We live in a consumer society

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Autor: Chlapec studak
Typ práce: Referát
Dátum: 06.02.2014
Jazyk: Angličtina
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We live in a consumer society

Introduction
When I first thought about my themes for project week, I was absolutely sure, that I 'd choose english. Suddenly I saw topic „We live in a consumer society“ and I knew that it would be mine. It's known that I'm kinda anti-consuming person. I'm vegetarian, I support underground music and lifestyle. I think it's important for people, to have deeper knowledge about consume, about their consuming lifestyles. People have to open their minds and search and don't take everything that it's said to them. We have to think about everything we do in your lives. It doesn't matter if you are rich or poor, man or woman, everyone have a choice to choose which side he would prefer. Have you ever thought about your shopping? Do you support your local traders, or big hypermarkets by buying their products? Do you read composition of food you are buying? Do the advertisements have big influence on you? So please, try to be open minded, during my presentation and make your opinion by your mind no by your TV or masmedia. I'm going to share my opinions and knowledge that I acquired during making this essay about consuming society.

1 What is consume and consumer society?
Dictionary says that consume is a verb, which means: to destroy or expend by use, to spend (money, time, etc.) wastefully. So if we live in a consumer society, it means that we spend our time wasting on unimportant things? 

 From this definition we can clearly see, that consume isn't helping society to prosper. No one can deny that we live in a consumer society. What the consumer society acutally is? Let's use dictionary again. A consumer society rests on consuming material goods as a paramount feature of it's balance and values. Main principe of consumer society is to buy more than you need, more than you could use. Marketing professionals have a job to do: they want to influence consumers toward purchasing their organization’s product. To do their jobs, they have to have a good idea about what makes people want to buy and consume. Most often, their focus is on why a consumer would choose a particular brand of a product, at a particular time and place. Social science research, primarily from psychology and sociology, forms the basis for the standard marketing view of consumer behavior. And as we can see, they are really sucessfull.

And someone don't act like true consumer, society makes him feel like he's out. People who try to live in non-consume way are often judged as some kind of hippies or unsocial jerks. Is that right? Sure it isn't! Have you ever thought about that? Did you ever bought a new gadget, which broke after 2 years or even earlier? For example mobile phones. Consumer society makes you buy a new one because your old phone is broken. But why? In 21st century we are able to make long lasting gadgets. But we don't. What's more, we support this kind of living. Are we just ill mannered, or too lazy to change? One day will nature strike back and show us how blind we were.
 
2 Change
How we can change the consume way of the world? We can act non-consuming. Vegetarianism or veganism, ecology, recyclation, there are a lots of alternatives. But the main thing is, not to live just for today, but for your kids and their kids.
 
2.1 Veganism and vegetarianism
Close your eyes for a moment and imagine that people aren't  on the top of the food chain. Try imagine that on the top are for example pigs. And pigs are killing people, because they eat them. People live in the farms, in cruel condition, fed by unhealthy food which contains steroids, because pigs want you to grow faster. For whole your life you haven't seen anything else just walls of your farm, you can't go wherever you want, you can't breathe fresh air, see the sun... And all your friends, and you too, will die because pigs are so greedy and consuming for their needs.

How would you feel about that? Vegetarianism and veganism is about respecting the other species. About independence from the system, that dictates you to do what everyone does. It's not a style, it's a way of life.
Non consuming way of life. It's for whole life, not for the period, it's not fashion style.  If more people would became vegans or vegetarian, less innocent animals would suffer under butcher's knife. If more people start to be open minded consuming society won't control masses. Would you eat meat if you'd know how it was killed? At least we could try, to change the way the animals are killed. We call yourself humans, but we kill worse than beasts. And that isn't necessary! One quote by William Shakespeare says: Man without his word is no better than a beast. In this case I'd like to change it a little. Human without his word and opinions is no better than a beast.
 
2.2 Ecology
Firstly, what is ecology? Let's use dictionary again. Ecology (from Greek: οἶκος, "house"; -λογία, "study of") is the scientific study of the relations that living organisms have with respect to each other and their natural environment. Do people from consumer society respect other species and enviroment? No. We mined more than a half of oil resources and these resources were created for hundreds years. And we have alternative to cars which use oil. Electric car are designed or cars which function on principe of solar energy. But why we don't use them? Because people who hold this world and make decisions don't want change. It makes money, and that's important. Now, I'm going to explain to you biggest ecological problems of the world.
 
