Earthlings

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Earthlings, narrated by Joaquin Phoenix, details the human use of animals in five specific areas: for food, clothing, entertainment, science, and as pets.

Director Shaun Monson uses hidden cameras to unveil the practices of puppy mills and pet stores, among other sites in which humans interact with animals in a for-profit manner. Monson attempts to expose human exploitation of animal abuse in what many consider to be sights from everyday life.

Earthlings does not shy away from grotesque imagery to detail how human dependency on animals can lead to abusive practices. The film, directed and produced by vegans, attempts to raise awareness of inhumane animal treatment by comparing such practices to human exploitation, such as sexism and racism.

Year: 2005

Category: Environment
  • Scott

    this film brings me to the question of how evolved are we as a species, exactly? We are granted dominion, but that comes with an intrinsic responsibility to be good sheperds, or so the rational man would think. yet here we are in this time of amazing technology, still gleefully disrespecting ourselves and all the species of Earth in a show of false bravado and “superiority”. WTF???

  • carltonT

    Having watched this documentary, I’m going to rethink my views on everything (food, clothing, consumer products, etc). Its a crime that for my comforts, others must suffer. . . . . .

  • Fanny J. Torres

    I was a vegetarian for 35 years. After watching this documentary, I went vegan the next day!

  • why?

    I cried? what have we become?

  • Michael Haywood

    Not convinced, this video is faked, will continue to eat delicious meat and fish. Yum, Yum

    • Nathan Edwards

      What makes you believe this video is fake? Do you not understand there are countless other documentaries out there expressing similar information? You should really look more into this. Visit one of these factory farms. See for yourself the reality in which mankind is creating for these innocent animals. I believe we are the worst plague ever to come to Earth.

    • Are you actually this dense?

      Clearly you’ve never been remotely involved in the bones of the food industry, lol. Only an uneducated idiot would think the mass scale we produce animal products is in any way humane. Sincerely, someone who know this basic shit since I was a child in an omnivorous family.

    • Rachel

      What about it are you thinking is fake?.. It is from undercover workers actually being there footage.. Not fake; it is real.

    • maby

      you are so ignorant its sad!!

    • Robert Huxley

      The only thing fake is your intelligence

    • mario

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  • shyma

    We are so evil .. I cried and I hated myself for being a human!

  • Daisy Tsenkova

    Lool you dont have to be meateater to be cruel. Yes, we eat animals. Animals eat people. End of the story. The problem isnt in eating meat, but in people becoming stupid and cruel in everything.

    • Jojo

      Yeah,but it doesn’t help by eating meat,though? I know not all meat eaters are heartless,,but people have to wake the hell up.

  • Maurice Stewart

    I find this video alarming as well as interesting. I think a part of the problem is that humans that live in developed nations don’t understand the cruel nature of the world. We are repulsed by this in large measure because our daily lives creates the allusion that we are better then these other humans. Most of them live in poverty and develop a callous attitude for their work. Imagine if day in a day out it was your job, the only one that you can obtain, you would develop a carelessness due to the banality of it. Most of us don’t have to kill our food. If we did, we would have more compassion for animals. The world is just cruel by nature. We have to try and lessen the suffering of all creatures.

    • Jojo

      I am sorry,but that is no excuse. There are people who live in better off countries who do similar work who still have that attitude.

      • Maurice Stewart

        I understand your frustration. We can do better. I just think we feel this way because we really don’t have to kill our food or do this type of work to make a living. I think doing something like this on routine basis spurs apathy. But i5 in truth, we are all guilty. You and I are helping to destroy our ecology through the medium that we communicate. We drive cars that pollute or environment on roads that destroyed habbit. It’s not just food, but humans have harmed our entire ecology to make the planet to our liking. It’s not evil, but survival. The animal kingdom itself is evil. This does not mean that abuse to animals is okay. We can do better. But we as humans have to share the planet and move away from this industrialized way of living.

        • Sayla

          OK survival- no. Don’t tell me we need circuses for survival. So much of our world exists to serve corporate interests; that is not survival- far from it. The capitalist economy serves to the top end and causes suffering and a fight to survive on the bottom.

          Animal products actually harm us rather than being an essential product of our diets. Don’t take it from me, I’m no scientist. I just research what scientists have concluded. Watch Forks and Knives; it’s on Netflix.

          The animal kingdom is not evil, that is survival. The lion that kills the antelope does so as it has no choice. We do. Humans are omnivorous so we can survive on a plant based diet. Watch Forks Over Knives, Speciesism, Cowspiracy (on Netflix) and look up on Youtube “The Best Speech You Will Ever Hear- Gary Yourofsky”.

