I've lived on the South Shore my whole life. This weather is undeniably not normal. Never have we seen flooding like this before. It saddens me to see local businesses and beautiful seaside homes ruined in a flash. Why is this happening? Is there anything we can do as individuals and as a community to prevent this from recurring? You might be surprised by the answer.
First, I'd just like to point out that what I'm about to say is not a conspiracy theory or crazy hippie talk, it's simply the facts. Facts that we all, myself included for the majority of my life, like to ignore. Although our current president might disagree, here are the FACTS...
Raising, feeding, slaughtering, transporting, and ultimately eating animals is the single greatest contributor to climate change on earth today. Approximately 20% of global greenhouse gas emissions is attributable to raising animals for food- more than the entire transportation industry (planes, trains, automobiles, etc.) combined Source 1! Animal agriculture is also the world's leading cause of deforestation, species extinction, ocean dead zones, and the largest consumer of water (by far) on our planet. Did you know it takes up to 5000 gallons of water to produce a single pound of beef Source 2? (That was not a typo) Did you know that you'd save more water by not consuming 1 pound of meat than not showering for 6 months? Yet, there you are screaming at Susie for spending too much time in the shower while you pack her bologna sandwich? Yet, there's our government telling us we can't water our lawns during a drought?
It gets worse. Aside from the sheer fact that eating animals is f**ked up to begin with... did you know that almost half of the worlds' grain, corn, and soy produced is fed to animals Source 3? We feed and kill 60 Billion (with a B!) animals, and growing, each year. In comparison, there are 7.5 Billion humans on earth, and every 3.5 seconds a human being will die of hunger (the majority of whom are children under the age of 5) Source 4. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to do the math here... for every 1 human, we feed 10 animals! If just the US stopped raising animals for food and we fed our crops to humans, we could eradicate world hunger. (again, not a typo)
Not only is eating animals a leading cause of climate change and resource depletion, it's also the main driver of our top killers - heart disease, diabetes, cancers, etc. (too many sources to cite, but here's a good list Source 5). I have news for you all... broccoli doesn't cause disease. Kale, beans, carrots, quinoa, oats, bananas, apples, mangoes, almonds, avocados... none of these cause cancer. None of these harden and clog your arteries. But that's nothing to do with food, doesn't disease run in the family? No... Diet and lifestyle runs in the family.
I've veered off track here a bit... but perhaps you're starting to see the point? Or, as the kids say, perhaps you're "getting woke?" The single greatest step you can take to improve the health of the planet (and your own health) is to take animal products off your plate. You can blind yourself to this and deny it as I did for the first 25 years of my life, but, in the words of DJ Khaled, you're playing yourself.
It's tradition though. It's American though. It's what we do. We grill burgers and dogs on the 4th, we eat stuffed turkey ass on Thanksgiving, we have honey baked ham on Christmas, and we have lamb chop on Easter Sunday. Maybe it’s time we say f**k tradition. We've had all kinds of messed up traditions in our country's past, slavery and racism being at the top of that list.
In conclusion, I love the South Shore. It's my home. I want my kids and my kids' kids to be able to love it too. But, like so many coastal communities throughout the US and the world, extreme weather and flooding is a real threat. We are literally seeing it happen before our own eyes. Yet, here we are refusing to acknowledge that our daily decisions have anything to do with it.