It can be difficult having liberal values in a capitalist and consumerist society whilst remaining a functioning person. The nature of these systems is that they force compliance through conditioning individuals to develop a reliance on aspects of those systems. In simple terms, when we grow up in a society with values such as these where we are accustomed to information and products at our literal fingertips, it’s extremely difficult just to let this all go in the pursuit of pure libertarianism.
Personally, what I try to do is walk the line between being a functional member of society whilst still reducing some (not all) of the negative impacts I place on the world via being complicit to society. For example, I try my hardest to be vegan (most) of the time. As someone who has done a lot of research into the way mass-production of meat, dairy and eggs is harmful to ourselves, animals and the environment I am well aware that a vegan lifestyle is the morally correct way to live. However, I also regularly stay at my boyfriend’s house where there is little to nothing in the way of ingredients to make vegan food with so I have to compromise on occasion by using milk, cheese or eggs in a recipe so not to cause a fuss. In this example, my value of being respectful in others houses and my veganism conflict, and so I find compromise that I find to be the most morally sound. Similarly, even a vegan lifestyle is not entirely “cruelty free”, as unfortunate as that is. Even producing plants lends the use of animal products, such as blood and bone fertilised manure. My philosophy is that living a moral life is always a toss up and compromise between different values to find the best solutions.
At the end of the day, it is next to impossible to abide completely to your values (ie eat completely cruelty free, participate in no environmental damage and have 0 impact on the planet). That is, unless you run into the jungle to rebirth yourself as a radical hunter and forager living off the land. However, this is something that is not viable nor desirable for the majority of us. Not to say that this would be a bad lifestyle, it’s just something that would be incredibly hard to adjust to after a lifetime of conditioning to aspects of consumerism and capitalism.
It is my personal belief that we are all responsible for reducing our negative impact on those around us and the planet to the extent that is possible for ourselves. That way, making change isn’t something intimidating or overwhelming to the average person – it just becomes small changes we can all make that can help save the planet.