Seven amazing activists under the age of 20

Young people get an unnecessarily bad rap these days. No, Brenda, the world isn’t falling to pieces because little Johnny texts too much, or because a handful of kids decided it was a good idea to eat Tide Pods.

Not all millennials are lazy, and Generation Z doesn’t exist exclusively within the confines of Snapchat.

Granted, teenagers can be jerks. So can adults. Yes, we’re still looking at you, Brenda. This is not a youth-specific problem.

What follows, in no particular order, is a list of seven amazing young people who really Didn’t Start the Fire — but are fighting it none the less.

Greta

Greta Thunberg

Recently nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, Greta Thunberg is the young activist — nay, simply the activist — to watch these days. That said, should you somehow miss her, you can’t miss her following.

Her weekly Friday school strikes, orchestrated to promote climate action and policy change, have become a global sensation.

This month, hundreds of thousands of young people took to the streets to join her cause, proving just how much one person, big or small, can do when they really put their mind to it.

Image: Instagram

Sadie

Sadie Sink

Sadie Sink, aged 16, obviously gets major points for her role as Max in hit Netflix series Stranger Things — greatest show ever — but her work beyond the series is also not to be missed.

This outspoken animal activist loaned her voice to breakthrough documentary Dominion last year, alongside a number of other vegan celebs, including Sia and Joaquin Phoenix.

Now, she’s partnering with actress and designer Rooney Mara to help promote the star’s vegan clothing line. Move over, Kardashians. Celebrities just got cool again.

Image: Facebook

Aiyana

Aiyana Goodfellow

While this young activist may not be as recognizable as Sink, 12-year-old Aiyana Goodfellow is a star in her own right.

At least, her reception at last year’s Official Animal Rights March would seem to suggest as much. Harnessing her existing talents, Goodfellow brought the house down with an impassioned spoken-word performance that has been all over social media since.

With wisdom well beyond her years, a no-nonsense attitude and an unbridled passion for the animal-rights movement, Goodfellow shows promise as a force to be reckoned with in coming years. This self-described “proud rebel” shows no sign of quitting any time soon.

Image: Instagram

Bella

Bella Lack

Bella Lack is a 16-year-old London-based activist, whose work has earned her almost 150,000 Twitter followers.

She’s an ambassador for the Jane Goodall Institute and the Born Free Foundation, and has written for The Ecologist.

Basically, this young environmentalist has accomplished more in a decade and a half than most of us do in three or four. Take that, Brenda.

Image: Instagram

Thomas

Thomas Ponce

At just 17 years of age, Thomas Ponce has made a real name for himself as an animal advocate.

In fact, this young man is the founder of not one, but two animal-rights organizations, namely Harley’s Home and Lobby for Animals.

Predating a number of the most established adult vegan activists, Ponce has now been an animal advocate for more than a decade.

Image: Facebook

Genesis

Genesis Butler

Genesis Butler, aged 12, is apparently itching to change the planet.

A vegan by the age of six, this is a girl who’s wasted no time when it comes to animal advocacy.

Her work is so remarkable, in fact, that she became the first-ever recipient of PETA’s Young Hero for Animals Award last March, and has even taken the stage at TEDx to talk about veganism.

Image: Instagram

Zoe

Zoe Rosenberg

Butler is not the only TED presenter on this list, however. She shares bragging rights with 16-year-old Zoe Rosenberg, an activist as unapologetic as she is fearless in her animal advocacy.

As a Direct Action Everywhere organizer, Rosenberg has been arrested multiple times during her demonstrations, but remains undeterred.

Image: Instagram

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