• 2019.10.11
  • Meatless meat dishes
Greta Thunberg is a sixteen-year-old Swedish girl who is making headlines in Portugal. She is an environmental activist who spent nearly two weeks making a transatlantic crossing to speak at the United Nations.

If you just saw her picture, you’d think she was just an innocent elementary school kid.

What I didn’t know was that she has been boycotting school since last year, staging a strike outside the Swedish parliament.

She first got interested in global warming when she wrote an award-winning essay on the environment, but how did a young teenager get the strength to take action this bold? She also has Asperger syndrome, which should affect her communication skills, so it must have taken tremendous courage for her to get her message across to the media.

I have a twelve-year-old daughter, but she’s mostly interested in Instagram and chatting with her friends. She lays around with her smartphone in her hand when she’s home, just wasting oxygen and expelling carbon dioxide. She started surfing, so she’s more interested in nature than her peers, but although she wants to keep the oceans and coasts clean, but her room and wherever she’s been in the house are the dirtiest and strewn with trash. What’s with these huge gaps?

On September 17, the fourteen dining halls at University of Coimbra announced that they would ban beef—not because of an influx of vegetarian students, but in an effort to do their part in reducing the carbon dioxide emitted while producing it.
The first step in the ban will come in January 2020, when all the dining halls will switch all of their utensils, cutlery, and containers to ceramics, glass, metal, or paper. Apparently, the school is looking to go carbon-free by 2030. The president also spoke passionately about having incoming freshmen actively participate in greening projects, such as planting trees on campus and in areas devastated by forest fires.
I like what the university is doing, but Western culture will always be deeply rooted in its meat products—even if it is eating seitan steaks, tofu bolognaise, black bean burgers, and soy sausage!


  • Megumi Ota
  • JobConservator, interpreter, and coordinator / Insitu (restoration), Kaminari-sama / Novajika, and others

I’m a conservator and preservationist living in Portugal. I specialize primarily in paintings (murals) and gold leaf design, and am involved with UNESCO World Heritage structures as well as the interior of the Palace of Belém. I derive great satisfaction from having close ties to my community in the rural village near the Silver Coast where I live. My hobby is gardening.

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