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This Indian home, where laundry dries outdoors and women carry small amounts of water in buckets, likely consumes vastly fewer resources than a typical American household. Such disparities make calculating sustainable levels of consumption for the world difficult.
Photo credit: World Bank

In recent decades, particular consumer choices as well as larger patterns of consumption have come under ethical scrutiny. Critics argue that some acts or rates of consumption are morally wrong and should be avoided, either because the commodity being consumed should be protected or because the processes by which it is manufactured, brought to market, or used causes harm to others. Social movements for various forms of ethical consumerism—whether based in objections to specific consumption choices like ethical vegetarianism or larger consumption patterns like movements ...

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