Tomorrow, 8 March, is International Women’s Day. To celebrate the central role of women in the plant-based movement, we spoke to four amazing women who are dedicating their lives to help build a better world.
Genesis Butler is a passionate environmental and animal rights activist and one of the youngest people to ever give a TEDx talk. Genesis is currently leading the Youth Climate Save movement, the first youth-led environmental organisation that focuses on animal agriculture’s impact on climate change and aims to give all young voices a platform. She is also the founder of the nonprofit organisation, Genesis for Animals, which raises funds for sanctuaries around the world.
“For the people who want to speak out but feel too nervous, I’d say give it a shot and just think about all the reasons you are doing it. It really gets easier once you start speaking out.”
Cecilia is a passionate climate activist in Fridays For Future Argentina and works closely with the local youth climate movement. She currently works as an Environmental Communication Strategies Coordinator for a local foundation She has also received mentorship from Nobel Prize recipient Al Gore as a Climate Reality Leader.
“Globally, more than a third of greenhouse gas emissions are related to animal farming. This is the easiest way you can make a huge impact to help restore, protect, and expand natural ecosystems, with the potential to preserve biodiversity and capture CO₂.”
Lorenza Jachia is a Senior Economist in the United Nations Resident Coordinator’s Office in Belgrade, Serbia. She has held positions of increasing responsibility in the UN at national, regional, and global levels, including as Secretary to the Working Party on Regulatory
Cooperation and Standardization Policies from 2008 to 2020. She is a vocal advocate for the use of standards as a foundation for trade, sustainable development, resilience to natural and man-made hazards and gender equality. Lorenza has an extensive publication record, including books on risk management, disaster risk reduction, and gender mainstreaming.
“At a time when we are confronted with unfathomable risks to all forms of life on Earth, including climate change, pollution, and ecosystem collapse, elected officials must urgently respond to the demands of citizens for change, putting life, not profit, at the centre.”
Rahmina Paullete is a Kenyan climate activist and a conservationist at Fridays For Future as well as the head campaigner for #LetLakeVictoriaBreatheAgain, which advocates for the restoration of Lake Victoria. She is also the founder of Kisumu environmental champions, an organisation that advocates for the environment, wildlife conservation, and fighting climate change. Through eco-innovation she is using water hyacinths to generate environmentally friendly products. She has also been in managerial positions, including at COP, and is a Fossil Fuel Treaty Champion.
“What Wangari Maathai was fighting for, I will ensure happens, that future generations will get to enjoy the fruits of our work towards environmental conservation.”
These interviews were lightly edited for clarity.