Rejection of Consumer Culture

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by minnikin1, Nov 15, 2006.

  1. minnikin1

    minnikin1 Shepherd

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    How many of you would say that a part of your decision to pursue the homesteading lifestyle is because you are sick of our "I need more things to have status" society?

    If it made an impact, how much of an impact?
     
  2. PcH8er

    PcH8er Well-Known Member

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    I've never really been into the consumer culture. It amazes me how some people will go and buy stuff they don't need instead of even paying their bills. I wouldn't say that it was the deciding factor, but I am tired of it, and it does play a small part.
     

  3. fastbackpony

    fastbackpony Well-Known Member

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    [
    I agree = I wasn't raised in the consumer lifestyle, so have never really understood this way of thinking. (and it doesn't hurt that i HATE shopping)

    My DH and i were talking just a couple days ago - and we think there may be a really big push toward this homesteading thing - like thousands and thousands - within the coming years. I would not be surprised at all, how long can we go as a whole, selling ourselves for the latest new trends ? People have 2 and 3 jobs - for what ? to buy the latest Doc Martins - when they have 17 pairs in their closets that are out of style. There has to be a generation coming who will say STOP - and not allow marketing or people who are basically promoting greed on every level - to control them, and their spending.

    Some people have literally become slaves - credit cards maxxed - 2 jobs - or more - work all the time. . . . . . eat cheap unhealthy food - so they can have the latest ipod thingy or whatever. its so sad.
     
  4. Ramblin Wreck

    Ramblin Wreck Well-Known Member Supporter

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    No, I don't think the consumer culture or lack thereof were important to me. I longed more for the simplicity of the lifestyle I enjoyed while growing up, but I wasn't smart enough to appreciate it during my developing years.
     
  5. nodak3

    nodak3 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Nope, for me it has all been about creating a quality life.
     
  6. Tracy Rimmer

    Tracy Rimmer CF, Classroom & Books Mod Supporter

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    A great deal of our decision to pursue this lifestyle had to do with watching many of our peers and friends fall into that "gotta have it" lifestyle. It just wasn't for us. We don't value a lot of what other people our age and at our stage of life value.

    That, and the fact that I believe that there is nothing to lose and everything to gain in pursuing a life as close to self-sufficiency as possible, not the least of which is passing on skills and knowledge to our children.

    But then, I believe that "Your Money or Your Life" by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin should be required reading for all high school students, too :)
     
  7. Sassafrassa

    Sassafrassa WorkerBee

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    I think that it was definately part of the mix. I, too, was brainwashed by our consumeristic society, and was one of those people who had their credit cards maxxed out and barely able to keep up. Feeling so trapped by consumerism and consumption--what a horrible feeling--you can never keep up with the Jonses. My change began with Buy Nothing Day, did some research, which led to more research. With each new book and article, I realized the folly of the direction our country (and other countries) are heading with the unfettered spending--the impact that it is having on our resources and our mindset.

    I believe that we are heading towards disaster. That, combined with a desire for a simple life, where I can control my environment and my food sources were the main reasons for my decision to move towards self-sufficiency. We are by no means there, yet. But working each day to make it a reality.

    Sassa
     
  8. travlnusa

    travlnusa Well-Known Member

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    I would agree that it played a large part in our decision. We still enjoy buying nice things, but how we define nice things has changed. Rather than buying the newest I-Pod, etc, we find ourselves getting more enjoyment out of buying a new heifer, yarn, chainsaw, etc.

    We find ourselves playing a game when we leave the brother in laws place. After a nice evening, we try to add up how much they have spent since our last visit. It is always in the thousands. That explaines why they are going to wifes parents to get bailed out time after time.

    We do not have the lastest and greatest. And we are so much more happy than we tried to keep up with the Jones.
     
  9. Sherrynboo

    Sherrynboo Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I have been at a point where I was living beyond my means and buying things that I "wanted" but no necessarily needed. Somewhere along the line I realized it was not worth it. Things don't bring you happiness. Now hubby and I are debt free except for the mortgage which I hope to have paid off in 5-6 years. We do have a couple of credit cards which are paid off on a monthly basis mainly so he can order his reloading stuff online and to get gas.