2.2.1 Climate Change
Global warming has been concerning scientists for years. From the melting polar ice to unpredictable weather and ruined ecosystems. What we ought to do? Why it's happening? Why do so many people still think climate change isn’t real? These are just some of the issues worth exploring. The good news is that despite the urgency of the crisis, there are new technological developments as well as meaningful lifestyle changes you can make to help. You can start to use less energetic gadgets, don't use freons, it's all abou knowing, that people could change the world if they really want. Despite the power and money of 1% of the world.
 
2.2.2 Energy
Clean energy vs. dirty energy. Renewable energy. We are addicted to the electricity and we need more and more energy to feed your gadgets. Notebooks, mobile phones, servers. Water power stations are ruining the ecosystems in rivers, and makes harder for fish to migrate. Power stations which are based on combustion of coal makes even more dirtier. But when finally someone tries to establish new wind power station, people don't want it. Why? It's too loud. Everyone should try to be energetical independent. Buy solar panels, try to provide more wind power stations.
 
2.2.3 Wasting
The world has largely gotten accustomed to a throwaway lifestyle. Waterways are pre-fulled with trash and modernized nations ship their leftovers to the third world. Fashion, fast food, cheap electronics are just some of the problems. Water bottles are the defining symbol of this critical issue. Fortunately, people are becoming aware of the consequences so that they started to think. More and more people recycle and think about their trash.
 
2.2.4 Water
Pure water is becoming endemic. Our global reserves of drinkable water are a fraction of 1% and 1 in 5 humans does not have access to safe water. Have you ever thought about that? We are one of the countries which flush with drinkable water. And people in developing countries fight everyday for a bottle of safe water. But we can't influence this. But there are many things that we can do. For example it starts with turning off the faucet when you brush your teeth.
 
2.2.5 Food
I've been talking about this theme in topic vegetariasm and veganism. But It's also an ecological problem, because we know that the planet can’t afford the Western way of eating. It would take 5 earths to support that lifestyle! We consume too much and give earth too little. What about hunting – is that good for the environment? We are in 21st century and there are still people dying because of starvation. On the other hand thousands of people are dying because of overweight.
 
2.2.6. Land Management
From desertification to polar ice melting to erosion and deforestation, existing land management choices are not serving the planet or its inhabitants very well.  There is very little land left that is undeveloped, either with structures or roads. And there is virtually no land left that is not subject to light or noise pollution. Big countries like USA  or China have to change their opinions for deforestation, and they have to do it right now.
 
2.2.7  Ecosystems and Endangered Species
Good news is that some species have made a comeback. The bad news is that many more species are now under threat, including indicator species and unique species. (When an indicator species becomes endangered, this means an entire ecosystem faces collapse.) The consequences can have global impact. For example cheetahs, dugongs, leopards are on the list of endangered species. And that's because we decrease them their habitats because we need more space for industries or mining. Is that right?
 
2.2.8 The Science of Public Health Issues
Our tomatoes have fish DNA? Superweeds are taking over corn fields? Wild animals are sprouting extra limbs? Autism is on the rise? From genetic manipulation and cloning to public health issues and food and drug contamination, we have to aks for more informations. Do cell phones really cause cancer? How much of our groundwater is contaminated? Is smog getting worse or better? How much acid rain is there? Why can’t I drink out of streams? We must ask and insist on answers for our questions. We must open the Pandora's boxes of our goverments and finally see the truth.

Conclusion
I've tried to show you, the meaning and disadvantages of living in consumer society. There's no doubt that we need change. But not only us are the one who need the change. Animals whose habitats are getting smaller and smaller, our Earth which seems really tired of our misuse of her resources. We are so greedy and not open minded that we just stick to rigit opinions and the don't think about their impacts on enviroment. I hope my work shown you some examples how to live in different way. And I hope that you'll try to start to live this way too. If not, nevermind, it's just your choice and your life.
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