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Consumer Culture Is Not Our Culture

May 11, 20173 min read

Today’s world is a powerhouse of constant need and desire. Seemingly omnipresent advertisements surround us and it becomes increasingly difficult to separate our needs from our wants. I live in California’s capital, Sacramento, which has an alarming homeless population. This poem explores our materialistic obsession with money and our relationships with people around us, especially those less fortunate. This message against extreme consumerism resonates all over the world, not just in California, and it’s a lifestyle that we need to reflect upon and take action against.


Many people identify America as having a consumer culture

We consume ATMs and paychecks and wealth

And cents that don’t make really any sense

We consume plastic and paper and precious metals

Damn, we really must have gone mental

Momma always told us to eat our greens

But I don’t think Mother Earth expected us to consume all of her forests

We consume the sun and moon and stars

And in place of them we worship dollar signs and Hollywood stars

Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle may be the 3 Rs

but Me, Myself, and I is the Holy Trinity being preached nowadays

We consume 3 meals a day plus snacks plus drinks plus that one late-night snack that you thought nobody saw you eat

We consume warmth in our beds, coddled and swaddled by blankets and heaters

We consume water that has been exploited from mountains by the liter

But while we reside cozy inside, just outside some are barely alive

In Sacramento an average of 2600 living on the streets will consume nothing

Our biggest sin of all is that we have become cannibals

Consuming our own kind

Consuming our mind’s eye, our brains have been breakfast and our hearts our dessert

We are nothing but cannibals destroying our own capacity for love and peace

Just to try and get another piece of that new techno gadget or high end clothing

Consumer culture is not our culture

Our true culture derives from the heavens above

Our bones were made to shield our divine intentions

Our muscles were made to pull us closer together

Our hearts were made to love and be loved.

Our true culture is one heavy with milk and honey, fragrant of nectar, and radiant of light

Consumer culture is not our culture

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Johanna Bulaong

I am a Political Science major at CSU-Sacramento, with a concentration in International Relations. You can find me writing about any of the forbidden dinner table topics such as religion, sex, or politics. Check out my personal blog at !

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