Does Your Religion/Beliefs Pepper Your Consumerism?

Crunchy Chicken asked Do your religious views directly drive your desire to limit consumeristic desires in your life?

I answer with a resounding yes.

First I’ll give you a basic overview of my belief system: Sun = God, Moon = Goddess, Earth = Mother, Water = Father, Wind = a combination of them all.

With increase in desire to purchase lots of cheap plastic crap, and not so cheap plastic crap, along with crap food designed (I swear) to kill us — and every living thing on this planet — I’ve had a monumental change in the way I think pertaining to “stuff.”

Don’t get me wrong, I love “stuff.” Stuff fills the physical holes in my house and my emotional holes, but “stuff” doesn’t fulfill me, my soul, or my spirit. And to my knowledge, doesn’t fulfill anyone although they think it does.

We don’t have cable here at the house so we don’t watch TV in the same manner as other people so when we do we watch with a jaundiced eye. This weekend while staying at Michelle and Scott’s, we got to watch some boob tube and were reminded why we don’t have cable (besides the fact it costs $100 to have 100 channels with nothing on): the blatant “buy me” attitude of all the commercials and the LIES they sell you. Frosted Flakes are not nutritious no matter how much they say they are, no matter how “healthy” the kid who’s “eating” the bowl of FF is.

I’ve significantly reduced the amount I purchase based on the following criteria: how necessary it is, how much harm it’ll do to dispose of it, the packaging, and what the cost is. If I’m not going to use something over and over, I don’t buy it. Certainly there are exceptions. Bread, for instance. The packaging bread comes in is plastic. But I eat bread almost every day and buying artisan bread is too expensive so store bought, in a plastic package, it is. I would prefer my bread be in paper but there isn’t much I can do about it.

We have one planet to live on and we’re destroying Her. We’re poisoning her and ourselves but that’s ok because we’re all just trying to make ends meet. Right? Wrong. On Howling Hill, we’re one income and we live greener than anyone we know. We recycle everything we can, compost food stuffs, plant a garden, keep the heat down and the lights off. We avoid processed food as best we can (but can’t always because of the cost of good food) and pick up other people’s trash. We do all this because we love Our Mother and want Her to be around for a few more generations. We worship Her and Father Water by working really hard not to contaminate the ground. We work hard to educate our friends and family about the dangers of GM foods, to reduce their consumerisitic tendencies. Often others roll their eyes at us, ignore us, and/or ridicule us. But still we promote a healthy lifestyle as best we can afford. Certainly there is more we can do and we’re working on those changes. But we are far ahead of others — others with kids* — who are too exhausted from long hours and long commutes to do anything besides throwing something in the microwave to eat.

Our Mother is pissed about the way humans have been treating her. This is evidenced by Global Warming. If ever there was proof of her anger, remember Katrina and Rita. Remember the tsumani and the increase in childhood diseases. Ladies and gentleman, She’s trying to get our attention. And She has it from some of Wolf and me.

*Often Wolf says to me (or vise versa) “Why are we the ones making all these changes and the people with kids shrug those changes off? We, the childless, are trying to save Mother Earth for OTHER people’s children and they make fun of us for it? What’s up with that?”

Read this if your Christian.

Edited to add: Wolf is talking about our friends and family who have children not parents in general. That is, people we know personally and can see their consumerism up close. Thanks to Gina for asking me to clarify.

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7 Responses to Does Your Religion/Beliefs Pepper Your Consumerism?

  1. Gina says:

    Great post, M. I have similar viewpoints, as you know, but of course I don’t fullheartedly agree with Wolf. See, I am doing what I can and I became MORE concious after I had children. Of course, he is entitled to his viewpoints and I respect that, but it is sort of a blanket statement. I guess I surround myself with other parents that would never “shrug those changes off”. Maybe I missed something? See, I have nothing but gratitude for those who chose to be childless and save the Earth for future generations. It is a very nobel kind of altruism.

    Anyway, I am not trying to argue (opinions are impossible to change), but I won’t apologize for my children (reproduction is, afterall, natural); perhaps you are referring to these people with a dozen kids? I am trying to reduce our “footprints” the best I can. Sometimes I think I do it more than folks without children!!! (not you guys of course!!)

  2. Noelle says:

    I like to take similar actions, but I consider myself a staunch atheist. I like to be good to the Earth because it’s been scientifically proven that living a non-sustainable lifestyle means bad things for everyone.

    I’d like to find a way to reach out to the man in the grocery store parking lot who was running his SUV and blaring his radio while he put his 24-pack of bottled water and other over-packaged groceries, all in their plastic bags, in the trunk of his car. I don’t think my walking by with tote bags full of vegetables in re-used plastic vegetable bags was enough to convince him to change, or enough to off-set the damage he was doing.

  3. Howling Hill says:

    Gina: I edited the post so hopefully you see that. Wolf is talking about people we know personally.

    I’m easing up on the whole kid thing. I think it’s because I’m having hot flashes every now and again.

    Noelle: There’s a lot of poverty in my area so people buy/drive what they can afford. If that means an SUV from 5-10 years ago and processed food, then so be it. I think the biggest challenge is turning the tide: why is good food expensive and bad food not? That is, processed food has more stuff in it so there’s a longer process to make such food (not to mention the “science” behind creating all those additives and preservatives) whereas organic food has less stuff and doesn’t take as much energy. However, it takes more time to grow. In my opinion processed food should cost more because more effort is put into creating and producing it.

  4. Allie says:

    I think processed food is cheaper because of all the crap they add to it to make it “affordable.” It really sucks that it costs more to eat healthy foods than it does to eat crap.

    But I do love that a lot of green things actually save money. Hopefully, in the end it balances out.

  5. burdockboy says:

    Hello-again.

    Great Post. Instead of rambling the same ideas I’ll just concur.
    And I do understand what Wolf was getting at. A lot of the most environmentally conscious people I know are childless and probably will remain so. There are a lot of clueless parents out there, which worries me because the same ignorance may be passed down to their children. We can only hope for education and discovery of the magic of the natural world by these children. Perhaps the parents that are teaching there children good values (healthy whole foods, reducing consumption, connecting with the natural world, etc) can teach by example.
    Cheers.

  6. Howling Hill says:

    Allie: I’m sure you’re right.

    Burdockboy: welcome back.

    What we find within our circle is individual families trying to keep up with the Joneses. They claim to care about Mother Earth but their actions say otherwise: carting kids to sports events, sporting equipment, toys, video games, all are made of plastic. Processed food, large birthday parties, etc. All these things kill life here on Earth but our circle don’t seem to care so longs as their kids have “good childhoods” whatever that means.

  7. peppylady says:

    I thought this was a wonderful question and I’m not sure where I stand but I’ll be open and honest as always.

    My parents mainly my mom wasn’t much of a consumer because she was from a very poor family and she watched the penny and for that raining day. No I don’t believe their nconsumeristicon had nothing to do with mother earth of that nature.
    I to have my self flopping back and forth of treating the earth right or not.
    But I do try to make a effect to treat the earth with love and kindness.

    I have question over on my blog on why do you pick the blog you read.

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