Patriotism in a sea of consumerism

By Joe Duty | Published Thursday, September 1, 2011

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Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Messenger photo by Joe Duty

We are survivalists turned into consumers. Wants have replaced needs. We’re quicker to recognize brand names than we are an oak tree or wildflower. The perpetual acquiring of wealth and goods never makes anyone happier, yet it seems like we don’t know anything else.

  • Americans consume 815 billion calories of food per day, 200 billion more than necessary and enough to feed another 80 million people.
  • Americans throw out 200,000 tons of edible food daily.
  • The average American generates 52 tons of garbage by age 75.
  • There are more shopping malls in the United States than high schools.

Last Friday, Walmart held a ribbon cutting to celebrate the completion of a round of renovations to the Decatur store. A prayer was spoken and the Pledge of Allegiance recited through the aisles as a crowd of employees gathered near the Ladies’ Wear department.

Our roaming photographer captured the Pledge amidst a colorful commotion of consumption.

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