          Yes, we have harmed our planet in countless ways as a species. Very little of it was for survival- rather for convenience and money making. However, just because we have done so much harm to the world around us does not mean that we should just give up and continue to hurt animals in any which way we please. You can choose to eat a plant based diet, you can choose to pick a super fund which divests from fossil fuels and the live export trade, you can choose to ride your bike and walk and catch public transport where you can, choose renewable energy, participate in volunteering and donate and support charities that do work in developing nations, you can adopt pets from no kill shelters, only buy clothes second hand, limit having a child to one or two at most- and thats only a few things out of endless choices that can be made to help right the wrongs of the past.

          Every day there are thousands of choices each human can make to make up for what they have done. You just have to care enough. “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has”- Margaret Mead.

  • S Rebecca

    By an analogy with racism and sexism, he completely loses the audience by suggesting that humans are on the same level as other animals. Yes, we share the world…and are its dominate species.

    • Sayla

      Have you watched Speciesism? The excuse that humans are above animals intellectually and therefore we should continue to use animals for whatever we please in whichever way is the most convenient method is not at all relevant. Please explain why you think we still care about disabled people or elderly people who are not able bodied or capable of dominating any other species- bedridden sometimes, and can have the intelligence of that of an animal. If they have the same intelligence how can you justify that we treat these humans with the same respect and dignity that we treat all other humans, and yet not extend this respect and dignity to animals of the same intellect?

      • S Rebecca

        It is BECAUSE humans are the superior animals, we care about and protect our weaker members. It is BECAUSE we have ethics. Other animals dont do that, do they; you make a good argument for humanity’s superiority…we protect our weaklings and cripples whereas other animals would abandon or kill them.

        Humans who lose their intelligence or were born retarded are still HUMAN, and get all the benefits accorded to people.

        Yep, a cow can have a greater intellectual acumen than one who is retarded, but its just a cow…the other is a member of our own kind. We care for our own. We evolved to eat meat…and I see no wrong in killing a non human with the intellect of a cow that happens to be, a cow.

        • Angi :)

          Hi ๐Ÿ™‚ Have you ever see any creature having something like horses having clogs, birds having wings and do not using them? We have ethics because of something, of a purpose. We have to use it and well because it will help us living a happier life. I agree about you, with all. But think; we really need that? If we need to survive and we only have animals to satisfy our need, I would eat them. But there are plenty of other things to eat and we don’t need animals food to survive! Healthyer, savoryer, that we don’t have to kill them. What do you think? Our soul will be in peace. Sometimes, I think that we only have to follow one path to arrive where we have to: the love path. Without excuses or insulting discussions. Love is the secret for all. Now we just must decide if we want fallow the path of love because we have discovered something new that’s wrong and change ourselves(no proud or preconceptions, think with your fantastic mind without care about how blame you they’re are weak!) or find excuses. I want became a better person that build a better world for everyone/thing. I don’t care about the mass I just want do what is right and I even don’t care about myself, because my wants are not so valuable compared with what we have seen, compared with all the facts I learned about this issue. Now, we just need to choose. Imagine a world in which everyone does everything for the others. Will it be a better world? Choosing with your heart, whit love every single time of our life is the secret to get closer to our goal. The path is one. We just have to follow it to find what we all humans are looking for. ๐Ÿ™‚

          • S Rebecca

            Yeah…I need meat. Ethically, as ethics are subjective, its fine for me.

          • Angi :)

            You need it or you want it? Biologically speaking, meat is helping your cancer cells to growth! You can increase up to 70% your chances to develop a tumor… and I would like you to live as long and happy as you could! Ahahah, actually humans don’t need it to survive, it’s unhealthy and it helps develop obesity. Since I decided to avoid meat and milk, my skin is really better! I am happier(you now, body, mind and soul communicate in some ways) ๐Ÿ˜‰ I do it because huge numbers of people died because they haven’t food and water, and we gave it to our cows or pigs? Ahaha, no, it is not funny…what do you think about it? I also sow the documentary “Cowspiracy” and I’m literally shocked. If you really like meat and you can’t stop eating it, just don’t eat meat on, say on Thursday? My brother is exactly like you, but he care about himself and…he decided not to eat meat on Monday and Thursday.(We can decide not to eat meat or dairy… for different reasons). He is going well! I am so proud of him. And it’s the same for me with fish! Now I’m arriving to eat it only once a week or when there is the opportunity. It will a be a little but important first action… I understand that you like it, maybe you can avoid something else? Like milk, eggs or fish or I don’t now…I’m sorry, we are all different and maybe it’s really important and difficult for you not to eat meat. I would not judge this choice because I am not you.I like lots of things and I understand you thinking about them…so just avoid it once a week, or twice, how do you feel and think if you can eliminate something else you care less about. That will be amazing!!!! What do you think? ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

          • S Rebecca

            Meat does not cause cancer. PROCESSED meats are linked to a slight increase; lean red meats, chicken, fish, are fine. And yes, I need it to live…and it does not cause obesity either. People overeating and not exercising does that, for the vast majority, “step away from the fork” is the key. There are some medical things that enable obesity, but those can often be managed with willpower, too.

