Can veganism heal the planet? This tween activist says yes.

(Photo courtesy of Genesis Butler; Artwork by Quinn Lemmers for Yahoo Lifestyle)
(Photo courtesy of Genesis Butler; Artwork by Quinn Lemmers for Yahoo Lifestyle)

Genesis Butler set a trend within her family when she became the first to go vegan at the age of 6. But now she’s inspiring people outside of her home, and around the country, to do the same: She works daily to advocate for a vegan lifestyle. At 10 years old, the impressive tween became the youngest to give a TEDx Talk. Through an in-depth explanation of how veganism can heal our planet, Genesis certainly proves that young Gen Z-ers are voices the world needs to listen to.

Name: Genesis Butler

Age: 11

Favorite app: I have two favorites! My first favorite app is Happy Cow because I am starting to travel a lot to speak, so when I get hungry, my mom has me look up restaurants in the area. The app shows me vegan restaurants near me or restaurants that have vegan options. My other favorite is Instagram because I use the social media platform for my activism. I can share what I am doing for the animals and people can see my posts and be inspired to go vegan too or to become an activist and use their voice to change the world.

What she does: I am an animal-rights activist and a public speaker. I speak at a lot of vegan and nonvegan events about the benefits of a plant-based diet and the importance of being kind to all species on this planet.

Three words she’d use to define Gen Z: Empowering. Unique. Influential.

How advocating for veganism became a passion: Because I really want all the animals to be able to live in peace, and I want people to understand animals have emotions and feel pain just like us. Since they can’t talk to us, I want to help give them a voice.

What she wishes older people understood about Gen Z: My generation really does have our own thoughts and beliefs, and we want older people to listen to what we have to say instead of just saying “Oh, they are just kids — what do they know?” I get that sometimes when I share my beliefs with people, I feel like they need to know that just because we are kids doesn’t mean we don’t know what we are talking about. My generation has a voice and we feel empowered right now to use our voice to make the world a better place, so I want adults to know we really need their support because we are all in this together.

How she thinks Gen Z will change the world: We will change the world by uniting people. My generation is uniting because alone we are like superheroes, but together we’re invincible. Adults will see how important it is to unite because we can accomplish so much good in the world when we do.

Her greatest accomplishment, so far: Going vegan on my own when I was 6 years old and sticking with this decision. It’s been five years since I made this decision. I talk to lots of people who say they want to go vegan, but they don’t think they can give up cheese or other foods with animal products, so I just tell them if I could do it as a little girl and stick with it, then they can too. This really makes people think, and it gives them the confidence to give it a try.

What she’ll be doing 10 years from now: I will be traveling the world and talking to people about all the benefits of a plant-based diet and how amazing it is to be vegan. I will also be running my nonprofit organization Genesis for Animals and saving thousands of animals lives by raising money to give to sanctuaries, rescues, and shelters all over the world that saves animals.

What she’ll be doing in 20 years: I will definitely be working my way to becoming a senator. I just went to Sacramento with Social Compassion in Legislation to talk in front of the Senate House Committee about passing a bill to get vegan options served in all hospitals, nursing homes, and prisons in California. I got to spend the day at the Capitol and meet a lot of senators. My visit showed me how important it is to get laws passed that will help both humans and animals, so now it’s my goal to become a senator or assemblywoman so that I can get bills passed that will help make this world a better place for all species.