A Western Buddhist's Travels

Sightseeing & detours on the path of enlightenment

Karmasumer sightings on the rise worldwide

Much like yesterdays post, today’s is about a possible evolutionary trend that may offer hope to mans continued existence on earth. It appears a new sub-species of mankind is emerging, with sightings around the world. Well they share many of the traits of the karmivore discussed yesterday, the karmasumer seems to be the next step in man’s evolution, appearing even before the karmivore has become the dominant sub-species.

The karmasumer has 5 major characteristics, that differentiate them from so called modern humans. These traits add up to a considerably smaller ecological footprint, compared to the rest of mankind.

1. Karmasumers appear to maximize the effectiveness of every action they take. They walk or cycle as their first choice of mobility, thereby reducing the need to pay a monthly fee to join fitness facilities, where running on a treadmill seems to be the choice of many modern humans. This also provides them with more regular stretching throughout the day, reducing the incidence of such ailments as thrombosis, and glutamus maximumus. If going a longer distance within an urban area, they tend to be found on public transit, or car pooling, which not only reduces the CO2 output, but gives opportunity to socialize. Unconfirmed reports state that singles look more favorably on those they meet on public transit, who pass the sniff test on a crowded train or bus. When Karamsumers drive they tend to prefer car rentals or shared ownership of a vehicle, to minimize the amount of materials tied up in an expensive parking space, as in some locations there are reports of costs of over $150/month for a single parking space for the workday. When karmasumers drive, they appear to take full advantage of on-board or phone based trip organizers to maximize productivity while minimizing mileage. They seem to have lost the urge to have the shiniest new auto.
“Driving a brand new car feels like driving around in an open billfold with the dollars flapping by your ears as they fly out the window.”  ~Grey Livingston

2. Karmasumers having lost the urge to have the most expensive piece of metal, plastic and other components sitting next to those economy models, seem to have also taken this attitude unto themselves as a mantra towards other acquisitions. They no longer race out to buy the new cell phone, that has 21 new features they won’t use after the first week. When they do buy a new cell phone, they will either pass the old one along to someone who can make use of it, or donate it to a charity that offers them to people who can’t afford one with the regular costs. They buy the rights to consume digital music, books and music, either on a one time basis, or lifetime access plans, eliminating all those pieces of vinyl, cds or dvds cluttering up the shelves. Karmasumers don’t have to have all the gadgets or the most up to date gadgets to be happy, as they have come to realize possessions don’t bring happiness, it comes from within.

3. The karmasumer has the same basic eating habits as the kamivore discussed yesterday. Mainly a vegetarian, locally sourced diet. Enjoys sharing meals with others, as well as seeing that the less fortunate also have access to healthy food. Quite often is observed =talking to local bakers, green grocers and other suppliers, while addressing them by first name. This indicates a relationship of trust and information exchanges that aren’t found in the megastores where the staff seems to change faster than the produce at times.

4. Female karmasumers still appear to hold fashion in high regard, but buy fewer trendy items of clothing than a fashionista. Rather they tend to buy higher quality basics, and use accessories to be trendy. They realize that the style that is hot today, will be passe next month, and retro in several years. Stores that have traditionally relied on selling complete new wardrobes every season are reported to be struggling to adapt to this new retail paradigm. As having the knowledgeable staff required to provide the expected level of service to those who want quality goods that will last for several years, means that they can’t hire the typical bubblegum chewing salesclerk any longer.

Image source: http://bluecaravanblog.wordpress.com/tag/ethical-clothing-pledge/

5. Finally the other thing karmasumers expect are products that are ethically sourced from sustainable resources. Hearing that a company uses a supplier that treats employees to unsafe working conditions, excessive hours or por pay will quickly cause karmasumers to boycott a product. Countries around the world have had the spotlight of the internet shone on their environmental practices, so that there are fewer rivers of toxic sludge, caused by bonfire recycling methods. Paper products are rated by how much post consumer fiber is included within the raw material, are the thin edge of the wedge of ethical sourcing practices karmasumers are demanding. Minimal packaging is yet another revoloution that is being pushed to the forefront by karmasumers.

A world leading recycling center:


The karmasumer is one who not only wants to enjoy the benefits from their purchases, but ensure that all beings benefit as well. Ensuring that their grandchildren and beyond have the same opportunity to live a wholesome and healthy life. One of the identifying characteristics of a karmasumer is that no being suffers because of the choices made in acquiring the product. The environment is left in the same or better condition, and materials were sourced from recycling efforts first.

Karmasumers have taken to heart the mantra of sustainability as expressed by North American First Nations; “We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children” The Dalai Lama gives us a view on the state of things today in: “I would like to conclude by stating that, in general, I feel optimistic about the future. The rapid changes in our attitude towards the earth are also a source of hope. As recently as a decade ago, we thoughtlessly devoured the resources of the world, as if there were no end to them. We failed to realize that unchecked consumerism was disastrous for both the environment and social welfare. Now, both individuals and governments are seeking a new ecological and economic order.”

“As people alive today, we must consider future generations: a clean environment is a human right like any other. It is therefore part of our responsibility toward others to ensure that the world we pass on is as healthy, if not healthier, than we found it. – H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama.


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2 thoughts on “Karmasumer sightings on the rise worldwide

  1. Insightful post! Thank you for sharing. On the topic of ethical purchasing, I would like to share my website with you: It is called the Fair for All Shopping Guide (www.fairforallguide.com), and it is an effort to list online stores that source their products ethically. We focus on human rights like wages and working conditions. Maybe it will be helpful to you or someone you know.

  2. Very true, bro. With metta

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