    One thing that concerns me about the cheap products is how soon they are broken and sent to the landfill. This stuff does not decompose very easily! Washers, dryers, dishwashers...the landfills are full of them! There will be a breaking point somewhere.

    Sherry in GA
     
  10. RedHairedBonnie

    RedHairedBonnie Well-Known Member

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    I started making my holiday gifts in high school. A car was something to get me from point A to B. The shopping I enjoyed was grocery, craft/fabric stores, and Job Lots, malls had no draw for me. So this is the lifestyle that just "fits" me.
     
  11. cindyc

    cindyc Well-Known Member

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    Yep. It is a big part of it. We were never hugely "consumer oriented" as compared to most americans, but we were more "consumer oriented" than we realized.

    School of hard knocks taught us that it was all temporary... We decided to live for something different. :)
     
  12. RedTartan

    RedTartan Icelandic Sheep Supporter

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    This is what concerns me as well. Just pick one thing. Think of all the Happymeal toys... They all wind up in the landfill. It's overwhelming. And it's just. one. thing.

    :( RedTartan
     
  13. Jerngen

    Jerngen Perpetually curious! Supporter

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    Likewise! My exposure to the simple homesteading lifestyle originally began with a paper I had to write in a college course I was taking. I didn't want the usual topics that everyone else was writing on. There was a headline in the newspaper that caught my eye titled "Voluntary Simplicity". I wrote that down as the title and started researching. My/our lives have never been the same since! :)
     
  14. Larburlingame

    Larburlingame Well-Known Member

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    I am not consumer oriented. What is scary is that if everyone felt that way the economy of this country would go under. The whole system depends on people wanting more and more. If everyone just bought what they really needed and keep everything until it was worn out there would be a lot of unemployed people.
     
  15. nehimama

    nehimama An Ozark Engineer Supporter

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    I love my lifestyle! Drive an old car, grow & preserve my own fruits & veggies, don't do much shopping - EXCEPT - at the second-hand stores and the scratch & dent store. No need to keep up with anyone else; I can barely keep up with the goats and chickens and guineas!

    NeHi
     
  16. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    Yea, would hate for those Chinese that do our manufacturing and the Mexicans that unload the Chinese ships to get unemployed. What is it Americans actually do again???
     
  17. LamiPub

    LamiPub Ami

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    It did play a part in my decision more because of the children. I grew up without a tv and was getting sickened watching the kids lay around watch tv, play computer games, piles of unplayed with toys, "give me", "i want", etc instead of going outside to do chores, explore, invent or just sit down and read. Thought it was an important lesson for them to learn to be self sufficient (somewhat) and to know where their food comes from and how to process it (and the healthy difference between home raised and commercial products). Also wanted them to learn to think for themselves, search for answers and make thoughtful decisions. I am really scared about them managing money in the month to month, mortgage, two car payments and we deserve brand new everything mentality. They still watch tv and play games but also care for animals, garden, cut and split firewood, fish, hunt and butcher meat. So there is still hope :)
     
  18. TNHermit

    TNHermit Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Well I was raised on a farm, then I got the first issue of MEN and saw the woodwright shop. And I always seemed to like history,doin for yourself and old things. But now that I'm an old thing Im not so sure about that.
    Oh yeah that old stuff had lots of wheels and gears and spinning things. I' was easlily amused
     
  19. minnikin1

    minnikin1 Shepherd

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    The truth in this comment is so true its frightening.
    I am reading a "Beginners Guide to Reality" and it's providing a whole new way to look at what's "real" and what is reality created by (insert sponsor of your choice).

    I heard a horrible story on the radio today regarding computer "gamers."
    Apparently, there is a growing trend. Now some people need to acquire
    status in their game worlds. For example, a truck driver paid $700 on ebay to buy a fancy house IN HIS GAME.
    A man in China killed someone for borrowing a game weapon and selling it in the real world market.
     
  20. tiogacounty

    tiogacounty Well-Known Member

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    We are watching a couple we know that are in the process of crashing and burning, financially. They have a small trucking company that just isn't making it. On the other side of the coin, they have a serious need to impress others. One aspect of the situation that will always blow my mind is their need for flashy vehicles. They are upside down on two car loans, a Mercedes SUV and a Mercedes large car. They owe more than both vehicles are worth, and the monthly payments, combined are $1500. An ugly lesson to learn, but completely self-inflicted wounds.