferocity when it comes to speaking out about climate change and believing that we do have the ability to change the world. Through our actions and our words, we can decide our future. Learn more about how you can fight climate change right now by checking out our blog post and get more information about living a vegan lifestyle with our free “Vegan Starter Guide”.