In a powerful speech Monday in front of the United Nations, Xiuhtezcatl Roske Martinez—a 15-year-old from Boulder, CO—expressed that “all living things are connected” and that “life is a gift and it is our responsibility to respect and protect that which gives us life.” The young indigenous Aztec activist, musician, and public speaker stated that “climate change is a human-rights issue,” and called out the “snail pace” of the UN’s environmental initiatives during the last 20 years. The vegetarian middle-schooler is also the youth director of Earth Guardians, a global group of young activists dedicated to combating climate change. As part of its campaign entitled “50 Simple Things,” the group urged people to go vegan as an easy way to cut our carbon footprints. “What’s at stake right now is the existence of my generation,” Martinez concluded at the end of his speech.
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