            My skin is just fine. I dont want to stop eating meat…whenever I wish. So, I wont avoid it on Thursday…or any other day. I often dont want to eat red meat two days in a row. But I love chicken and fish/

          • JustAnotherDramaLover

            Meat and dairy cause’s a lot of diseases in our everyday lives. Meat contains protein but our body already has protein but that not all,what the animals consumes we consume including the blood, sperm, pus and hormones and not to say parasites. Dairy products like eggs, eggs is just chicken period and your eating a sperm which is a baby chicken, like when females get their period. Do your research I’ve being vegan for 2 and half months now and have being having liver problems my health has improved my fatigue too and not to say my acne and skin. I suggest watching documentaries on Netflix or something because research shows that animal agriculture is ruing our planet. 90% of rain forest chopped down is for livestock and so is land farmers who are in debt to company’s are forced to tutore these beautiful creatures. Yes meat does cause cancer not only processed AND U DON’T NEED IT TO LIVE!!!! IF I NEEDED IT TO LIVE I’VE BE DEAD BY NOW I’M 13 YEARS OF AGE AND AM PROUD OF BECOMING VEGAN. Oh and BTW fish is the worst meat to consume I mean if you want to teach your children, friends, family members who have heart problems trouble with in fertility etc I suggest telling them to go vegan or vegetarian. I guess this movie was right there are three stages of truth Ridicule that’s the stage your currently at hope you get out of the ridiculous stage and understand what eating meat does to you. After I watched this video I was mentally scared and for ever will be.

          • JustAnotherDramaLover

            AND LMFAOOOO who said you need meat to eat. There’s vegetables, legumes, fruit, water, wheat, chia seeds so many vitamins and protein from these foods. AND GUESS WHAT? They aren’t living they don’t have a nerves system to feel or think. But animals do. Where can we get our vitamins
            Vitamin A: Carrots, broccoli, apricots, butternut squash etc
            Vitamin B: Brown rice, whole grains, spinach broccoli etc
            Vitamin B6: Legumes LEGUMES ETC
            Vitamin C: Strawberries, oranges/ juice, spinach potatoes
            Vitamin D: LOL Go outside and get some sunlight not vitamin D2 which is from Sheep skin which you don’t need
            Vitamin b12: milks that are non dairy almond, soy and coconut.
            Zinc: WHOLE FOODS etc
            Iron: leafy greens, sea vegetables ( seaweds etc)
            Calcium: Non dairy milk legumes, beans, seeds, dried fruit
            Omega 3 Chia seeds and other seeds
            OMG ALL these foods and we don’t have to kill wow I bet you didnt know that now did u.

          • S Rebecca

            I did know that vegans believe that nonsense. The iron in veggies is not in an ideal form to be used by the body…the iron in meat, is ideal. I dont get enough sun, so I need Vit D. I hate non dairy fake “milk”, so wont be getting B12 there, will I…I wont drink the stuff. I prefer calcium in real milk…and guess what, I also eat plenty of legumes, fruits, veggies of all sorts. But I like meat….and think its just fine to kill animals raised for the purpose. So the choice for me is…meat.

          • JustAnotherDramaLover

            AHHAHAHA calcium from that watch documentaries most first world countries r suffering from mal nutrition like calcium and iron. Milk is for baby cows not for humans! Milk for humans is made from our mothers and we only need it for a certain amount of time. I say watch some documentaries cowspiracy earthlings โ˜๐Ÿฟ๏ธ And other food ones

        • Carlos โ“‹ Oliveira

          S Rebecca, can you please read what you wrote substituting
          “humans” with “white”, “men”,
          “heterosexual” or any other privileged group. there really is no
          difference! what makes you think you are superior to any animal, they inhabit
          this planet and have as much right to be here as you do.

          Humans are supposed to be considered more intelligent, but we only measure
          intelligence by standards that we are good at. I am sure if you put the criteria
          on sniffing out a bomb from 200 suitcases in an airport, any canine will make
          humans look stupid for example.

          You claim to understand animal behaviour, when the weakest
          is left to die or is killed, this is to guarantee the survival of the rest of the
          heard/pack, not because they do not care, humans do not need to ditch and
          kill of other humans in this situation today as we are capable to survive and
          care for our disabled and sick, though, unfortunately, not always true as there are many cases where a mother will abandon/kill her new-born because she cannot care for it, old people being abandoned because nobody has the patience to care for them etc.

