She’s leading environmental efforts!
Genesis Butler was still a little kid when one night, she became perplexed at the dinner table.
“Mom, where do my chicken nuggets come from?,” she asked.
Shocked to know that they came from actual animals, Genesis and her mom made the decision that night to stop eating meat. That set off a domino effect which eventually included all meat products, going completely vegan by the age of 6. Like most young children, she was eager to share her newfound knowledge with the world, young Genesis quickly finding herself in environmental advocacy, something that was already deeply embedded in her bloodline.
“My great great uncle, Cesar Chavez, inspires my vision for the future. [He] was a civil rights leader who fought for the rights of farm workers, the LGBTQ+ community, women, and animals. He was able to make the world a better place so he gives me hope that I can help do the same,” Genesis told Because Of Them We Can.
Now 16-years-old, Genesis is a full-blown animal, climate, and environmental activist, founding the nonprofit organization Genesis for Animals. She was one of the youngest people to ever give a TedX talk and has been featured by Harvard, Time for Kids, The New York Times, and in Disney's Marvel Hero Project, where Genesis was named a real-life superhero. In 2019, the Afro-Indigenous teen took her work a step further, founding the global youth-led climate organization, Youth Climate Save. There, Genesis travels across the globe “raising awareness on the connection between animal agriculture and climate change.”
While climate change may seem like an insurmountable feat for some, Genesis contends that it’s actually quite simple. Just change the way you eat. With new plant-based products hitting the market every day, making the shift to a plant-based lifestyle is easier than ever. More importantly, it’s the simplest and most impactful step that every human can take in the fight to save the Earth.
“My vision for the future is a world where all living beings can live in peace on a thriving planet…It’s possible for us to live on a thriving planet where we can all focus on the beauty of life and being able to live in the moment instead of having to worry about our future,” explained Genesis.
The work is collective and Genesis believes her generation will lead the efforts. If she could give any advice to those willing to support her mission, it’s to provide more space and opportunities to actually hear from young people like her, since they’ll be inheriting the earth anyway.
“The best way my community can support me and youth like me is to give us opportunities where we can speak up and make a difference. Even though we may be young, many of us are already today's leaders. We're speaking to government officials, we're attending important meetings that can improve the lives of others, and we are asked for our feedback and our voices are heard. This gives us the motivation we need so please give youth the opportunity to be a part of important discussions and listen to what we have to say. This is the one thing that has allowed me to be an activist for so long,” Genesis said.
You can support Genesis by supporting any one of her many initiatives at www.genesisforanimals.org.
Congratulations Genesis on becoming one of BOTWC’s 2023 Young Frontrunners. Because of you, we can! To view all the amazing 2023 Young Frontrunners, visit botwc.com/youngfrontrunners.
Cover photo: 2023 ‘Young Frontrunner’ honoree Genesis Butler wants our planet to thrive/Photo Courtesy of Genesis Butler/BecauseOfThemWeCan