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

  • 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 🙂 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. 🙂

  • 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 🙂

            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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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…