          Having said that, you can watch actual footage taken in the
          wild of animals caring and helping other animals in need (sometimes inter
          species), so it is not a matter of ethics that is exclusive to humans (again,
          it is what you want to believe, not reality).

          There is absolutely no reason to eat meat, it has been
          proven by science that a vegan diet is healthier for humans than consuming meat, if you want to keep telling yourself that you need it to survive, you must also explain why vegans are healthier in general than meat eating peers, and why when athletes become vegan they improve their performancesโ€ฆand out-perform their peers in almost any sport where a vegan is competing.

          The only reason for eating meat is your personal choice, and when presented with the facts on the cruelty towards animals, the problems that it is causing the planet, the problem that it is causing our health, choosing to continue to consume just says that you have no ethics and could not give a s*it for the animals, the planet nor to other humans, so do not use ethics as a point for your choice to eat animals as you clearly do not have any.

  • S Rebecca

    Humanity’s interests do carry greater weight than other animals “interests” due to human superiority in so many ways. Human ingenuity and inventions make us superior;our ability to create, invent, heal, etc.

    • Sayla

      Again, humans that are permanently disabled and have intellectual disabilities rendering them with the same intellect of an animal- they are not superior in your definition of superior, yet I highly doubt you would condone anally electrocuting an intellectually disabled person in the interest of ‘science’? Also a note on healing; you might want to watch Forks and Knives. Many preventable diseases worldwide are caused by eating animal products- and simply removal of them from the diet can actually reduce, or in some cases even reverse the impacts of these diseases. Don’t take it from me though, watch the documentary. I felt exactly the same as you until I watched these documentaries.

      • S Rebecca

        Yes…disabled people are still superior; they are HUMANS,and loss of function or parts does not remove humanity.

      • S Rebecca

        Diseases CAUSED by eating animal products? None are, in real truth, except the few caused by pork (trichinosis) and even that can be avoided by proper cooking of the meat. What diseases do you think have as a sole cause, animal products?

        • sar close

          errr…. foot and mouth? mad cow disease? it’s in the documentary if you had bothered to watch it. also easily available on wikipedia or in a book

        • sar close

          humans contracted ebola from eating bushmeat (wild monkeys and other animals)
          humans have contracted mad cow disease from eating cows
          just two examples there are more

          • S Rebecca

            I had forgotten mad cow…so rare though. People have gotten E coli from veggie products. Risk in everything. It is also not certain how people got Ebola…and I for one do not eat monkeys ๐Ÿ™‚

            The extremely low risk of getting some illness from meat is of no consequence to me.

      • S Rebecca

        Yes they are superior…because they are people.

        • Amy Burkholder

          You are a complete idiot. You can not substantiate a point by simply saying “because I said so”

  • S Rebecca

    Its an insult to compare killing some cows, sheep, chickens to the intentional genocide, torture and slaughter of Jews, Gypsies, and others, Cows cant feel the humiliation that humans can.

    • Amy Burkholder

      Did you actually watch this doc?

  • VeganHannah

    I went vegan 6 months ago and watched this movie as inspiration… I will NEVER be able to forgive myself for eating meat as a child. to call us humans earthlings is a sick joke. our cultures are feasting on our fellow earthlings, when all their suffering could be stopped if we all just ate a vegan diet!!! As sad as it is, I believe that it is too late for the meat and dairy industry because there are already more cows then humans, what would we do with them all?? But as for the fish and our oceans, we CAN fix that.
    What I can not understand, is why most are ignorantly turning a blind eye to the truth we all know?????

  • lynn

    My eyes were too watery to even watch this! I’m vegan and I’m damn proud to be able to say that. Sigh!

    • NEIL BUZ

      i switched of then to , so sad

  • bellatrix

    Oh my god… I’ve seen slaughterhouse footage without audio but oh my god… The audio has turned me to a full vegan. within a half hour…

  • mario

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  • DarkStar89

    How do people go about these acts, clean themselves up, then go home SANELY to their families at the end of the day?
    There’s clearly have some sort of mental instability to behave so psychotically…
    CRUELTY towards such beautiful creatures (did mom not love them enough???)

    That being said,
    Not even 10 minutes in and I’ve been water works ever since.
    If this doesn’t change your views on what you consume, how animals or any other EARTHLING should be treated…I think it’s time for some very deep, personal reflection.

    Humans need more EMPATHY…
    Re connectivity to their EMOTIONS and less to WI-FI/massively spammed media of what we SHOULD be thinking/doing/eating…
    Caring for one another (including all creatures), a sense of pure RESPONSIBILITY….

    We are undeveloped savages with a bunch of magic boxes to dumb us down even more.

    Here’s hoping the future is brighter.
    For all.

    <3